Simple wetsuit background information
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The ABCs of Basic Wetsuit Information: Everything You Need to Know
Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner looking to try out the waves, wearing a wetsuit is essential for staying comfortable and protected in the water. But with so many types and styles of wetsuits available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for you. In this article, we’ll go over the basic wetsuit information you need to know before making a purchase.
Types of Wetsuits
The first step in choosing a wetsuit is understanding the different types available. Here are the three most common types of wetsuits:
Here are wetsuits by thickness.
Full wetsuits, also known as steamers, cover your entire body from neck to ankle. They provide the most warmth and protection, making them ideal for cold water conditions. Full wetsuits are typically made from thicker neoprene (a type of synthetic rubber) and have sealed seams to keep water out.
Spring wetsuits, also called shorties, cover your torso and thighs but leave your arms and legs exposed. They’re ideal for milder water temperatures and can be worn in the summer or early fall. Spring wetsuits are typically made from thinner neoprene, making them more flexible and comfortable.
Rash guards are not technically wetsuits, but they are often worn in conjunction with them. Rash guards are thin, lightweight shirts that provide protection from sunburn and irritation caused by rubbing against a surfboard. They can be worn alone in warm water or underneath a wetsuit for added protection.
More information for beginners
Wetsuit Thickness and Temperature
Wetsuits are designed to keep you warm in the water by trapping a layer of water between your skin and the neoprene material. The thickness of the neoprene determines how much warmth the wetsuit provides. However, it’s important to note that wetsuit thickness alone does not determine warmth. Other factors, such as water temperature, wind chill, and your own body heat, also play a role in how warm you feel in the water.
Here’s a general guide to wetsuit thickness based on water temperature:
- 3/2mm wetsuit: 65-75°F
- 4/3mm wetsuit: 55-65°F
- 5/4mm wetsuit: 45-55°F
- 6/5mm wetsuit: 40-50°F
- 7mm wetsuit: below 40°F
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and may vary depending on your own tolerance to cold and other factors.
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Choosing the Right Fit
Choosing the right fit for your wetsuit is crucial for both comfort and performance in the water. A wetsuit that is too loose will let water in and reduce warmth, while a wetsuit that is too tight can restrict movement and cause discomfort.
Here are some tips for choosing the right fit:
- Try on wetsuits in person whenever possible to ensure a proper fit.
- Look for wetsuits with a snug but not constricting fit.
- Make sure the wetsuit covers your entire body and does not leave any gaps.
- Check for gaps around the neck, wrists, and ankles, as these are common areas for water to enter.
- Consider the thickness of the wetsuit and your own tolerance to cold when choosing a size.