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Many surfers do not stop surfing just because the weather gets colder. Instead, they suit up with cold weather gear so they can keep going.
One important piece of cold weather gear is a wetsuit hood, which is a neoprene head covering that goes over the head and neck, covering everything except the face.
These hoods help insulate your head, regulating your body temperature by not allowing too much heat to escape from your head.
This not only makes surfing in cold weather more bearable, but it also protects you from the elements, allowing you to continue the sport you love while also staying safe.
In this article we will discuss the benefits of wearing a wetsuit hood and look at which features make the best wetsuit hood for surfing.
Why wear a wetsuit hood surfing?
You head is sensitive to changes in temperature, and this is even more true when in the water.
Wearing a hood will help keep your head warm, which in turn, helps keep your whole body warm. This will help you stay more comfortable during your surfing session and make it a better experience overall.
In addition, hoods also help protect your ear canals from the cold water which will help prevent ear infections and surfer’s ear.
Wetsuit hoods also help protect your ears against wind chill and help prevent headaches that can result from duck-diving into cold water.
Additionally, wetsuit hoods have an added benefit for those with long hair because it keeps their hair contained and out of their face.
Whether or not you wear a hood ultimately comes down to personal preference, but most surfers opt for one once the water gets down to 50 degrees or below because it makes the experience more bearable in the cold.
Choosing the right size wetsuit hood for surfing
Just like the rest of your wetsuit, you want your hood to fit pretty snuggly without squeezing too tight.
Figuring out your size is relatively simple as it only involves taking measurements of your head.
Take a measuring tape and wrap it around the circumference of your head, starting at your forehead just between your eyebrows and wrapping around the back of your head above your ears.
Once you have these measurements, use the sizing chart of the hood you are looking at and find where your measurements fall on the chart.
Make sure that you do not undersize your wetsuit, especially when it comes to your hood. Many people have the tendency to size down on their suits to help prevent them from becoming baggy overtime as they stretch out.
You should not do this with cold weather gear, though.
The thicker 4 to 6 mm suits do not stretch out over time like the 2 to 3 mm suits do. If you size down on these, they will fit too tight in your shoulders and constrict your movement, which will ultimately affect your paddling endurance.
A wetsuit hood that is too tight can also make it feel difficult to breathe, which is another reason that it is important to find one that fits properly.
Tips for surfing with a hood
Surfing with a hood can be difficult and even a little disorienting if you are not used to it. Here are a few tips to help you when diving with a hood.
When you are about to duck-dive with a hood on, turn your head to one side first just before you dive.
This helps lessen the intense burst of cold water on your face, since your face is the only exposed part of your head.
It also lets less water into your hood, so you can keep it insulated instead of losing some of your heat with the rush of cold water.
You can also help prevent the water from leaking into your suit by purchasing a hood with a long neck design.
This design will allow you to tuck the hood into your wetsuit, which will help keep in the heat and prevent the cold water from entering your hood when you move your head around.
Another thing you can do is get a hood that is connected to a thermal wetsuit vest.
While you can always tuck your hood into your wetsuit, there is a risk that water will get in or that part of your skin will be exposed if it comes untucked.
If you get a hooded vest, less water will be able to get down the neck of your wetsuit, allowing you to stay warmer and more insulated.
You can also try getting a hood with a peak, which basically looks like the brim of a hat.
This is beneficial because the peak of the hood will cause the water to run off the side of the hood instead of running down your face, keeping as much cold water out of your face as possible.
While surfing with a hood may take some getting used to, using these tips can help you choose a hood that works best for you, keeping the water out and making your surfing experience warmer and more enjoyable.
Best Wetsuit Hood for Surfing
Here are a few examples of different types of wetsuit hoods that could meet your needs.
O’Neill Men’s Thermo X Vest with Neoprene Hood
This hooded vest is perfect for cold days when you need an extra layer of warmth under your wetsuit.
It is made from Thermo-X layering fabric that provides great insulation without being too bulky.
This material also has Quik-Dry properties that allow it to dry faster to help keep the moisture off of your skin.
The material is 220 gram nylon/spandex that is water repellent and odor resistant.
The neck is cut really low so that it does not interfere with the neck of your wetsuit.
There is a drawstring around the face that allows you to tighten the hood until it fits snuggly against your skin.
This product not only protects you from the cold but can also help prevent a sun burn and other harmful sun exposure.
This product has UPF 50+ Ultraviolet Protection to protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. As a result, this product is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation because it helps protect your skin from prolonged sun exposure, reducing your risk for skin cancer.
This hooded vest comes in a variety of sizes, from an extra small to a double extra large. There is a sizing chart to help you determine your perfect fit
You can view this item on Amazon to learn more.
pandawoods Wetsuit Hood
This wetsuit hood is made from 3mm premium eco-friendly neoprene and imported nylon. This material helps keep your body heat in to insulate your head.
The surf hood is glued and blind stitched to help reduce irritation. This also helps with durability, ensuring that the seams will not come apart and will not let water leak through.
There is a flow vent integrated into the hood that allows bubbles to escape through the top of the hood without allowing any additional water in.
The seal around the face is cushioned for comfort and to help the hood cling more tightly to the face, keeping water out.
This hood has a long neck design, so you can tuck it into your wetsuit to help prevent any water leaking into your suit.
In addition to protecting from the cold, this hood also protects from the sun’s UV rays. It also protects against any sharp objects or debris that could hit you while you are surfing.
In addition to surfing, this hood can also be used for other water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, etc.
The company offers a 30 day money back guarantee, allowing you to return the product if you are not satisfied for any reason.
This hood comes in sizes medium, large, and extra large, and there is a sizing guide to help you determine your perfect fit.
If you would like to learn more about this product, you can view it on Amazon.
ZCCO1 Scuba Diving Hood
This wetsuit hood offers all around protection from the elements. It protects from the cold, keeping your head insulated to keep your warm.
It also protects from the sun, keeping the UV rays off of your skin. Finally, it also protects your skin from debris in the ocean that could cause you harm.
This hood comes in two thickness options: 3mm or 5mm. The material is 90% neoprene and 10% nylon. It is flexible and comfortable, so it will not irritate the skin while you are wearing it.
The material also has high elasticity, so it will form to the shape of your face. Additionally, it is water repellent to help keep you dry and warm.
It has glued and blind seams that will not tear or leak. This hood is designed to last a long time.
This hood can be used for any water sport, including surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
It comes in a range of sizes from medium to double extra large. There is a sizing chart to help you determine which size is your best fit.
You can view this product listing on Amazon if you would like to order.
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