The Best Wetsuits For Bigger Surfers

The Best Wetsuits For Bigger Guys

Surfers come in every shape and size, age, and background. It can sometimes be difficult for the big guys out there to find a good-fitting, quality wetsuit. Fortunately, now more than ever, there are some excellent options out there for the big surfers, tall surfers, and the big n’ tall surfers. Here are our top 3 picks as we review the best wetsuits for larger surfers.

Wetsuits Reviewed

  • Hotline - Ultra Hot Combo Wetsuit - $539.95
  • O'Neill - Heat Wetsuit - $379.95+
  • Rip Curl - Dawn Patrol Wetsuit - $259.95+

Hotline Ultra Hot Combo - $539.95

“Dependable Classic”

Hotline Ultra Hot Combo Wetsuit

The Hotline Ultra Hot Combo is the top dog on this list for its size range and its user-friendly extra-wide chest zip entry. For bigger surfers or anyone struggling with threading into a chest zip entry, Hotline’s unique “shoulder-to-shoulder zipper” allows for an easier and quicker entry/exit than any other chest zip. Basically, it’s a tough YKK zipper that runs from halfway down your right bicep to halfway down your left bicep. It’s about twice as long as your normal chest zip zipper, which lets you pull the entry slot wide open to make sliding in and out as easy as possible.

Aside from the easy entry, the sizing chart on this suit better accommodates larger surfers better than any other wetsuit. Hotline uses “American Sizing,” which really means that all the sizes are bigger and taller than the other brands. The Ultra Hot Combo can accommodate guys as tall as 6’6” and comfortably fit surfers pushing as much as 280 lbs. For an extra fee, Hotline can also do custom alterations and change the length of a suit. The size chart on this model is very different from any other company, so consult the measurements or call us at 1-888-546-6176 before ordering.

The Hotline UHC has a reputation of being one of, if not the most durable, wetsuits we stock. The seams are all triple-glued, blindstitched, and sealed with strong internal tape. The knee pads are a Kevlar blend for extra strength, and the hood uses a drawstring. From what we've seen, this drawstring works well and has fewer issues in the long run than cinch cords.

Any Pacific Northwest surfer should be familiar with this suit, if not having owned one themselves, as it’s been a staple since the ‘90s and consistently one of our best-selling models. However, for the uninitiated, Hotline is a core company out of Santa Cruz that makes its gear the right way, with old-school durability and modern materials. If you’re a bigger guy (or gal) who needs a coldwater hooded wetsuit, the Ultra Hot Combo is unbeatable.

Highlights and Features

  • Incredibly large chest zip entry
  • Barrel chest / broad shoulder fit
  • Old-school durability

Shop By Model

Hotline Ultra Hot Combo 5/4 Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuit: $539.95

O'Neill Heat - $379.95+

“Lightest and Most Flexible”

O'Neill Heat

Our pick for the most high-performance big guy suit is the O’Neill Heat. Like the Hotline UHC, the Heat has stood the test of time and been a shop favorite for decades. The Heat is a solid pick for bigger guys because it’s a back zip and comes in the largest sizes O’Neill makes, like XXXL and XXXXL, and even the super rare XXLS size.

Back zip entries are typically considered the easiest entry to get in and out of, and the Heat has the smoothest back zip system of any wetsuit. The Heat is quick to get in and out of, and the collar's fit has been tailored well to prevent flushing at the neck. It may sound minor on paper, but O’Neill uses by far the best zippers out of any company, and the Heat has its top “Red Zone Zipper.” This zipper runs smoothly and is built for the long run with a metal zipper head and urethane-coated teeth.

The Heat is built from one of the most flexible neoprene on the market, O’Neill’s TechnoButter 3. This stuff is super pliable and gives you the maximum amount of stretch possible. It also is really lightweight and comfortable in the water.

Some other cool features on the Heat are the TechnoButter Firewall Liner that runs through the bottom ¾ of the wetsuit and the fluid seam welds over the outside stitching. I think the Heat is right up your alley for any bigger guy looking for the most flexible wetsuit they can get.

*Be sure to check out our full review of the O'Neill Heat Wetsuit for a more in-depth look.

Highlights and Features

  • Sizes up to 4XL
  • Easy Back Zip entry
  • Buttery soft neoprene

Shop By Model

O'Neill Heat 3/2 Back Zip Wetsuit - $379.95
O'Neill Heat 4/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $399.95

Rip Curl Dawn Patrol - $259.95+

“Incredible Value”

Rip Curl Dawn Patrol

For bigger guys on a budget or who need a quality backup wetsuit, the Dawn Patrol is easily the best suit for under $300. Better yet, it’s available as a back zip and in bigger sizes like XXXL for the larger surfer.

The Dawn Patrol basically is a Flash Bomb from previous years, using the same E5 neoprene and E5 Flash Lining previously found on Rip Curl’s most expensive wetsuit. Surprisingly flexible and warm, the Dawn Patrol smokes anything else comparable in its price range. The seams are all triple-glued, blindstitched, and sealed with E5 tape on the inside for added longevity and warmth. The fit is comfortable, and in terms of durability, it holds up better than many pricier wetsuits.

We can’t say enough good things about this version of the Dawn Patrol, as it really is an insane value and quickly became a go-to here at the shop. Don’t sleep!

*For a closer look, check out our full review of the Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Wetsuit.

Highlights and Features

  • Toasty warm internal lining
  • Affordable price point
  • Sizes up to 3XL

Shop By Model

Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 3/2 Back Zip Wetsuit - $259.95
Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 4/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $279.95
Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 5/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $279.95

Final Thoughts

There you have it; those are our three favorite suits for big surfers. An honorable mention goes to the Quiksilver Everyday Session, a solid budget option available in size XXXL in the same price range as the Dawn Patrol. However, the Dawn Patrol is a better suit at the end of the day and just edges it out.

If you have any questions about these or any of the suits we stock, feel free to leave a comment, email, or give us a ring at 888-546-6176. Enjoy the water!