Wetsuits are made of a flexible material called neoprene, which is a synthetic rubber that contains thousands of tiny air pockets. The type of neoprene used impacts flexibility, and there are 3 types of neoprene available for surfing wetsuits. Standard Neoprene, Super Stretch Neoprene, and Super Stretch Water Repellant Neoprene. In order to offer wetsuits at different price levels, manufacturers use varying degrees of these neoprene types. For surfing, you need at least 30% Super Stretch.
Wetsuit thickness is measured in millimeters and impacts warmth ( i.e. 3/2 mm). The first number represents thickness in the torso area and the second number represents thickness in the extremities. Less neoprene is used in the extremities to increase flexibility. As a rule of thumb, thickness increases warmth and decreases flexibility.
How Should a Wetsuit Fit?