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This wetsuit buyers guide will help you to buying a wetsuit, there are a few things you need to think about. Is this the first wet-suit you’ve bought?
What sport are you going to undertake, have you decided to upgrade or buying for a different season or part of the world. what ever the reason this is about what to look for. There are a lot of wetsuits on the market, which means it can be tricky to find the right one for you. Knowing what you are looking for is key to making this a success, considering the right features.
Why are you buying a wet suit?
If this is the first wetsuit you have bought in the UK I hope we will give you some excellent tips and guide you to the right suit for you.
I suppose the first thing to consider is why are you thinking of buying when you could rent. For me the fundamental answer here is hygiene, after that is you know that the wetsuit will fit me every time and it will therefor keep you warm whilst in the sea.
The price is always a consideration, but do not assume that expensive is best. If it’s your first suit an entry level suit will generally be thicker and last longer a more expensive suit is usually made out of lighter softer materials, and is thinner.
Do not be under the impression that all suits are the same. Suits for different disciplines are constructed in different ways. What sort of sport are you going to use it for does mater. Triathlon suits are different to scuba suits . Be clear in what sport you are buying for.
Whether its scuba diving around the UK in the winter months is a very different suit than you might need in the far east in their winter. If you’re going to scuba dive around the UK shores you should think about your extremities. A hood, boots and gloves are a must.
To get the best from your suit it’s very important that it fits very well. That means a tight fit to start with. Its therefor important that you buy the right size of suit for you.
Be aware that a full length suit will cover your whole body except your head, hands and feet. When you see 3/2 or 6/5 it’s the measurement of thickness of suit . The higher number is the torso and lower number is the extremities arms legs etc. .
This wetsuit buyers guide
Will help you decide and understand what you are looking It willhelp you narrow down your selection. The fit is the number one requirement . The suit needs to protect you and keep you warm and this can only be done with a good fit.
Where in the world am I going to use it, depends on the thickness of the suit. If you intend using it around the UK please consider the season, this again depends on the thickness of the suit. For instance using in the summer months you might use a 3/2, in the winter this would change to a 5/3 suit.
Is it your intention to be in the water for hours or sit around looking great on the beach? What are your requirements for a wetsuit? Why are you buying a wetsuit? Will you be surfing, scuba diving or triathlete? There is a big requirement to understand what sport you are going to undertake. Will you use it in cold, warm water?
Essentially this means how thick you suit needs to be to keep you warm. Will you use it every day, or once a year? The quality of the suit would need to be assessed. You would need a high quality suit if your intentions were every day, such as Cressi or Mares for instance.. Zippers should be considered here. Are you looking for a zip on the back, front or no zip at all.
Cost of a wetsuit
Knowing what you are looking for is key and here will help you narrow down your selection.
Here we hope to give yo an insight into the type, the thickness, down to types of seals and zip positions. All are very important when you use your wetsuit.
The fit is the number one requirement. The suit needs to protect you and keep you warm and this can only be done with a good fit.
Where in the world am I going to use it, depends on the thickness of the suit.
If you intend using it around the UK please consider the season, this again depends on the thickness of the suit. For instance using in the summer months you might use a 3/2, in the winter this would change to a 5/3 suit.
Is it your intention to be in the water for hours or sit around looking great on the beach?
What is your sport - Do I need a wetsuit?
Did you know that a growing number of water sports use wetsuits? What is yours and how often do you wear it?
How does it fit?
For the best experience, to allow you carry out your sport as long as possible without getting cold. The suit needs to be nice and tight. To create that protective barrier of water between skin and suit keeping it there so that chilly water doesn’t keep leaking back into the wetsuit
For a wet-suit to give you the best experience to enable you Carry on with this Sport for quite some time Without being aware about becoming frigid: This kind of cloth should really fit in tightly; It has been because suits are too loose they will offer no defense against windchill coming through from outside or even seeping up from below at any given opportunity. By means of maintaining That bathtub Barrier involving Warmth Between Your
Where are you going to use the wetsuit?
The first thing you should consider when choosing a wetsuit is what sport it’s for.
Is the water temperature warm or cold? This will determine how thick your wetsuit needs to be, and also which type would work best with that thickness!
Types of wetsuit seals
- Glued Seams: The panels are glued together prior to stitching, increasing the strength of the seam and creating a waterproof seal
- Spot Taped Seams: Tape is glued to the inside of the seam in critical areas to add additional strength where needed
- Fully Taped Seams: Tape is glued to the inside of every seam. Neoprene tape can be used to ensure there is no loss in flexibility
- Liquid Taped: The ultimate seam seal. A special liquid rubber is applied to the inside seam which makes it 100% waterproof.
Wetsuit Zippers – Front/Chest Zip vs Back Zip
There is more to getting into your suit than you may think. There are three types of wetsuit entry constructions: back zips, chest zips and ziperless.
Back Zip Wetsuits
This is the classic solution with the zipper going down the length of the spine with a long cord attached so you can zip yourself in and out. The advantage of a back zip is that, relative to the other styles, it is typically the easiest to enter and exit. This is a big deal when you are trying to get into something that is skin tight. The disadvantage is that water can get through the seams on the back zip, which in cold water can become a major deterrent (think ice cubes down your back). Many companies have come up with their own flush guard technologies to reduce this from happening (e.g. Quiksilver Hydroshield). Also, when you are bending forward, the suit will go taut in the back and the zipper lacks give, which may restrict movement.
Chest Zip Wetsuits
Chest zip wetsuits are entered through a zippered cutout around the neck and you drop down into the suit through the neckline before pulling the neck cut over your head and zipping closed at the chest. Chest zips are the trickier of the two types to both enter and exit. The chest zip is superior at keeping water from penetrating the suit through the seams and the neckline. The chest zip may also be a more comfortable fit once on with a snug neck that is less likely to cause rashes and the zipperless back yields a greater level of flexibility.
Found on lighterweight (think 3/2 and thinner) wetsuits and neoprene tops, these suits prioritize mobility over warmth by eliminating the lack of flex found around zippered areas and stitching. This may be a good solution if you have issues with mobility while paddling or surfing. The entry point for zipperless wetsuits can be found around the chest or neck area and is usually secured by a small zipper, elastic or velcro.
If you are someone who feels the cold in the water perhaps you need to think about Ecel’s Thermoflex, a revolutionary inner lining that recycles your body heath to give you greater warmth.
Stitches – The joins is where the quality shows. There are two types if stitching – Flatlock stitches are used for the lower end of the market and Blind stitch/glued are used in better quality and cold water suits.
How often will I use my suit?
How often will I use my wetsuit? This is a major contributary factor to your final decision. If you’re an amateur surfer, then the answer may be once or twice per year. But if you live in Hawaii and surf all day every day for fun, it might make sense to spend more on this purchase because of how much time we’ll actually get out of our suits.