You can indeed get too cold while surfing, which can lead to issues like kidney problems and conditions such as cystitis, especially for women.
Currently, in Bali, the water is getting colder as the season progresses (check the temperature chart for Bali). From November to March, it's almost impossible to get too cold in the water, but during the summer, it's easier.
Since a typical surf session lasts 1-3 hours, many people endure the cold rather than leaving the water early. Additionally, strong winds can significantly cool you down, which is not uncommon in Bali.
However, getting too cold during surfing is neither comfortable nor healthy. Surfing should be an enjoyable experience! If you find yourself sitting in the water for 15 minutes, waiting for a wave and getting cold, your muscles can lose their elasticity and flexibility. When you finally catch a wave, you may notice that you feel stiff and less agile.
But there's a solution! You can simply buy a comfortable wetsuit or a rash guard. For example, you can find many stylish women's wetsuits on the ROXY-Indonesia website (you won't find such beautiful ones in Bali): http://www.roxy.co.id/womens/surf/wetsuits
As you can see, wetsuits come in various styles, some covering only the upper body, some also covering the lower body, and full suits covering everything. The more coverage the wetsuit provides, the warmer you'll be. Wetsuits are typically made from a special material called neoprene.
Wetsuits also vary in thickness, measured in millimeters. Thicker wetsuits provide more warmth. Even a thin wetsuit with a thickness of 1.5-2 mm can offer a lot of warmth. In Bali, you generally don't need a very thick wetsuit.
Usually, women in Bali wear wetsuits that cover either just the upper body or both the upper and lower body. Full wetsuits can be too warm for Bali.
Here are some nuances to consider:
- A wetsuit can slightly restrict and constrain movements, making paddling a bit more challenging. When buying one, pay attention to how much it restricts your movements. It should fit snugly but not squeeze you too tightly. It shouldn't significantly impede raising your arms.
- If you wear a wetsuit and go surfing on a sunny, windless, and warm day around noon, you risk overheating and getting heatstroke. This is dangerous! Pay close attention to your body and the current conditions. If you start feeling too hot, get in the water or pour water under your wetsuit.
- Wearing a wetsuit can reduce the sensation of being in the water, so some surfers look forward to taking it off when the water gets warmer closer to winter.
- If you enter the water without a wetsuit and start feeling very cold after 10-15 minutes, it's better to get out of the water. Don't endure the cold. Next time, assess the conditions more accurately.
In summary, when you arrive in Bali, go into the ocean, check the water temperature, spend about 15 minutes in the water, observe what others are wearing, and ask your instructor if it's time to use a wetsuit. If you start feeling cold in the water after 10-15 minutes, you definitely need a wetsuit. Visit surf shops and outlets to purchase one. Make sure to try it on; it should fit comfortably but snugly. After surfing, rinse your wetsuit with fresh water and dry it in the shade (not in direct sunlight).
Enjoy your surfing!