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Since the launch of the chest zip wetsuits on the market, the back zip wetsuits have often been put aside by surfers.

The common idea is that back zip wetsuits, because less expensive, are not as efficient. We often have in mind the surf school’s back zip wetsuits made of thick neoprene, not flexible on the shoulders and with water entry on the back of the neck.

Truth is, there’s different quality of wetsuits, whether
they have a front or a back zip.

The cheaper wetsuits, often produced with the aim to be used in surf, kitesurf, windsurf schools, or other nautical sports schools, are focusing on resistance and good quality-price ratio, more than efficiency. The neoprene used to make those wetsuits is often less technical, cheaper, and not focusing on comfort and warmth.

However, this does not mean that back zip wetsuits are not as technical and efficient as a front zip one.
At Saint Jacques wetsuits, we value quality and technicality. For us, a back zip wetsuit should not be associated with lower quality. Our desire is to offer a more affordable wetsuit, answering all the technical standards the nautical players are looking for. We are actually not yet offering a school wetsuit line.


No debate on this point. With its zip on the back, the back zip wetsuit is ultimately easier to put on. Once the zip is fully open, it offers a wide opening for your feet and legs. Then pull it up to your hips and torso, ending with your shoulders and arms which should easily fit, before closing the zip with the help of the cord.

No need for help, no struggle, it is ideal to be the first in the water! The best for those of you who are less flexible or with wide shoulders.
Once the session is over, it is as easy to take it off!


Wetsuits with a rear zip usually have a very versatile design. In opposition to the very specific surf practice of the zipless wetsuits, the panels’ assembly of a back zip wetsuits makes it very comfortable for any waves or wind discipline, whether you are lying down, sitting or standing up.

If you have a waterman soul and want to surf when it’s glassy as well as enjoying the windy conditions, this type of wetsuit will suit you.


Yes, back zip wetsuits are waterproof! Especially when they have a back wash panel in the back, like our Clovis model. It is an inside lining in the back that goes all the way up to the neck, avoiding direct contact between water and skin.

The extremities (wrists and ankles) have a silicon print inside in order to guarantee a perfect sealing. The collar, lined with a smooth skin neoprene also prevent any water entry.


We often hear that a back zip wetsuit is not as flexible as a front zip. In reality, it is the flex distribution which is different.
The flexibility of a wetsuit comes from the materials used, especially the neoprene, jersey, and type of seams (read our article on the technical features of a wetsuit to understand).

For example, in a standing position (windsurf, kitesurf, wingfoil), the long zip in the back is not inconvenient.

Our women wetsuit Lisa has also been designed in order to reduce the chest compression feeling.


Back zip wetsuits are usually more affordable that others, which makes them a perfect quality-price ratio.

It is the perfect wetsuits if you have a tight budget or for occasional practice. This can also be a good excuse for you to get a second wetsuit: the luxury to always have a dry wetsuits for when sessions are following up!

Do you have any questions? Please comment below and we will happily respond.

Let me invite you to discover our Clovis men back zip wetsuit, or the Lisa women back zip wetsuit.

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