If you’re paddle boarding in cold water, then you might notice that your head gets cold quickly. some surfers and paddle boarders will wear a hood with the wetsuitwhen they are dealing with colder water to hold some of that extra lost heat back in their bodies.
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Did you know that blood vessels sit closer to the surface on our heads, and there is less fat to keep those blood vessels covered. So, in a way, some extra heat is lost through the top of our heads – only about 10 percent extra. That’s why one of these is a popular addition to SUP surfing gear with cold water paddlers. Therefore,
Usually, these wetsuit hoods are made of neoprene, which is a fabric made specifically for insulation purposes. If you’re considering getting one of these for your paddling sessions, then let us help you make the right decision on which is the best choice for your paddle sports needs.
Best Wetsuit Hoods For SUP Surfing 2018
Make & Model
Neo Sport Multi-Density
Waterproof H1 w/HAV System
Seasoft Titanium Pro
Junlan Neoprene Diving Hood
O'Neill Hyperfreak Coldwater
O'Neill Sport Cap
Benefits of a Wetsuit Hood
As stated previously, neoprene helps to hold in that extra loss of body heat. Remember, only an extra 10 percent is lost, but holding in as much as possible in colder water can prevent some brain freeze symptoms from occurring. Instead of gaining it from eating ice cream, this brain freeze is gained from crashing into a wipeout or duck dive head first. So, for extra warmth, a wetsuit hood is a great idea.
Another benefit to wearing a wetsuit hood is the protection it gives hair. Hair is more likely to stay high and dry with one of these hoods in place. Therefore, it can save time when it comes to drying off from surfing or other water sports.
Furthermore, wetsuits can help prevent “surfer’s ear” from occurring. By definition, “surfer’s ear” happens when the ears are exposed to wind chill and water for long periods of time. Noticeable symptoms include earaches, loss of hearing, and susceptibility to ear infections. Since wetsuit hoods keep ears a bit drier and help the head to retain body heat, they make a great protector for colder conditions.
How It Should Fit
Wetsuit Hoods should have a rather snug fit. Air and liquid should not be able to seep in around the seams. At the same time, the hood should not be so tight that it cuts off circulation or infringes upon breathing. It should feel like a second skin, a natural fit.
How to Breathe with a Wetsuit Hood
Optimally, breathing should be done through the nose. This type of breathing is especially important if a wetsuit hood is a bit on the tighter side because a tight hood can kind of lock the chin in place, thus making it more difficult to breathe through the mouth. If the hood fits too tightly around the chin, then that means it does not fit correctly, so another hood might be worth considering.
Other Considerations Before Buying
Make sure to try on the hood before purchasing it, order several of them if you’re buying online so that you can get a good feel for the proper fit. Trial and error might be the best method to go about finding that previously mentioned right fit. For the first time a hood is purchased especially, it should be tried on beforehand. Purchasing a hood online can be difficult because finding the right fit can be a challenge. If the wrong size is sent or chosen, then an exchange must be made, and that can be quite a hassle.
A wetsuit hood should also ride along length down onto the neck. This situation is important for two reasons. First of all, a wetsuit hood that is loose around the neck can let water breach into the suit itself or up into the hood. Therefore, the purpose if a hood is defeated altogether. At the same time, a longer neck allows for a hood to be properly tucked down into a wetsuit, so they go together as if they are a single piece.
Stretchy can be a good thing. Neoprene stretches to an extent naturally. However, some types of neoprene might be a bit looser than others. Finding the right kind of sturdy neoprene can only be tested by trying on the hood. If the stretch gives too much, then water might be able to escape down into the hood, thus defeating the purpose of having a hood in the first place.
An added bonus to some styles of neoprene wetsuit hoods is to have elastic cord adjustments around the face. With these cords, a tight fit can be found on the face in a tailored way to find comfort and to make sure water cannot escape into the hood.
A final consideration to make is based on whether or not UV protection is a factor to be considered. Most neoprene hoods are treated to protect against UV light. Therefore, the head can be further protected from the sun to prevent overexposure for the sake of avoiding sunburn and heatstroke.
To Tuck or Not To Tuck
Some people prefer to tuck in the neck to their wetsuit hood. The major advantage of this method is to prevent water from escaping up under the hood. Again, this occurrence would defeat the purpose of having a hood in the first place. Also, tucking in the hood allows for more heat to be retained. Therefore, considering the option of leaving the hood untucked is worthwhile. Ultimately, the design of a wetsuit might also dictate whether or not a hood can even be fitting into a tucked position.
There are many things to consider with purchasing a wetsuit hood. These are merely only the beginning considerations to make. The right fit is out there. It just has to be found first.