Winter has officially arrived - And with winter comes bitterly cold but often awesome conditions for many watersports. So how do you last longer in the water, stay comfortable and warm, to conquer the Supreme cold? It all starts with a nice thick wetsuit but what else?
Investing in wetsuit accessories – boots, gloves and a hood is your answer. But with so many different types on the market, you can get lost in choice very quickly – here we’ll explore everything you need to survive the winter months.
Wetsuit boots are a must-have if you’re a surfer, kitesurfer, windsurfer, foiler, whatever watersports you are doing. Though the water temperature remains relatively warm in October, the air temperature takes a bit of a drop which means walking to and from the sea could be a bit on the uncomfortable side. And when the sun makes an appearance March time, the water temperature is at its lowest, so boots are vital!
Just like wetsuits, boots come in different thicknesses – the thicker the boot, the warmer your feet. Wetsuit boots generally come in 3mm, 5mm and 7mm.
5mm tends to be the average thickness for boots, particularly in the UK. A 3mm is a good choice during the summer if you’re not a fan of barefoot riding but if you’re heading for a session in Northern Europe such as Norway, then a 7mm is your go-to.
The never-ending debate! Both types have their advantages but what type is best for you.
Round Toe – The most simple & easy fitting design of wetsuit boots. The Mystic Star 5mm Round Toe Boot have been designed to be shaped around the toes, making the round toe the easiest type to get on and off, the easiest to produce and the cheaper one to buy.
Split Toe - Take the Mystic Supreme Split Toe 5mm, the boot made for the surfer, kitesurfer and windsurfer who want more grip. The design divides the big toe from the others to avoid your foot rolling in the shoe. Split toe boots are made for the performer, so they come with a cost but bear in mind, because your toes are separated, they do not feel as warm as the round toe. Keep an eye out also for internal and external splits, if the split is internal you cannot see it on the outside, this gives you a more secure feel but a more expensive cost. An external split can lower the cost, but you will have a visible gap between the big toe and the rest, not fun to catch a pebble between them!
Not a necessity like wetsuit boots, but if you’re someone who particularly feels the cold or you want to extend your sessions in the winter, then wetsuit gloves should be on your list!
Just like the boot, gloves come in different thicknesses. Gloves can range from 1mm all the way to 7mm so the choice is yours! 3mm or 5mm are generally the best sellers.
Again, just like the boot, choosing the right type of glove for you is essential. Personal preference and the watersport you do will help you decide.
Classic 5 Finger Glove – The most popular and common glove you’ll see on the water. The Mystic Star 3mm 5 finger Glove, easy to chuck on and easy to use. For any watersport!
Pre Curved 5 Finger Glove – Kitesurfer or Windsurfer? Want the 5-finger glove but sick of ache in your arms? Then the Mystic Pre Curved 5 finger glove will keep you on the water for longer, with more grip and reduced forearm ache.
Open Palm Mitten – If you’re a kitesurfer, windsurfer or wing foiler and want to keep your hands warm, remove the wind-chill, but still feel the bar, boom or handles, then the Mystic Star 3mm Open Palm glove is a good choice.
Lobster Claw – A top pick for the surfer! Bringing you the best of the 5-finger glove and the mitten, the ability to put your leash on and grab your board/rail whilst trapping the maximum amount of body heat in the glove. Bring in the Mystic Supreme 5mm Lobster Glove, enough said.
To complete the neoprene accessory family, you’ll need a hood! If your winter suit doesn’t come with a hood, then purchasing one separately to keep your noggin warm is a must.
Most hoods are either 2mm or 3mm, so that’s thickness answered.
All hoods are designed to cover the neck but if you’re someone who likes to keep your neck extra warm, then you can opt for hoods with extendable neck flaps, take the Mystic Supreme Hood!
Just like the wetsuit, the more you spend, the more tech you get! From entry-level neoprene boots and gloves like the Mystic Star Boot and 5 Finger Glove. To high-end like the Mystic Supreme Boot and Lobster Glove which boast liquid sealed seams and fast dry lining that will keep your fingers and feet seriously warm in the coldest of waters. Top it off with the Mystic Supreme Hood, and you are good to go for the winter months.
So, if you’re a weekend warrior and want to survive the winter months without breaking the bank, then opting for entry-level round toe boot and 5 finger gloves like The Mystic Star range will do the job! But if you’re checking the forecast daily in the middle of January and want to conquer the cold properly, then the Mystic Supreme range has your name on it!
If you need any further advice on what neoprene accessories are right for you, give the guys at Wetsuit Outlet a call and their expert team will be on hand to help and point you in the right direction!
Written by Joe Taylor from Mystic.