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Great wetsuit information.

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Wet-suits are not that different from ordinary, warm clothes—and they work in a very similar way. When you step outside on a chill winter’s day, you pile on layers of clothes to keep you warm. You probably know that more thin layers keep you warmer than one thick layer, because several thin layers trap warm air in between them—and it’s this air that insulates you from the cold water and helps to keep you warm. 

Most of the suits are made from neoprene that are coloured black which makes it a good insulator.  it regulates your body heat whilst in the water.  This is a man made product invented in 1935.  There are natural rubber alternatives but these are lesser well known in the wetsuit market. 

Neoprene is being updated regularly. Its latest variety is superflex which mixes spandex which gives the wetsuit greater flexibility. 

You can find wetsuits from anything from 2mm to 7mm and more.  It depends where you intend diving and also how deep you intend to dive. 

Neoprene compresses under water pressure, getting thinner at greater depths; a 7 mm neoprene wet suit offers much less exposure protection under 100 feet of water than at the surface. 

How is a wetsuit put together

A wetsuit is made up of many pieces of rubber.  How its put together is vital and understanding the differences is important. 

Flatlock Wetsuit Stitching 

  • Recommended for use in water that is above 62°. 
  • Lies flat against your body, causing no discomfort. 
  • May let in a little water. 

Sealed Wetsuit Seams 
(Glued and Blind stitched) 

  • Recommended for use in water that is 55° and higher. 
  • These stitch panels are glued and then blind stitched. Blind stitching does not go all the way through the neoprene. Instead, the stitch comes out the same side it went in, making it watertight. 
  • This seam style will let in very little water. 

Sealed and Taped Wetsuit Seams 
(Glued, Blind stitched and 100% Taped) 

  • Recommended for use in water that is 55° and below. 
  • This stitch is glued and then blind stitched but it also contains interior seam taping. The interior taping will add durability, reinforce the seam, and prevent any water from seeping through. 

What are the best Wetsuit Zippers

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. 

Zipperless Wetsuits 

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. 

What are the best wetsuits for cold water?

58°- 63° 

3/2 mm – 4/3 mm 

Sealed  

52°- 58

4/3 mm – 5/4/3 mm        

 

43°- 52° 

5/4 mm – 5/4/3 mm 

Sealed and Taped 

 

42° and below 

6/5 mm + 

Sealed and Tape  

 

Its all about layers!

Between you and the sea, there’s an insulating layer of rubbery material, some warm water, and multiple layers of insulation—all working together like a kind of personal, all-over body radiator! Not all wetsuits are the same, but these layers are typical of what you might find between your warm body and the cold sea: 

 

  1. Your own skin. 
  2. A thin layer of trapped water warmed by your body. 
  3. A layer of nylon or some other comfortable fabric to stop the neoprene rubbing and chafing your body. (Most surfers also wear a separate rash vest between their body and their suit for the same reason—and to give an extra little bit of insulation.) 
  4. A thin layer of heat-reflecting material based on a metal oxide of titanium, copper, silver, magnesium or aluminum. 
  5. A thick layer of neoprene containing trapped bubbles of nitrogen. This is the most important part for keeping you warm. 
  6. A durable outer layer made from some water- and abrasion-resistant material 

 

Why are wetsuits so tight?

A correctly fitting wetsuit for you should feel firm fitting out of the water so that when you enter the water a thin layer of water is trapped between your skin and the suit thus giving you good protection.  Therefor if the suit does not fit well you will find water gushing between the suit and your skin thus the water does not give you the protection and you will get cold.  This is one of the main reasons for buying a suit. 

How do wetsuits work?

A wetsuit works because of the layering of the rubber but as important it’s the layer of water between your skin and the next layer.  This is how a wetsuit works, its keeping the layer of water warm. 

A wetsuit works because you have bought the correct thickness of suit for the conditions you intended to use it.  This includes the stitching of the suit and to a lesser degree the zip position and type. 

Why are wetsuits mostly black?

The main reason is to keep you warm and resistance of UV light.  The carbon black filler added to the neoprene further improves insulation and general wear and tear.  The second is coloured neoprene is more expensive. 

Does Black Wetsuit Lasts Longer?

Carbon Black is added to neoprene this better allows you to stretch underwater without weakening the suit.  It increases the suits tensile strength, with this incedient there is no doubt that a black suit lasts longer. 

Does a Black wetsuit have UV Protective Benefits

It’s the carbon black added to the Neoprene that gives the suit the UV protective benefits in the water.

Are Wetsuits Unisex?

The correct answer is no.  The most important thing it fits correctly for you.

Are wetsuits good for swimming?

A wetsuit provides extra buoyancy, which can make swimming a little easier. Added that a wetsuit can put your body in a good swimming position

Its therefor a good idea to wear a wetsuit for swimming.

Are wetsuits flattering?

This is the big question and its totally down to you. Whether a wetsuit makes you conscious of eevery bulge you have is down to you and your suit. 

Are wetsuits waterproof?

Wetsuits are not waterproof.  they are designed to let in water between it and your skin.  This is why you need to have a good fitting suit.

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