Wetsuits river surfer removing a drysuit at night

Published on January 25th, 2013 | by PhilK

Photo by PhilB |  0

Is it a Good Idea to Use a Drysuit for River Surfing?

Many of us often encounter less-than-ideal conditions when river surfing. Obviously most rivers run highest during the snowmelt season, april through june. Other rivers, especially in central europe, are cold even during the summer. After all it’s not called Eisbach (“Eis” ger. ice; “Bach” ger. creek, stream) by coincidence. So the question is justified: “Can I use a drysuit for river surfing?”

No one questions the advantage of wetsuits when temperatures drop, and drysuits seem to be the logical next step in sub-zero weather, but are they really a good choice?

I would say, maybe. They are certainly warmer than their wetsuit counterparts, but drysuits do have some major drawbacks. Newer drysuits are loose-fitting, which will cause alot of drag when partially submerged. They tend to be heavier and less elastic than modern superstretch neoprene, and can be quite a hassle to get on, and especially to get out of, once you and your suit are both wet.

Older drysuits of the tight-fitting variety are even less stretchy and more cumbersome to wear, and they hamper your movement quite significantly. Of course if the choices are to sit at home waiting for warmer weather, or being able to surf even during harshest conditions, the drysuit will always win. In the end, it comes down to personal preference which you pick. If it means just that extra little bit of warmth that lets you surf when everybody else is at home snuggled up in front of the fireplace, then why not.

A final caveat: do NOT pee in a drysuit ;)

More about:

Brought to you by


Phil was forced to surf the river Mur in Graz / Austria for the first time in 2009 (by PhilB). It was love at first sight. Later they got married. Things have been going downhill ever since. But now Riverbreak has arrived!

Back to Top ↑
  • Spread the Word on Facebook

  • Spots on Rotation

  • Explore Riverbreak.com

  • Best of Photos

  • Filter