Contributing Gear Editor
Support our work! The Inertia may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn more about our gear review policy here.
woman picking up a wetsuit in cold weather in a wetsuit

The Finisterre Nieuwland 5s Yulex Hooded Wetsuit holds up, even when it’s hailing. Photo: Rebecca Parsons/The Inertia

The Inertia

While surfing in a bikini or boardshorts when the sun is shining is nice, surfing in cold weather comes with its own set of benefits. The air is crisp, the water refreshing, and the crowds are down. The downside of chilly surfs? To put it simply, the cold.

Unless you plan on changing your zip code for a tropical one, or avoid surfing in the winter, the cold is inevitable. The wetsuit you choose to wear, however, is entirely within your control. Hailing from Oahu, Hawaii I am a cold water wimp. When I booked a trip to New York City for early March, I knew I would need a warm suit and chose the Finisterre Nieuwland 5s Yulex Hooded Wetsuit ($560) to accompany me on the trip.

Pros Cons
Incredibly warm Difficult to get on/off
Ankle loops No size options for smaller women
Toggle to adjust hood sizing Expensive

First Impressions

The Nieuwland is a seriously thick and well-made wetsuit. All of the seams are glued and taped with extra reinforcement around the wrists to help seal out water. The suit has an attached hood with a small bill and a toggle on the side for size adjustments, which I thought would be nice for finding that perfect fit.

I live in Hawaii, so it’s not often I have to put on a wetsuit, let alone a thick one. I lived in Santa Cruz, California in my early 20s where I regularly wore a 4/3, but a 5.5/4.5 is an entirely different beast. Getting the Nieuwland on was no simple task. The legs and arms went on as expected for a 5.5/4.5, but getting the neck opening over my head proved to be incredibly challenging and required assistance. Once I got it on, everything felt constricted and the suit was especially tight on my right shoulder. I was anxious to see how the suit would perform once it was in the water.

woman waxing down a surfboard in a wetsuit

Getting prepped for a chilly surf. Photo: Rebecca Parsons/The Inertia

Notable Features

Finisterre Niewland Product Shot

Thickness: 5.5 mm chest and back panels, 4.5 mm arms and legs
Suggested Water Temp: 44.6-51.8°C
Entry: Front-entry chest zip
Materials: 85% YULEX® natural rubber / 15% synthetic rubber by polymer content

YULEX doesn’t have a reputation for being the most flexible material, but it continues to get better. The Nieuwland is made from 85% YULEX and as such, it isn’t the stetchiest suit in the world. I was worried about how the lack of stretch would affect performance, but luckily once I hit the water the suit did stretch out a bit and was surprisingly comfortable. As comfortable as a 5.5/4.5 can get, anyways. The irritation in my shoulder subsided and I was able to move around relatively well.

Finisterre uses European sizing so if you’re ordering from the States, you’ll want to be sure and check the size guide. I typically wear a size 6 but ordered a size 8 per their guide and it fit perfectly. The hood was also a surprising plus, fitting well and feeling comfortable, even without using the toggle for adjustment.

A standout feature of the Nieuwland are the ankle loops. As the name suggests, they’re little loops on the exterior of the ankle, which proved to be super helpful when putting the suit on. They’re seriously a game changer and I don’t know how I would have gotten the suit on without them.

a women's feet in surf booties and a wetsuit at the

The ankle loops are a standout feature of the Nieuwland. Photo: Rebecca Parsons/The Inertia

I did the majority of my testing of the Nieuwland at Rockaway Beach in New York City in early March. The water temperature was approximately 44 degrees, so just below the recommended temperature range, but I found that the Nieuwland was incredibly warm and performed well in those temperatures. During one of my sessions, it was raining and hailing and I remained toasty warm throughout the session save for the face freeze when I went underwater.

At $550, the Nieuwland isn’t cheap, but it is well made and durable. The material is thick and rugged. The double-blind stitching and taped seams throughout ensure the seams won’t separate and cause premature tearing. To further ensure a long life, be sure and rinse your suit with fresh water and hang it to dry after each session.

woman in a wetsuit at the beach

Our tester stayed warm in rain, hail, and cold water during New York winter. Photo: Rebecca Parsons/The Inertia


As I mentioned before, getting the Nieuwland on is challenging, but getting it off was something else. With numb fingers working against me, getting the neck portion over my head was rough and required assistance. I’d recommend having a buddy with you the first time you wear this suit in case you need help getting it off. And while I appreciated the tension wrist bands while in the water, they made getting the arm portion of the suit off extremely difficult. Like most suits, the Nieuwland does stretch out with time, but it does take a while to get fully broken in.

At 5’7”, 125 I’m lean but I’m not short. I opted for a size eight, which fit me perfectly, but I worry the Nieuwland may not work for smaller women. The suit only goes down to a size six, so I don’t think it would work for anyone much smaller than myself.

a woman smiling in front of surfbaords in a wetsuit

The Nieuwland is a cozy warm winter suit. Photo: Rebecca Parsons/The Inertia

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an ultra-warm wetsuit, the Finisterre Nieuwland ticks all the boxes. Made from eco-friendly Yulex, it has a built-in hood and is warm and durable. Standout features include double-blind stitching, taped seams, a drawcord on the hood, and ankle loops for easy entry.


Editor’s Note: To see how this suit stacks up against the competition, check out our guide to The Best Women’s Wetsuits. For men, here’s our guide to The Best Wetsuits. We’ve also reviewed Wetsuit Booties and Wetsuit Gloves. For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here. 

best women's wetsuits for surfing
We Reviewed The Best Women's Wetsuits of 2024
We reviewed the best women's wetsuits for 2024 from top brands like O'Neill, Billabong, and Patagonia, so you can stay warm, comfortable, and stylish in the water. Read more…

Patagonia Women's Wetsuit Jacket
The Best Women's Wetsuit Jackets of 2024
We reviewed the best women's wetsuit jackets and wetsuit tops to find the best women's wetsuits for surfing in chillier-than-expected waters. Read more…


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.