I'm 65. There were wetsuits but you rarely saw them surfing. The first wetsuits I remember in the early 60's just covered your upper torso... like a vest. Then a strap that went under the crotch and snapped in place... and short sleeves. You never saw a full wetsuit.
Haha... I remember those snaps. Bad location! Those suits where meant more for diving I think and where pretty expensive if I remember right. Are you still surfing? I'm 52 and still get out once in a while for some fun on the long board or body surfing...in the summer...when it's warm! That water in SC never really gets all that warm from what I understand. Did you grow up in Santa Cruz?