• Normally constructed of neoprene
  • Minimize heat loss to cold water.
  • Trapped a thin layer of water between the body & the neoprene rubber in the wetsuit.
  • Different types of wetsuit are made for different uses and for different temperatures.


  • Snug but not tight.
  • No folds or excess material.
  • Full range-of-motion through shoulders.
  • Neckline should be comfortable and not suffocating.
  • Arm and leg holes should be snug so water cannot get through.

What Is Too Tight? 

  • Should have no painful restriction anywhere.
  • Should have a full range-of-swim-motion so arms move freely and comfortably.
  • Should not feel like it is riding up in crotch area (may mean wetsuit is too short).
  • Should move with you and not against you; suit should feel like a thick second-skin.
  • Should have certain degree of comfort in your wetsuit so you can perform optimally, but not so much comfort that it defeats the purpose of performance properties of the suit.¬†


1. Put some lycra on first

  • Wear a rash guard or rash suit under your wetsuit.

2. Unzip the wetsuit

  • Make sure that the suit is fully unzipped.
  • Most wetsuits are "back-zip" wetsuits.

3. Start with your feet and legs

  • One let at a time
  • Pull your wetsuit over your foot and ankle
  • Make sure the knees or knee pads are lined up over your knees
  • SHOULD NOT¬†be any large wrinkles or folds
  • Wetsuit is up around mid thigh, switch to the other leg.
    • If either you or the wetsuit is wet and you have difficulty pulling it on, consider using plastic bags or socks on your feet. This can make it easier.
    • You can also use conditioner or vegetable oil as a lubricant.
    • Work out rolls and ripples in the wetsuit as you move up your legs.

4. Pull over your hips and torso next

  • Pull the suit up and over your hips until the wetsuit is at your crotch.
  • Make sure that the fabric around your legs is not twisted.
  • Pull the suit up over your torso and onto your shoulders.
  • Make sure it fits very tightly against the skin.
  • SHOULD NOT have any extra fabric.
    • You can jump up and down to make sure that the fit is right.
    • Loose pockets will circulate cold water, ruining the purpose of the wetsuit.¬†
    • The wetsuit shouldn't overly constrict movement either. If it feels too tight or like you can't move, take it off and get a bigger size before you waste more time.

5. Insert one arm at a time

  • Be careful with fingernails on the fabric.
  • Adjust the fabric to ensure there is no twisting along your arm.
  • Pull the suit up your arms and then lift it onto your chest.
  • Make sure the suit to be snug and tight without constricting movement.

6. Lock it up

  • Reaching and trying to zip it yourself can put strain on both the zipper and suit.
  • Close any of the Velcro fastenings after the suit is completely¬†zipped up.
  • Make sure the neck of the wetsuit is directly against your skin.

7. Check the fit

  • Make sure everything is nice and snug.
  • Squat, raise your knees and walk around and make sure that you have no leg movement restriction.
  • Rotate your shoulders¬†and making sure there are no major gaps between your wetsuit and your underarm.
  • Swing your arms around and make sure you have no arm movement restriction.


    1. Unzip

    • If you were wearing a hood, remove it.
    • Unzip your wetsuit and make sure it's fully unzipped.

    2. Remove the wetsuit from your neck and shoulders

    • Peel the wetsuit off of your neck and down your shoulders.
    • To get it off of your shoulders it helps to slide a thumb between your shoulder and the wetsuit.

    3. Slide out your arms.

    • Remove your arms from the wetsuit.
    • Pull each arm fully out of its sleeve, leaving the arms inside out.
    • Ensure to use your fingertips, not your fingernails.

    4. Pull it down your torso and hips

    • Peel and roll the suit down your torso.
    • Pull it down your hips and legs in a single motion
    • Wiggle if you need to in order to get the wetsuit past your buttocks and out of your crotch.

    5. Remove your legs

    • Roll the wetsuit down your legs
    • Put your fingers on the inside of the part of your wetsuit at the¬†ankle
    • To hold the wettest leg open.¬†
    • Slowly slip one foot out of the leg, repeat with the other foot.
      • Leave the wetsuit inside out so that it can get some fresh air.
      • Leaving the wetsuit inside out is necessary for proper cleaning... especially since a fair amount of the time, you might end up peeing inside your wetsuit.
      • Peeing inside your wetsuit is fairly normal. Not only are you stuck in it for a long time, but the pee can make the wetsuit a lot warmer.


    • Neoprene thickness ranges from about 1mm-5mm¬†
      (5mm is the maximum thickness allowed in competitions).


    • More flexible and easy¬†to move.


    • Keep you warmer but will restrict movement.



    • Covers the body¬†and the full length of the arms and legs.¬†
      (some have short sleeves)


      • Covers the body¬†and has short sleeves and long or short legs.
      • Usually made of a thinner material.


        • Covers the body¬†and legs only; it resembles a bib overall.
        • Designed for use with a rash guard on days when the outside air is warm.



        • All made with the same construction as a typical wetsuit.
        • Allow customization based on the weather and temperature.


        • Made from a¬†strong nylon cloth¬†strip with waterproof backing.
        • To melt the tape cover the needle holes and add durability
        • To minimize the entry of water and reduces abrasion against the skin.
        • Offer fully taped seams to keep water out
        • Most modern suits are taped at specific stress points only
        • Created a smooth, flat surface that did not necessarily need taping
        • Not a strong bond and still prone to tearing.
        • Not commonly used on newer wetsuits.
        • A combination of seam gluing and sewing halfway through the material with a special curved needle.
        • Double blindstitching involves stitching both sides of the fabric for added strength, with neither stitch going all the way through the fabric.
        • Allows virtually no water to penetrate¬†
        • Allows the material to lay flatter and closer to the skin.
        • Appears mainly in high-end wetsuits and semi-dry suits.
        • Less durable than other types of stitching.


        • Primarily reserved for warm-water.
        • Provides excellent flexibility and strength.
        • Designed to lay flat and not push into skin, helps minimize abrasion.¬†
        • More comfortable seam but with more needle holes.
        • Used in very active watersports.
          (such as surfing, water skiing, wakeboarding and windsurfing)



        • After using your wetsuit you should always clean and dry your suit.
        • Use cold fresh water to remove all the seawater, sand and grime from inside and outside your wetsuit
        • Wash your wetsuit by hand! Always use fresh water.
        • Try to use¬†an ice cube to harden the wax. It may come off pretty easy.
          • Don't leave your wetsuit in the sun! The UV rays will deteriorate the wetsuit fabric really fast.
          • Dry your wetsuit in the shade if possible.
          • When wetsuit¬†inside was dry, turn the wetsuit right side out to finish drying.
          • Store your wetsuit on the SlideHanger‚ĄĘ or similar, to reduce fabric stress.
          • Laying it flat for storage.

          Neoprene will crease and not recover

          • DO NOT store your wetsuit on a shoulder hanger.¬†
          • DO NOT fold your wetsuit for storage.
          • DO NOT wash your wetsuit in the washing machine.
          • DO NOT¬†dry it in the dryer.
          • DO NOT use bleach, clothes washing detergent, stain remover, fabric softener, olive oil, jet fuel etc.
          • DO NOT iron your wetsuit.