Best Surf Gloves in 2022 Buying Guide

Best Surf Gloves

Get the Best Wetsuit Gloves

Surfers living in cold climates face many challenges. There is more gear required due to the harsher elements. You can spend a great session struggling to move or constantly being worried about how frigid you are if you have the wrong gear.

Neoprene gradually increases the warmth and flexibility of your wetsuit and creates a fine balance between them. Surfing will be difficult if you can scarcely move. Although it’s important to stay warm, you will have trouble when it’s cold.

Sometimes, the only option is to stay warm, if you’re surfing somewhere that’s really cold.

Surf gloves should provide you with the necessary warmth and flexibility, while still maintaining good grip and allowing for ample movement.

This pair of O’Neill Psycho tech gloves is a great choice.

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What To Look For When Choosing the Right Surf Glove

Keeping Gloves Warm

As a result of being made out of wetsuit material, surfing gloves provide warmth by warming up a thin layer of water sitting against the skin.

In terms of thickness, wetsuit gloves are measured in millimetres (mm), and a wide range of models come in thicknesses ranging from 1mm to 7mm.

Here is a table I compiled as a general guideline for gloves’ thicknesses recommended for different water temperatures.

A guide to surfing wetsuits and water temperatures

Thickness of a surfing glove The temperature of the water in Fahrenheit Temperature (in Celsius) of water
1mm & 2 mm 50ºF – 60ºF 10ºC – 16ºC
3 mm 45ºF – 57ºF 7ºC – 14ºC
5 mm 40ºF – 55ºF 4ºC – 13ºC
7 mm 45ºF & below 7ºC & below

* The table above provides general temperatures ranges based on different glove thicknesses and has been created as a reference. Depending on the water temperature, gloves may be more comfortable in warmer or colder waters.

Choosing the correct thickness of surfing glove requires an understanding of the water temperature at which you will be surfing.

Here’s a beginner’s tip: to check out the water temperature at your local surfing spot, just type in “(The Name of Your Surfing Location) water temperature”. As you will observe, ocean temperatures vary between winter and summer, so consider your gloves in accordance with the season when you surf most often.

Glove Size

 

One of the most common mistakes surfers make when choosing gloves is buying them too large. If you are trying on surf gloves for the first time, they should feel tight, but don’t worry because that is what they are supposed to feel like.

When selecting gloves, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s sizing recommendations.

The smaller size is recommended if you’re between sizes because it will stretch when wet and will be more comfortable and flexible once you’re in the water.

Glove Styles

Three typical wetsuit glove styles are: lobster claws, five finger gloves, and mittens.

Five Finger Wetsuit Gloves

The most popular style of glove for surfing is the five finger glove since it offers the most flexibility and dexterity.

Lobster Claw Wetsuit Gloves

It blends dexterity with warmth and provides a good balance between thumb and index finger separation.

Mitten Style Wetsuit Gloves

Gloves designed for mitts are perfect for the coldest conditions when surfing. Your fingers will be huddled together keeping each other warm, so they provide maximum warmth.

Here’s a helpful guide to buying surf gloves

I have divided the gloves into three categories to make it easier for you to quickly scroll to the specific style you want: five finger, lobster claw, and mitten.

1. O’Neill Psycho Double Lined Surf Glove – EDITOR’S CHOICE

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Our top pick, the O’Neil Psycho, remains our best-selling glove over the past couple of years. It is a practical option, aptly designed to provide adequate warmth and protection during surfing.

This option also performs well in every area, as it does with all Psycho Tech series. However, the O’Neil Double Glove’s all-around dependability and versatility are what make it such a popular choice.

Let’s take protection as an example.

O’Neill offers two versions of the Psycho Tech gloves, a 3mm version and a 1.5mm version. Ideally, you should swim in open water with a water temperature of 52o or higher. Warm water keeps your hands snug and warm.

However, the 1.5mm version is thinner and though it isn’t of much use in extremely cold waters, it’s still a reliable option for warmer waters in the summer. Its strongest suit is its amazing grip and dexterity, which we will see later.

O’Neil gloves are both made from Ultra Flex Neoprene.

This is a nice choice of material for water gloves, and I regularly wear these gloves when in rougher and colder water, so my hands do not ache or stiffen.

Additionally, the material is both robust and supple, meaning that you can apply a swim thrust while still having easy hand control.

The wrist seal also includes a gasket internal to the wrist. A small amount of difficulty is involved in putting on and taking off the glove, but it prevents cold water from gushing up through it.

Our favorite part of this glove is the long cut, which allows the gloves to extend past the wrist into your swimsuit. With this longer cut, it provides a more watertight fit at the wrist to prevent getting flushed. In addition, the wrist gasket helps prevent water from seeping into the glove.

Neoprene material offers a tacky grip on the palm, and keeps your hands warm and free of wetness. This grip is sufficient for holding the board while surfing. It seems from the reviews that the grip on these bad boys is as good as your naked hands, so much so that you might not even realize they’re on.

Pros
  • There are two versions of thickness
  • Long-lasting
  • Tactic Grip
Cons
  • Waters that are too cold or extreme are not suitable

2. Xcel Infiniti 5-finger Glove 3mm Wetsuit Gloves

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Right now, we’re a little bit smitten with the Xcel Infiniti range. That’s not the case. We’re in love with Xcel at the moment. A year after releasing the uber-balmy Drylock X, this trailblazing manufacturer has stepped up its game with this model which incorporates pretty much EVERYTHING we look for in a surf glove.

Let’s explore this further. Let’s start with the fact that it’s a casual 3mm. It is a perfect combination of warmth and thickness for most places where we surf regularly in Europe and the UK, but it can also handle spring and autumn surf trips to the U.S. and Scandinavia. The second thing to know is that these are five-finger gloves, a format that really works for most surfers (mittens are so 2015, no? ), allowing for a little warmth while trading dexterity for warmth.

In exchange for the extra fingers, you will gain more than you lose thanks to the Xcel rubber’s awesome properties. There’s nothing like it out there in terms of eco-friendly Japanese limestone that comes with a fleece-like lining that’s simply unbeatable. A rubber palm grip is another feature that helps with rail grabs and pop ups, and Taitex seam sealants really slow down water flow.

These gloves are great.

Pros
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Xcel’s trademark lining makes it very warm
  • A versatile surf glove that can be used in a variety of environments
Cons
  • A bit on the expensive side
  • Five-finger gloves do lose some warmth

3. C-Skins Session 3mm Women’s Wetsuit Gloves – The best wetsuit gloves for women

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The fact that there is so little gear geared toward the female market has never escaped our notice. It’s been a nightmare for a lot of our female surf comrades to find everything from fitted gloves to boots to wetsuits in the range they like in the past. C-Skins intends to put an end to that, but they’re not just listed because they’re one of the few options designed specifically for women.

The truth is, C-Skins have come a long way since their first appearance on the scene. This rubber has been rebranded as Xtend Neoprene because it has fantastic stretch properties. These gloves have a bouncy feel to them, similar to the gear we loved from Rip Curl’s early days. On the palm, a smart material improves grip on the deck of the board. There is also 3mm of coverage covering the entire hand.

Pros
  • Designed for female hand shapes
  • Neoprene from C-Skins Xtend is our favorite
  • The deck of the board has good grip
Cons
  • They are among the few gloves designed specifically for women
  • Ice has a tendency to thicken on ultra-cold spots – Norway, Iceland.

4. Xcel 5mm Infiniti 3 Finger Glove

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Wetsuit gloves can be helpful if the water you’re going to surf is chilly – like, really chilly – because there are three things you can do about it. The first is to add more neoprene on the gloves. 

Another option is to wear mittens instead of gloves. Last but not least, choose a well-made rubber glove. The Xcel 5mm Infiniti 3 Finger Glove does a great deal of all that.

You’re increasing the thickness to 5 mils here. In the middle of winter, this is a level that works for most surf spots in the EU and UK because it’s not prohibitively high on the flex front. In other words, once you’re in the water, your hands won’t feel like breezeblocks, but the extra rubber will give you a nice thermo kick. This is no ordinary rubber, either. It features Xcel’s prestigious Infiniti series, complete with a Plush ThermoLite lining that works wonders for heat retention.

The mitt-style construction makes them warmer than other options. The usual way to organize the fingers is to bunch them all together and separate the thumb, but we really liked how Xcel has arranged the fingers, thumb, and other digits. You get a little dexterity that you don’t get with full-on mittens, so it does feel warmer.

Pros
  • Neoprene from Xcel is fantastic
  • Mitts retain heat with their shape
  • It takes 5mm to keep you warm
Cons
  • Some might find the cuffs a bit loose
  • Constructed with versatility

5. Patagonia R3 Yulex Wetsuit Gloves – The most eco-friendly wetsuit gloves out there

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Our best wetsuit gloves are these Patagonia hand warmers for the most eco-conscious surfers around. Neoprene is a very sustainable material for the outdoor industry, thanks to this legendary outdoors company. What is their solution? There is no rubber on the market that is as green as Yulex natural rubber, which comes from trees grown in Forest Stewardship Council-certified plantations. A water-efficient dope dyeing process is also used to maximize material efficiency.

Patagonia’s R3 wetsuit gloves make our list for more than just their ability to reduce carbon emissions. Simply put, these gloves are warm. Although Extinction Rebellion will probably be pleased with the Yulex, the gloves are also very effective in maintaining and holding warmth in the water, and we have used them in Scottish and Welsh surf spots where temperatures drop to less than 5, though the gloves perform best when the water is at least 8 degrees.

One downside of the Yulex is that it dries a bit slower than its limestone neo counterparts. That isn’t as much of an issue with gloves as it is with wetsuit booties or wetsuits themselves, since you usually don’t put them on until almost the last moment before you jump into the water.

Pros
  • Wetsuit gloves that are most eco-friendly
  • Exceptional warmth retention
  • Design is nice
Cons
  • Gloves dry slower than other gloves
  • Pricy

6. Rip Curl 3mm Dawn Patrol Wetsuit Gloves – Our best surf gloves for beginner surfers

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This set of Rip Curl 3mm Dawn Patrol Wetsuit Gloves covers all the bases without being overly flashy. Additionally, they come at under £30 per piece, which is great news if you’re just getting started and want to dip your proverbial toe in the proverbial winter waters (or maybe you’d prefer a finger?). But they are not just recommended due to their cost-value balance…

It is actually a great all-around glove that should last you for several seasons. For the last few years running, the Dawn Patrol line from RC has performed quite well in terms of heat retention (we’ve surfed in them for up to 1.5 hours, and have used the bootie versions extensively).

On top of that, the 2021/22 iteration comes with a pretty effective O-Ring Cuff entry that minimizes flushing, along with the brand’s well-rated Superstretch Neoprene, which is very flexy. Basically, this glove is the perfect option for those who don’t want to spend too much but also don’t want their fingers to freeze. The gloves are warm, light, and flexy, so they’re not too imposing if you’ve never worn wetsuit gloves before.

Pros
  • An excellent choice for entry-level students
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • Gloves that aren’t the warmest
  • Not the most flexible gloves out there

7. Best Neoprene Glove – RIP Curl Flash Bomb 5 Finger Glove

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My favorite gloves are the RIP Curl Flash Bombs!

The gloves are one-of-a-kind, as they keep my hands fairly warm for long periods of time in cold waters while allowing me to grip my board comfortably.

Furthermore, the gloves are among the most comfortable and warmest gloves currently available.Cold water adaptability, however, is RIP’s strong suit. It’s ideal to stay below 50 degrees.

There are two versions of the Curl Flash Bomb, both of which have a thickness that can withstand chilly and frigid waters.

The 5mm version, for example, is the thickest glove available and is great for deep water activities, such as those on the North East, Great Lakes, or Alaska.

My body runs warm when I wear the 5mm. Considering that I don’t surf in frigid conditions, I have found the 3mm versions to be great for me. In addition, the 3mm isn’t bulky and will ensure that I have good finger control while maintaining warmth.

You can surf in different conditions no matter what, with two glove versions to choose from. Whatever your needs are, you’ll have options available whether you’re surfing in Alaska or in the warm summer months.

Also, Rip Curl has done a good job of ensuring that their customers don’t get soaked while surfing. Our favorite feature of the glove is the thin, stretchy cuff, along with the small internal water barrier that reduces water flashback in the glove.

A low-profile heated tape is installed on the glove’s inner wrist, which makes it able to withstand whatever is thrown at it. The glove is sealed with Aquaman sealant and has low-profile heated tape on the inner wrist. The glove is resistant to ripping and will handle cuts and abrasions well.

It should be no problem to hold a surf board and to adjust to your wetsuit if you have a Rip Curl. Due to the tacky gel palm on the hand, it is not recommended for casual use.

The gel surface may appear stiff, but in reality it’s quite flexible, and shouldn’t cause any issues with flexibility. As an example, I can adjust my surfing goggles with less hassle or zip up my wetsuit perfectly.

This glove also has an unusual lining (E5 flash dry-lining), which is noticeably warmer, and when turned inside-out, it speeds up drying time.

Pros
  • Suitable for frigid temperatures; thick layer
  • Convenient
  • Wrist Design with a Closed Finger
  • Protective Seal
Cons
  • In warm water, this may not be the best solution