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What difference between dive and surf wetsuits?

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How to choose the correct diving suit for your environment?

Wetsuits made for divers are thicker and less flexible, but those used by surfers stretch more. Scuba divers spend most of the time completely immersed in water, whereas surfers maintain a distance from it on top of waves due to exertion. This difference is why hypothermia has been such an issue with scuba diving while not being much of a concern when surfing or swimming even if they have spent significantly longer than expected in cold waters..

One of the keys to staying warm while diving is an optimal body temperature. When it gets cooler, your underarms can easily get cold because they’re a place for heat loss and surf suits are not sufficient in this case! In warmer water, though you might be alright with just a surf suit most people find these aesthetically unappealing so we recommend wearing wetsuit bottoms instead.

Design difference between the two wetsuits

Scuba diving wetsuits are much better designed to prevent water from entering compared with surf suits since they have a tighter fit around the neck and wrists.

The neoprene material of scuba wetsuits is able to resist water pressure better than most fabric. Surfing suits usually do not need this type of resistance because they are often just a thin layer on the skin that can be easily removed in case there’s too much water pressure.

The seams of scuba wetsuits are waterproof, preventing water from leaking in. And the stitching is more durable than surf suits as well with flatlock stitches and blind stitches

Scuba wetsuits are better designed to prevent water from entering compared with surf suits.

The thickness of the wetsuit

Diving wetsuits are available in different thicknesses, such as 3mm, 5mm and 7mm. Surfing suits are generally thinner due to their more delicate design approach of the fabric used for construction purposes.  Dive suit will often incorporate a thicker rubber lining on the chest which helps protect core body parts from traumatic caused by increased pressure when diving at depth; surfing suit has no need for this level of protection because surfers do not go deep into the water where there is an increase in underwater pressure associated with being below sea-level (the weightlessness feeling).

Resistance to water pressure

Different designs are  required

Knowing your different suit types can make a big difference in how you have to behave, whether for diving or surfing.

Wetsuits are designed specifically for diving environments: some wetsuits come with pockets, while others might be made from better abrasion-resistant materials such as strengthening the protection of elbow positions. Surfers don’t need these sorts of complicated features because their suits do not experience the same amount of wear and tear underwater that divers’ clothes will endure on land (and vice versa).


The colour of a scuba wetsuit is usually muted to avoid colours fading or looking unattractive. Surfing suits, on the other hand, can be more colourful and eye-catching.

Choosing a wetsuit

Choosing a diving suit is not just about how it looks, but also whether or not the material of the wet suit will protect you. Unfit suits can lead to water entering and affect your ability to dive!

We specialise in scuba diving wetsuits please use the search below to choose your wetsuit.

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