“My hands and feet get really cold, I’ll save a few quid on my suit and spend it on some decent gloves” - It makes sense at a glance, but it’s left far too many surfers suffering. The science is simple, your body prioritises keeping your brain and vital organs warm. If it detects that you’re losing this ‘core’ heat it’s first response is to shut off circulation to your hands and feet.
So buy the best wetsuit you can afford, keep your core warm and you’ll be doing your hands and feet a favour even if your wetsuit accessories aren’t great. Of course a great wetsuit and top of the range boots and gloves together is the ultimate solution if you really want to be warm.
If money is really tight the exception to this rule is a Polypro vest, which will add core warmth to even the cheapest suit (providing it’s not actually leaking water!).