front zip versus back zip wetsuit

Front-Zip vs Back-zip?
It's a long time since I have worn a back zip suit surfing but I do wear one surf coaching regularly.

photo of back zip wetsuit

Benefits
  • Less restriction around the neck
  • Much easier to put on because of a bigger hole to get into
  • A better seal around your neck because of adjustable velcro strap
  • More robust and lasts longer
Draw backs
  • Velcro around neck can rub and cause rash
  • Water tends to flush more even with a bat wing
  • Zip function can breakdown

Most of the surfing I have done for the last 10+ years has been in a font zip wetsuit

Benefits
  • Less restriction around your back and spine
  • A more flexible suit because of less panels
  • No fussy velcro which can wear out and also rub your neck
  • less flushing if it fits well
Draw backs
  • Harder to get into because the hole is smaller
  • Can be a little restrictive around one or both shoulders
  • Can flush if it doesn't fit well
  • Can be restrictive around the neck if it doesn't fit well
  • Can be too lose around the neck if a poor fit

Summary
I would always wear a front zip for my own personal surfing, I have a 4,3 that is a little too small for me and it is very restrictive and uncomfortable around the neck so make sure it fits well.
We would always choose a back zip for our surf school and surfing lessons at Widemouth bay because the suits are far more robust and inexperienced surfers trying to put on a front zip will just produce broken wetsuits.
Our son Taylor who loves surfing at widemouth Bay whenever he can has a front zip and a back zip and finds putting on the front zip a real challenge but feels like a pro when he is wearing it!Happy
It really depends on what your needs are when selecting but most surfers intermediate and above tend to wear a front zip and it seems to be the trend.
Always try your new wetsuit on and make sure it fits well and is comfortable before purchasing!

Video comparison


How to put on a front-zip video tutorial


Finding the right fit video tutorial