Wetsuit (Neoprene) Gloves Guide

Wetsuit glovesWetsuit gloves are gloves that you use in water sports like surfing to keep your hands warm. This is probably the last piece of neoprene you put on when you don’t want to be cold. First you start wearing a wetsuit. When water gets colder you also put on booties. When it gets really cold you need to use wetsuit gloves and wetsuit hood. At what temperature do you use them? Check out our wetsuit thickness and water temperature guide.

 

Why are wetsuit gloves the last piece of neoprene that you put on when you enter cold water? Because (at least for me) they are a pain in the ass. Even little amount of water that accumulates in your gloves acts like you are paddling with weights in your hand. You will get tired faster and the feeling of wearing wetsuit gloves is not that great.

But anyway, thanks to them we can surf some really cold water and that is worth a lot.

How do you choose the right wetsuits gloves?

Wetsuit gloves are made out of neoprene. Things we wrote about in other guides also apply here:

  1. neoprene type: stretchy neoprene will hug your hands better – less room for that water we were talking about
  2. neoprene thickness: the thickness for wetsuit gloves is between 2mm and 5mm. Thicker are of course warmer, but  thick wetsuit gloves also leave you with less feeling in your hands.
  3. seams on wetsuit gloves: we want less water coming into our gloves so we want blindstitched and liquid taped seams (see the picture) on them. These kind of stitches are waterproof and water leaking into your glove will be minimal.

 

What about tips that only apply to wetsuit gloves?

Again, water in your gloves is a big problem so:

  1. get a really tight fitting gloves  – they will expand in water. If your wetsuit gloves are to big, you will feel your hand  floating inside them and this sucks big time since you get less feeling in your hands, paddling is harder and you have to lift a pound of water every time you lift your arms. It’s much worse then when your wetsuit booties are to big.
  2. how long up your arm do wetsuit gloves reach? If they are to short they can slip from under your wetsuit sleeve and they will fill up with water before you can say cold water surfing. So the longer the better. It’s also nice if they have a a strap that lets you tighten them around your arm.
  3. And then there is grip! Neoprene is slippery and you don’t want your hands to slip off the surfboards rails when you getting ready to stand up. Instead of riding away you’ll smash your nose into your board. So your wetsuit gloves should have some sort of  non skid rubbery surface on the palms area.

That is mostly it, all the important stuff you need to know when you are buying wetsuit gloves. Read the rest of our wetsuit guides to get more tips.

4 Comments

  1. I have Raynauds disease which causes my fingers to become extremely cold while swimming in lake waters in Maine. I do not need a wetsuit, but I need something to keep my hands warm. Do you think wet suit gloves will help????

  2. @Dawn, gloves will for sure make your hands warmer but I can’t say if this will be enough since I’m not familiar with Raynauds disease. A problem might be also that you will get some water into the gloves, more than normally – normally when you wear gloves you put them under the sleeves of your wetsuit so less water gets in.

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