In this post I’ll be discussing the common query we surfers face of whether to go ‘Brand New vs Second-Hand Wetsuit’ shopping.
I’ll be taking a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of both brand new and second-hand wetsuits. Then going through a few scenarios where each outcome makes the most sense, finishing off with some helpful buying tips.
If you’re looking for a more in depth wetsuit guide check out my ‘Wetsuit Buying Guide’ – let’s get started.
Buying a Brand New Wetsuit
So, brand new shiny wetsuits and what to think about when considering buying one… let’s start with the advantages and disadvantages of buying a brand new wetsuit.
Advantages of buying a brand new wetsuit
✔️ It will be the exact wetsuit type, size, brand and look you want
✔️ It will be in perfect condition
✔️ They have a much better resell value than a second-hand wetsuit
✔️ Should perform better than a second-hand wetsuit
✔️ Modern wetsuits last a very long time if looked after
✔️ Can sometimes be bought on finance to help spread the cost
✔️ Brand new wetsuits often come with product guarantees
✔️ Can sometimes be part exchanged at the same surf shop for another wetsuit
✔️ Nobody will have pee’d in it
Disadvantages of buying a brand new wetsuit
✖️ Normally costs more money
✖️ Bit more worried about it getting damaged
✖️ The increase in cost makes it a bigger risk
✖️ Not as environmentally friendly as reusing a second-hand wetsuit
✖️ More likely to have been bought online so more likely to not have been tried on in person
Typical scenarios for buying a brand new wetsuit
So, there are a few good reasons why buying a brand new wetsuit makes sense. If you fall into any of these brackets buying a brand new wetsuit may be for you…
1. The rewarding surfer
Yes, the rewarding surfer is a thing and yes it was exactly what I did.
For those looking to make surfing their weekend hobby, buying a brand new wetsuit is a great choice. As long as it gets used a brand new wetsuit will prove value for money more times than not.
From my experience of spending a summer in rental wetsuits, I can honestly say buying a brand new suit made surfing a whole lot more enjoyable.
2. The unfortunate surfer
For those of you unfortunate enough to damage your wetsuit in an irreparable way, a brand new wetsuit might be the best thing to cheer you up.
Sounded like you needed a new one anyway.
3. The early adopting surfer
For those of you who are completely entrenched in surfing and only want to be wearing the latest wetsuit technology, buying a brand new wetsuit every season might not even be that special. Of course, this would require a fair amount of cash moneys but hey, who needs a savings account – right?
If I ever get to this stage in my surfing career, I’ll have made it in life.
4. The hygienic surfer
This is the funniest one on the list and hygiene is very important to some so thought it was well worth a mention.
Obviously wetsuits put up with certain bodily fluids, so buying a brand new wetsuit removes any chances of cross contamination, if you know what I mean.
Buying a Second-Hand Wetsuit
Now, onto the next bit – buying a second-hand wetsuit.
Believe it or not there is a growing market worldwide for second-hand wetsuits. Some of the most popular and well known places to get them are eBay, Gumtree and Craigslist.
But, like we did before – let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of buying a second-hand wetsuit…
Advantages of buying a second-hand wetsuit
✔️ It’s normally a lot cheaper
✔️ It’s easier to get a high spec wetsuit for less money
✔️ Not worried about damaging a second-hand wetsuit
✔️ More environmentally friendly then buying a brand new wetsuit
✔️ Not as big of a risk as buying a brand new wetsuit
✔️ More likely to try it on as most second-hand purchases happen in person
Disadvantages of buying a second-hand wetsuit
✖️ You won’t know how well its been looked after
✖️ It may already have some cosmetic damage so might be less able to keep you warm
✖️ It might not be exactly what you wanted and or envisaged
✖️ Wont perform as well as a brand new wetsuit
✖️ Material might not be as flexible as it used to be
✖️ No guarantees included as it’ll likely won’t be coming from a shop
✖️ No financing available, again only shops really offer this service
✖️ Someone else would have probably pee’d in it
Typical scenarios for buying a second-hand wetsuit
Despite the disadvantages, here are some great reasons to get a second-hand wetsuit…
1. The budget surfer
For those looking for a cheap wetsuit but don’t want to rent one for every surfing sesh, a second hand wetsuit makes a lot of sense. Much cheaper than buying a brand new wetsuit and you can still get out there.
2. The care-free surfer
If you don’t want the stress of looking after a wetsuit properly but don’t want to rent one either, a second-hand wetsuit is the one for you. Don’t worry too much about bumps and scrapes or even cleaning it – just good to have it there for whenever.
3. The tactical surfer
For those who know a thing or two about wetsuit specs, a second-hand wetsuit can be a great purchase.
There are some great high spec wetsuits out there in the second-hand marketplace. You can find better specced second-hand wetsuits for the same amount of money as an entry model brand new wetsuit.
Tips For Buying a Second-Hand Wetsuit
If you’re planning on getting a second-hand wetsuit there are a few things worth doing before buying…
- See it in real life – it makes a lot of sense to see it yourself, stuff can look better in pictures
- Try it on – it also makes a lot of sense to try it on to see if it fits
- Ask why it’s being sold – probs won’t tell you the whole story but still worth asking
- Seams – check any fraying of thread, it can help knock the price down
- Zips – check they work smoothly and go all the way up and down
- Material – check for any holes or weak areas in the material, these can also help knock the price down
- Haggle – don’t just pay the price on the advert, the seller is expecting you to knock the price down
Brand New vs Second-Hand Wetsuit – What Is Best?
Well, like most things – your decision is influenced by your own situation.
My journey was quite simple, I spent a summer learning to surf with rented equipment. Once I was confident enough at surfing I figured I’d reward my hard work with a brand new wetsuit. I remember putting the order in on magicseaweed.com and couldn’t have been more excited for the delivery.
Since purchasing that brand new wetsuit I’ve never looked back, it fits perfectly, it performs really well in the water and should last a long time.
The other thing that helped my decision to buy a brand new one was because I had spent so long in rented wetsuits that were basically second-hand, I wanted one that was mine. One that I knew met my specifications and worked for me, which is exactly what I got.
So that is it guys – my surfing equipment guide to ‘Brand New vs Second-Hand Wetsuit’.
I hope it has helped you in furthering your decision if you’re in the same predicament. Be great to here in the comments how you made your decision or if you’re still trying to make it!
If you’ve also got the same predicament with surfboards check out my ‘Brand New vs Second-Hand Surfboards’ guide.
As always though, be sure to check out thewaveshack on our socials to keep up to date on the latest content – until next time guys and girls…
Next read: ‘How To Improve SurfEars 3.0 Fit’
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