depends on the quality of the wetsuit - how much flushing you'll get and seepage through the joints and zipper. With a half decent 3/2 you should be able to handle mid 50s. Then if you want you can layer on short and a top for an extra mil or two.
Dont forget booties and gloves too - these make a huge difference in keeping you warm.
agreed. I have a cheap oneill hammer and if you had the heat or something with better seams and a better zipper you wouldn't flush out as much and that would keep you much warmmer even though the suit is still the same mil.
booties wont fit. Thats why you should invest in closed toe bindings. The warmth difference is amazing. The toe support is ehhh not that much better, but being able to feel your feet is the best feeling in the world when you get out of the water.
When I lived in Massachusetts i would wear my 100 dollar oneil wetsuit all the way down to 40 degree water. I wear a oneil guru underneath that gives me an extra 1.5mm and then i wear golves and a hood. Im usually bring a thermos of hot water and pour it down the back of the wetsuit before i ride....its way cheaper than a shower. That combined with a docks start made for a great session.
if you are trying to get a little more warmth out of your wetsuit, instead of a neo top(which would add a lot of bulk and restrict movement) oneill makes thermal layering that goes under wetsuits that is sort of like under armor. im about to get the thermo vest with a built on 1.5mm neo hood.
Water in the low 40s is like wakeboarding in water that is in the mid 50s IMO, but the SIGNIFICANT advantage of the wetsuit is how it shields you from the wind and your body stays warm. So half surviving half enjoying myself