Surfing the Great Lakes requires suitable attire (wetsuit or drysuit), a decent board (thicker for freshwater surfing), and being prepared for unexpected weather. The water may be choppy, and the heavy gusts make keeping on your board much more difficult. You should also bring a sunblock with an SPF of at least 15, as well as sunglasses and a hat. In case of rain, pack an umbrella and a poncho.
The main concern when wearing a wet suit in cold waters is hypothermia. If you feel dizzy or have any other signs of heat exhaustion, get out of the water immediately and go lie down in a cool place where it's warm but not hot (a car door or a porch are good places). Drinking plenty of water is important in preventing heatstroke. If you experience symptoms of hyperthermia such as rapid breathing, sweating, confusion, then call 911 or return to shore immediately.
Freshwater surfboards are usually thicker than ocean-going boards because they need to support their own weight when floating along the bottom of lakes and ponds. They can also be longer or narrower depending on the surfer's preference. A longboard is suitable for powerful swimmers who want to catch big waves; a shorter board is better for beginners who don't want to get too deep into the water.
The solution is straightforward: you don't need a wetsuit to go surfing. Wetsuits' principal function is to keep surfers warm, however in warmer water, surfers frequently surf in just board shorts or swimmers. Wetsuits actually make paddling more difficult, therefore surfers prefer not to wear them until absolutely necessary.
The main reason why you might want to wear a wetsuit is so you can stay afloat while your catch rides the wave back in. Without one, you would be required to swim after your prey, which is unlikely to end well for you or your fish.
Surfing without a wetsuit is possible but you will need to be very careful not to get overheated. The ocean can have some pretty hot spots even in the winter time. If you feel yourself getting too hot, it's best to head for shore immediately.
Wetting suit or not, staying safe in the ocean is important and should never be taken lightly. Make sure that anyone who wants to surf with you has done some basic training first, especially if they are new to surfing. Never try to guide someone else into breaking glass or other dangerous objects. It's also advisable to take a lesson before you go surfing alone for the first time.
Unless you normally wear a wetsuit to the jacuzzi, sauna, or beach, you don't need one. Shorty is used when it is chilly outside, such as in the morning, evening, or when it is windy. You don't need a wetsuit if the weather is warm. This is the comfortable bottom limit for shorty surfing.
When you are surfing in warmer climates like California or Australia, you will usually need a wetsuit regardless of the length you choose. A long-sleeved wetsuit is recommended for surfers who want more coverage than short-sleeved offers. Pants with flaps or pockets that can be rolled up or down are also good choices if you want more protection against sandflies or jellyfish in tropical regions.
If you live in a cold climate and plan to go surfing only during certain seasons, a wetsuit might not be necessary. You would only need one if you were planning to go surfing all year round. The average winter temperature in San Francisco, California, for example, is 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer temperatures can reach the 90s. If you live in a region where the weather is like this all year round, you wouldn't need a wetsuit.
Beach conditions may also affect whether you need a wetsuit. If there is no wave action and the water is flat, you probably don't need one.
If I don't have a wetsuit, what should I wear? Surfing in water over 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius) requires a solid pair of boardshorts and, ideally, a wetsuit top. A regular t-shirt will most likely produce a rash or rub from the wax on your surfboard. Girls can wear bikinis, but be in mind that waves might wash them away.
In general, you want to wear clothes that are quick-drying, so avoid cotton if you can help it. Also, make sure the material is tight-fitting, since you won't be able to adjust it while you're surfing.
You also need shoes that are good for surfboarding. The board needs traction without being too heavy. Teeth like this one work well: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000GKP3Q/.
Finally, you'll want to bring an extra set of clothes for after your ride. Wetsuits aren't exactly comfortable things to wear for long periods of time, so be prepared with snacks and drinks to keep yourself going.
Surfing isn't for everyone, but it's a great way to experience the outdoors without getting wet. If you don't have any equipment, no problem! There are many places where you can learn how to surf simply by watching others do it. You can even take surfing lessons if you want to get better at it.
You could absolutely surf in a drysuit. However, the drysuits on the market now are not always suited for surfing. Dry suits are often designed for either cold-water kayaking or diving. They tend to drag and impede your ability to surf. The best option is to find a dry suit that is made for surfing.
Dry suits are usually made out of neoprene or wetsuit material. They fit over your normal wet suit and have arms, legs, and a head covering that allow you to go underwater without getting water in your mouth or eyes.
There are many different types of dry suits available, but they can be divided into three main categories: full body, partial body, and chest only. Full body suits cover everything from your head to your feet. Partial body suits cover just your torso. Chest only suits are used by scuba divers and allow them to go deeper under water.
Surfing with a dry suit is very similar to surfing in a wet one. You will need to make sure that you stay warm while still allowing some heat loss so that you do not overheat. With practice, you should be able to ride longer periods of time in a dry suit than a wet one since it slows you down somewhat.
The most important thing when wearing a dry suit is to keep moving.