What's the difference between catching the waves of your life and being so cold that you paddle in early?
A surf hood.
Choosing the right surf hood is a critical element in your cold water surf gear.
How much do surf hoods cost?
Which one is the warmest?
Which surf hood is best for you?
The only way you're enjoying waters like these during winter is by having the right surf hood.
We'll help answer all these questions — and more — in this surf hood gear guide.
What is a Surf Hood?
A surf hood is a neoprene head covering that protects your head, neck and ears from chilly water temperatures so that you can surf longer and more comfortably.
A surf hood is the best way to insulate your head and help keep your body at a normal temperature.
Advantages of a Surf Hood
There are several advantages to using a surf hood. these include:
it allows you to surf longer
it protects you from ear infections
can help prevent brain freeze (otherwise known as ice cream headaches)
keep your overall body temperature regulated
Disadvantages of a Surf Hood
A surf hood does come with disadvantages. These include:
Like any wetsuit, a surf hood is difficult to get on
A surf hood will limit your range of motion
It can limit your peripheral vision
A surf hood can feel heavy or clausterphobic
The Best Surf Hoods Today
Now that we've explained the advantages and disadvantages of a surf hood, let's take a look at some o the best surf hoods on the market today.
Patagonia Yulex 2mm Hood
Best for water temperatures 48°–55° F/9°–13° C, Patagonia's insertable surf hood — at the price of $59 — fits seamlessly under a wetsuit collar to prevent water entry.
Its three-panel construction conforms to head for comfort and warmth.
Plus, this surf hood has an adjustable cord that provides snug fit around your face.
Learn more about the Patagonia surf hood here.
Billabong Furnace 2mm Hood
Just as the name alludes to, the Billabong Furnace surf hood — at the price point of $55 —helps enhance performance by keeping your head, neck, and ears warm.
Lined with Billabong exclusive Furnace Graphene, this men’s wetsuit is finished off with watertight durable seam for added protection.
Learn more about this surf hood option, including its sizes, here.
Rip Curl Flashbomb 2MM GB Hood
"Surf longer in cooler water."
This is what Rip Curl promises with the Flashbomb 2mm Surf hood, which costs $69.
Constructed with Rip Curl's signature Flash Lining, the Flashbomb 2mm surf hood is designed to keep warmth in and cold water out — and help you stay in the water longer.
Learn more about this surf hood option here.
The Bottom Line: Choosing the Right Surf Hood
Choosing the right surf hood depends upon your personal perfect with style, price, and which company you prefer.
We recommend trying on different surf hoods in person to help decide what's right for you.
Don't wait until the day before a cold water session to get your surf hood — and your cold water surf gear — dialed.
Choosing the right surf hood can not only keep you warm — it can help you stay in the water longer.