Wetsuit Temperature Guide for the Ocean and Great Lakes

The Surf Ontario shop staff have over 100 years of combined Lake and Ocean Surfing experience. Some of us have learned the hard way and together we know exactly what to wear and when. Here's a brief summary to help you know what to wear as the air heats up and the water temps lag behind. Although not listed below, 1 to 2 mm tops, shorts, socks or tanks can be used to fine-tune your wetsuit experience. 

Keep in mind everyone is different, however, if you want to stay warm and surf for more than 30 minutes, invest in the proper gear - it works, it lasts and it will get you in the water NOW! 



 March - April:

6/5/4 hooded full suit, 7/6 Billabong Furnace

5/4 hooded when air is warm

7-8mm boots - the water is still near ice cold

5mm gloves/mitts/lobsters 

 May - June:

5/4 or maybe 6/5 hooded full suit on Lake Ontario

5/4 or 4/3 hooded on Lake Erie and Lake Huron

3, 5, 7mm boots depending on activity - SUP or Surf

3-5mm gloves/mitts/lobsters depending on activity

Flatwater SUP - just booties - but don't fall in :)

 July - August:

4/3 or 3/2 or sometimes boardshorts & bikinis in August

Sometimes 3mm boots Lake Ontario 

Flatwater SUP - boardshorts or bikinis


most lakes 3/2 or 4/3 full suit

no boots

no gloves

no hood - although a light hood can take the edge off on a cool Northwind


all lakes 4/3 full suit

3-5mm boots

maybe gloves

2-3mm hood likely


all lakes 4/3 to 5/4 full suit with hood

5-8mm boots

3-5mm gloves or 5mm lobster gloves

hood mandatory & usually attached to 5/4.


all lakes 5/4 hooded, 5.5/4 hooded psycho or 6/5/4 hooded full suit

7-8mm boots  (wetsuit socks optional)

5-8 mm mitts/gloves/lobsters

maybe thermal layer under 5/4 for added warmth

 January - February:

all lakes 6/5/4 hooded full suit, 7/6 Billabong Furnace

maybe 5/4 hooded

7-8mm boots (wetsuit socks optional)

5-7 mm mitts/gloves/lobsters



wax guide to the lakes



O'Neill wetsuits guide:

XCEL wetsuits guide:

Wetsuit temperature guide

We ship hassle free to the west coast of B.C. and the east coast Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. We ship everywhere in between too as Canada has many river surfers and travelling surfers: Quebec, Alberta, New Brunswick, P.E.I., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the N.W.T!