The different types of closures for a surf wetsuit

When choosing a neoprene wetsuit for surfing, it is crucial to carefully consider the appropriate type of closure to ensure maximum comfort and performance in the water. In addition to the thickness and fit of the wetsuit, the type of closure plays a crucial role in the overall quality and functionality of the neoprene wetsuit. There are three common types of closures in wetsuits intended for surfing: front zipper closure, zipperless system, and back zipper closure. In the following lines, we will examine each of these closure types in detail to help you determine which one best suits your needs and preferences.

1. Neoprene wetsuit with back zipper closure:

Let’s start with the neoprene wetsuit with a back zipper closure, which represents the classic and most widespread design in neoprene wetsuits for surfing. The zipper is located at the back of the wetsuit. Although this type of closure may be less flexible compared to other options available in the market, it remains very popular due to its simplicity and ease of use. The back zipper opens and closes easily, allowing for quick and easy donning and doffing of the wetsuit, which is particularly convenient for people with larger sizes and neoprene wetsuits for children. However, due to the width of the zipper area, there may be a greater entry of water and less heat retention compared to other existing closure types.

This type of closure is most common in neoprene wetsuits used by beginners, children, and people with larger sizes, due to its ease of wearing and removal compared to other closure systems, thanks to its wide back zipper.

traje de neopreno con cierre trasero

Back zipper opening

Traje de neopreno con espacio de entrada con cremallera trasera.

Entry space in a back zipper wetsuit


  • Easy entry and exit
  • Cost-effective


  • Reduced watertightness
  • Decreased flexibility

2. Wetsuit with front zipper closure:

Next, we have the wetsuit with a front zipper closure, which stands out for its comfort and ease of use. This type of closure is very popular in wetsuits designed for surfing. In this design, the zipper is located in the chest area, which reduces water entry, does not affect flexibility, and helps maintain a warmer body. By eliminating the back zipper, the wetsuit’s flexibility is improved, making it easier to move during surfing. However, it is important to note that the access to the wetsuit may be more limited compared to a back zipper closure. Generally, this type of closure is found in mid-to-high-range wetsuits that offer good elasticity, providing a combination of features that appeal to many surfers.

The front zipper closure is the most sought-after type of closure by surfers, thanks to its ability to reduce water entry, its flexibility, and its great comfort. Despite having a reduced entry opening, they are relatively easy to put on and take off, as they are used in mid-to-high-range wetsuits that are quite elastic.

traje de neopreno con cremallera delantera

Front zipper closure

apertura de traje de neopreno con cremallera delantera

Front zipper opening

entrada de traje de neopreno con cremallera delantera

Space for entering and exiting the suit


  • Balance between comfort and flexibility
  • Water tightness


  • More difficult to put on compared to a back zipper suit

3. Wetsuits without zippers:

Finally, we have wetsuits without zippers, an innovative option for surfers seeking a snug fit and maximum flexibility. Instead of using a conventional zipper, these suits employ tension cords between the layers of neoprene to seal the entry, which is located between the neck and the shoulder. This system provides a snug fit and eliminates rigid elements that could restrict the surfer’s movement. Additionally, without zippers, water entry is reduced, and an effective seal is maintained, improving heat retention inside the suit. It is important to mention that this type of closure is generally found in high-end wetsuits, as they are highly flexible. The reduced size of the opening is compensated by the great elasticity of the materials used.

Once the suit is on, the zipperless system offers the greatest comfort compared to other types of closures. However, it’s worth noting that putting on and taking off the suit can be more challenging compared to other available closures on the market. To put on this type of suit, it is necessary to manually open the space between the neck and the shoulder, and once it is on, the layers of neoprene are adjusted using the tension cords.


traje de neopreno sin cremallera

Zipperless closure

apertura de traje de neopreno sin cremallera

Manual opening without a zipper from the shoulder to the neck

espacio de entrada y salida en traje de neopreno sin cremallera

Entry and exit space


  • Maximum comfort
  • once worn


  • Difficult to put on for larger sizes and/or older/less flexible surfers

In conclusion, the choice of closure type in a surf wetsuit depends on your personal preferences and surfing style. If you prioritize maximum flexibility and comfort while surfing, a wetsuit without a zipper is a great choice. If you are a beginner, on a tighter budget, or have a larger size, a wetsuit with a back zipper would be suitable. And if you’re looking for an elastic, comfortable, and relatively easy-to-put-on-and-take-off wetsuit, a wetsuit with a front zipper is a good option.

Remember to try out different closure types and consider your specific needs before making a decision. And if you’re still unsure, check out this video we’ve prepared for you.

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