As winter in the UK approaches, it doesn’t mean that the british surfing season is coming to an end. If anything, some of best waves are found in the UK occur as we head to Autumn and Winter.
Even though the waves can be great, the water temperature never is. Chances are you’ll need to invest in a pair of wetsuit gloves to help you when you’re surfing during the winter in the UK.
These wetsuit gloves are perfect for the Winter months.
They are 5mm in thickness so it gives you chance to stay out longer in the water.
Do I need a pair of wetsuit gloves?
As a UK surfer I tend to start wearing my wetsuit gloves towards the end of September. I find them comfortable and they don’t make any difference to my surfing ability, but they are essential for allowing me to stay in the water for a longer period of time.
When it comes to choosing a good set of surf gloves, make sure that you invest wisely. All of the products we have reviewed are gloves that we would use ourselves and ones that we stand by, as they will last you for plenty of surf seasons.
Buying a cheap version may come back to haunt you as you end up happened to buy another pair the following year due to poor quality neoprene or a lack of warmth when in the cold water.
Wetsuit gloves are the winter surfers essential. You just aren’t going to get far without them. Once we wave goodbye to the Summer, our water temperature begins to drop. Once you add in the fact that the outside temperature drops too and the wind picks up, you have a recipe for cold extremities.
The wetsuit glove, along with wetsuit and board, are an integral part of any winter surfers must have items.
In short, yes you do need to buy a pair!
The Best Surf Gloves on the Market
Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 3mm Gloves
The Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 3mm gloves is a high performing budget glove that gives you great value for money.
The 3mm durable shark skin mesh design helps to keep your hands away from the elements on those cold windy days.
The O Ring closure ensures that water stays out whilst the glove remains in place firmly under your wetsuit. It has a non-slip palm which works well when wet. You will feel strong when pushing up to pop up on your board.
The gloves is made from 80% neoprene and 20% polyamide and I found them nice and lightweight with good flexibility. A great option if you are looking for a wetsuit glove on a budget.
O’Neill Psycho 5mm Double Lines Neoprene Glove
The O’Neill Psycho glove range is one of the best gloves on the market when it comes to keeping your hands warm during the winter months.
At 5mm you get great warmth to allow you to stay in the water for long periods of time which is exactly what you want from a glove.
You might expect that a 5mm glove would feel slightly restrictive, well that’s not the case with this glove. The Technobutter Neoprene is incredibly light and flexible, so you get great movement within your fingers.
The palm of the glove is super tacky, so you don’t need to worry about slipping on your initial push down when taking off. This is a top notch winter wetsuit glove.
O’Neill Epic 2mm Double Lined Wetsuit Gloves
The O’Neill 2mm Epic Glove offers you a glove that protects against the elements without feeling too bulky. At 2mm this is one of the thinner wetsuit gloves we looked at. These gloves would be perfect for someone who wants more “feel” from their glove.
We obviously want our wetsuit gloves to provide warmth and these gloved passed the test. The palm of the glove provides a tacky grip so is perfect for gripping to surfaces.
It is glued and blindstitched, so there is some leakage from water when we tested them. I think these are great options for someone who wants a wetsuit gloves for stand up paddle boarding or kayaking as they are so thin they’ll provide excellent functionality for the sport you are pursuing.
Rip Curl Flashbomb 5/3 mm Wetsuit Gloves
The first thing to say about these Rip Curl Flashbomb gloves is that they come in multiple thicknesses.
We looked at the 5/3mm wetsuit gloves for winter surfing, but they are available in other sizes too. These gloves offer E6 thermal lining and neoprene. This helps to keep the body heat within the glove, which in the winter months is essential for an enjoyable surf.
This is a very flexible glove that gives unrestricted movement. It’s fully sealed so you don’t get water leaking in. The 5mm neoprene protects the hands, while the 3mm thickness is found on the cuff of the gloves. A really solid winter wetsuit glove that gives high performance and rivals most other gloves on this list.
O’Neill Psycho Lobster Wetsuit Glove
We looked at the O’Neill Psycho earlier in the reviews, but given that it was a 5 finger design, we thought we’d take a closer look at their “claw range”.
This glove is a heavy duty glove that will keep your hands warm in Baltic conditions. So if you want a wetsuit glove that will keep you warm in any weather then this is for you.
The dexterity of the glove is less than its five finger rival, as you don’t get the same movement, which is to be expected. The benefits this option offers is that your fingers in the claw section stay together. I found this to help on the “pull” section of my paddle.
I also found that keeping my fingers side by side helped with warmth as they are sharing the heat with each other. Either option is great when it comes to providing warmth in the cold water.
Quiksilver 2022 Marathon Sessions 3mm Wetsuit Glove
Quiksilver have created a super flexible wetsuit glove that provides increased warmth that doesn’t come at any flexibility cost.
This 3mm glove will keep your hands warm thanks to the liquid seal on the internal seams, so there isn’t any leakage into the glove.
The gloves feature Rip Curls Stretchflight neoprene so your fingers will feel comfortable and free while wearing the gloves. With a sticky palm surface your gloves will feel glued onto your board or paddle depending on what you need the gloves for.
Billabong Furnace 5mm Wetsuit Gloves
The Billabong Furnace 5mm is a five finger glove that provides the ultimate resistance to cold water.
It’s a fairly thick glove, so I would recommend getting a size that fits your hand, rather than going small, otherwise you may find it too restrictive.
Billabong claim that it’s their highest performance glove and it certainly performed well under testing. The dry max entry system helps to keep water out of the glove and provides a snug seal around your wrist. It also has internal taped seams so there was very little leakage.
The technology within the glove helps to retain heat thanks to a smart foam that sits beneath the membrane of the outer glove. A great cold water wetsuit glove that can be used all year round.
C-Skins Legend 3mm Wetsuit Gloves
The C-Skin Legend 3mm wetsuit gloves is a great budget option that performs well in the cold.
You could use this glove for more than just surfing and works well in any water sport such as diving, kayaking and other water sport activities. The 100% Xtend Neoprene is flexible and the glued and blind stitched seams help to keep water out of the glove to add to your hands overall warmth.
It has a nice grippy palm that gives a stuck down feel when pushing off the board. I ordered a size small and found that it fits just right – with a 3mm thickness it doesn’t feel bulky when on.
Alder 3mm Junior Wetsuit Gloves
If you plan on buying your kids a wetsuit glove this Alder Junior Edge is well suited to a small hand.
They are glued and blindstiched throughout so it has good protection for little hands. With a young hand you wouldn’t want a glove that is too thick as movement might be difficult. This glove is flexible and thin enough that it gives the user a pleasant experience. With a super grippy palm it’s a good wetsuit glove for older children or teenagers.
Alder Matrix 3mm Wetsuit Gloves
The Matrix 3mm glove is a great budget option for surfing. I like the high cuff line this offers as it goes up the forearm and sits under the wetsuit, providing a strong seal against any water leaking into the glove.
The look of the glove is attractive, with a flash of blue to make it stand out. Surprisingly that is quite rare in a wetsuit glove as they tend to be black. So if you want a glove that stands out in a crowd, it’s a good option.
With X-Stretch neoprene, the glove is lightweight flexible and has a super grip palm that helps you handle yourself while out on the water.
What should I look for in a pair of surfing gloves?
Just like your wetsuit, you want your gloves to be super stretchy so that manoeuvrability is not an issue, in which case, once you’ve bought a pair of gloves make sure that you can move your fingers around easily and that they are tight against your skin to allow for maximum warmth when on.
Some of the best gloves are those that go up your forearm so that your wetsuit is over the top of them to prevent water leaking inside. A good fitting surf glove will not allow much water seeping through. Try to ensure that the wrist cuff of your wetsuit overlaps the top of the glove by 3 to 4 inches, this will help to prevent your wetsuit glove filling up like a water balloon.
The thickness of your gloves will need to reflect the water that you’re surfing in. You’ve probably already chosen a suitable wetsuit that is going to keep you warm for the time of year you plan on surfing, just check on the thickness to make sure that your hands will be suitably protected from the elements. The thickness of gloves will range from 1mm all the way to 7mm, just bear in mind, 7mm thickness is for very cold water and it’s unlikely that you would need to use it on a UK shores.
One final consideration to make when choosing the best pair of surf gloves will be the style. There’s a number of different style when it comes to surf gloves; which range from a traditional finger glove to a claw/webbed design where some of the fingers are joined together. The advantages of the webbed design are that they help with paddling, as it naturally forms a cup which therefore pulls you along with slightly more ease – however it doesn’t make you fitter, so bear that in mind when I say that it makes it easier! One issue with a webbed or mitten style will be the lack of manoeuvrability within the fingers themselves.
Does the surf glove go inside or outside the wetsuit?
This is not a stupid question to ask. If you are new to surfing or at least new to surfing in cold water, then you may not have worn a pair of wetsuit gloves before. The idea is that the gloves fit underneath your wetsuit so that a minimum amount of water will reach your hands. Your wetsuit and your wetsuit glove is going to give you a double skin for keeping water out, therefore it is important that the wetsuit glove sits underneath your wetsuit. I’ve mentioned previously in this article, choosing a glove that rides up your forearm is going to give that greater depth and reduce any water going into the glove itself.