How to Choose a Wetsuit

How to Choose a Wetsuit
Wetsuits are designed to provide comfort and protection for water sports such as surfing, kayaking and scuba diving. Choosing the proper wetsuit for the sport and the water temperature will improve your chances of staying comfortable and having enough protection.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Different styles and thicknesses of wetsuits are available, depending on the sport. If you take part in several different water sports, you may need a wetsuit for each sport.
Step 2
Choose the style of wetsuit that fits the conditions. Shorties have short sleeves and short leg cuts. Three-quarter length wetsuits have short sleeves and full legs. Farmer Johns have a tank-top style top and may come in short- or long-leg styles. Full wetsuits have full-length arms and legs.
Step 3
Decide if you want your wetsuit to have zippers. Some wetsuits come with zippers on the ankles and wrists. There is also a choice between front and back zippers on full wetsuits and shorties. Zippers can make getting in and out of wetsuits easier, but there is also a little bit of water leakage in these areas.
Step 4
Next choose the proper thickness for your wetsuit. Wetsuit thicknesses are measured in millimeters. Thicker wetsuits are the right choice for colder water. A point to keep in mind is that the thicker the wetsuit the more difficult it will be to put on and move around in. Once you're in the water, however, a wetsuit becomes much easier to maneuver in.
Step 5
Try on several wetsuits you are considering. Try on suits made by different manufacturers; try on different styles. Wetsuits are styled and cut differently. A "medium" in one wetsuit may not fit the same as a "medium" of a different wetsuit.

Tips & Warnings

If you are going to be using a thick wetsuit, consider also using a dive skin.
Wetsuit care products, such as shampoo and hangers, also are good items to have. Trying on a wetsuit is the best way to get a proper fit.

Article Written By Andy McVeigh

Andy McVeigh lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys paddling, biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, scuba diving and photography. McVeigh is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and is currently working on his MBA.

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