What are the different types of surfwear?
Australian women's surfwear comes in a variety of styles and designs to cater for different preferences and needs. Ultimately, the goal of surfwear is to provide functional and comfortable swimwear that allows women to enjoy water sports with ease and confidence. However, what exactly is surfwear?
What is surfwear?
Women's surfwear refers to clothing specifically designed for surfing or other water sports. This may include swimming, snorkelling, freediving and many more. This surfwear is typically made from lightweight, quick-drying materials that provide comfort and flexibility in the water.
Common items of women's surfwear include rashguards, surf shorts, surf suits, rash vests, wetsuits, springsuits and surf bikinis both tops and bottoms. Rashguards are tight-fitting shirts that protect the skin from chafing and sunburn. Surf shorts or boardshorts are shorts designed for the water. Meanwhile, surfsuits are typically long-sleeved one-piece swimwear.
How is surfwear different to swimwear?
Surfwear is specifically designed for the physical demands of surfing and water sports. It is made from materials that are lightweight, quick-drying, and flexible to allow for ease of movement in the water. Women’s surfwear often includes features such as reinforced seams and padding in high-impact areas to provide durability and protection against the surface of a surfboard. Additionally, surfwear offers more coverage than swimwear to protect against the sun and from chaffing.
Swimwear, on the other hand, is designed primarily for swimming and lounging by the pool or beach. While swimwear may also be made from quick-drying materials, it typically prioritises fashion and style over function. It often doesn't provide the same level of coverage or protection as women’s surfwear.
Difference between surfsuits & wetsuits?
A wetsuit is typically made of a thick neoprene-style material that is designed to keep the wearer warm in colder water. Wetsuits work by trapping a thin layer of water between the neoprene and the skin, which is then warmed by the body's natural heat. This warm water provides insulation against the cold water outside the wetsuit, allowing the wearer to stay comfortable and warm for longer periods in the water.
Surfsuits, on the other hand, are typically lighter weight than wetsuits and are designed to provide protection against the sun and wind, as well as minor scrapes and scratches. Sustainable surfwear is often made from materials such as Econyl or recycled polyester, which provides a high degree of flexibility and mobility for the surfer. They are typically worn in warm climates where insulation is not necessary.
Unique features of surfwear
Women’s surfwear is designed to meet the unique needs of surfers. The unique features of surfwear include:
- Many surfwear items include long sleeves UV protection to help shield the skin from long days spent in the ocean. Many long sleeve surf suits and rashvests help protect surfers from the harsh summer sun
- Surfwear is designed to be flexible and allow for a wide range of motion. Some surf suits for women offer an open-back design for easy paddling.
- Surfwear is designed to stay on during different-sized swells. The higher the amount of coverage and/or a body-hugging or fitted design makes it easier for the surfwear to stay put in large waves.
- Many surfwear have additional features such as front or back zips or tie-ons and even hidden key pockets.
- Thicker surfwear such as springsuits or wetsuits are perfect for surfing in colder climates or during the shoulder season when a full steamer might not be necessary.
- Surfwear is often designed to reduce chafing and irritation, with features such as flatlock seams and seamless construction.
- Many surfwear items are designed to provide a snug and secure fit, such as surf bottoms with a fitted waist, or surf tops that are designed with durability and stretch to ensure they stay on, or rash guards with a tight-fitting neck and cuffs.
Surfwear for different conditions
There are many different types of sustainable women’s surfwear available and they are all designed with specific benefits in mind. For summer conditions when UV protection is important long-sleeved Australian women’s surfwear is ideal.
Additional coverage is also designed for surfwear worn during larger swells. This is because the chance of the material slipping or moving is reduced.
If you are choosing whether to purchase a high-waisted or a low-riding cheeky cut style bikini surf bottoms, it is important to consider what style of surfing you typically enjoy and what conditions you commonly surf in. Choosing the option that makes you feel the best, as you will always surf better when you feel great.
Springsuits are ideal for those in-between seasons when it's not cool enough for a wetsuit yet. The thickness of your springsuit or wetsuit will differ greatly depending on the temperature of the water and the wind.
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