- 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.
GETTING A WETSUIT ON
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.
TAKING A WETSUIT OFF
- 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.
THICKNESS AND MATERIAL
- 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.
FULL SUIT / STEAMER
- Covers the body and the full length of the arms and legs.
(some have short sleeves)
SPRING SUIT / SHORTY
- Covers the body and has short sleeves and long or short legs.
- Usually made of a thinner material.
LONG JOHN, JOHNNY, JOHNNY SUIT, FARMER JOHNS / JANE
- 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.
NEOPRENE VESTS, JACKETS & SHORTS
- 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.
BLINDSTRITCH & DOUBLE BLINDSTITCHING
- 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™ 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.