I bought this suit a year ago for scuba diving. Although, I haven't surfed in it, I believe it would be flexible enough for surfing. Having surfed in San Diego in the winter in a 3/2 wet suit, I think this one should be fine with out a vest, however, everyone has different cold tolerances. Sometimes a hood can add the extra warmth needed with out the bulk of a vest.
I hope your daughter has fun, she should try Tourmaline, it's a great spot for beginner surfers.
Hope this helps,
Bob K Thx Allyson. Do you think a 3/2 would be better (perhaps with a vest)? She's pretty hardy.
Bob K ...she may also eventually take a diving class down there. (UCSD). How is it for diving in the La Jolla area?
ALLYSON S The reason I like this suit is I get the extra mm but it somehow feels less bulky then my 3/2 and on a foggy day it can get chilly on the water. When I lived there I had my 3/2 for winter and a shorty 1mm for summer, but I probably would have been more comfortable if I had this suit back then :)
I'm sure a combo vest and suit would work as well, and maybe she could use the vest in the summer instead of a shorty. Although, for me, I like having just one thing to put on, but that's a personal preference.
I actually never dove in La Jolla, I got back into diving when I moved to Portland (go figure) but I know people that have enjoyed it. I did snorkel there and saw sting rays, leopard sharks and sea lions, so I can only image what I may have seen on scuba. The kelp forest is suppose to be beautiful as well.
ALLYSON S As a side note, this suit would not be warm enough for scuba diving in San Diego. Since surfing is, well, mainly on the surface and your head is mostly out of the water you need less neoprene. So, for scuba diving she would need a thicker suit. Since I didn't dive there, I'm not sure what the norm is, but I would guess somewhere in the 6-7mm range. You could probably get a thick vest to make up the difference. But I would check with local divers to see what keeps them warm.
Bob K Thx...
This helps to get her started w/ surfing. I'll have to go down there and poke around in the kelp and see what