How to determine your wetsuit size
How to choose the right wetsuit size
A wetsuit is a tight-fitting flexible garment that is specifically designed to keep you warm in cold water. To get the most out of your wetsuit it is extremely important that it fits your body like a second skin. Everyday clothes have a relatively small range of sizes when compared to those of wetsuits. So how to determine your wetsuit size? Almost all wetsuit brands offer a large variety of sizes to fit different people with different body types. Wetsuit sizes are a combination of your full height, chest and waist width. If you’re not sure what wetsuit size is best for you, use the SRFACE Size Finder which calculates it for you.
The right fit for a wetsuit can be determined by a few things. Firstly make sure you buy a wetsuit that matches your body shape and measurements by using the SRFACE Size Finder or size chart. It’s the easiest way how to determine your wetsuit size. Don’t just buy a size large because you always wear large t-shirts. A wetsuit should feel snug and slightly tight the first time you try it on. It’s important to note that this is normal. Of course, you should be able to move freely and breathe normally, but the neoprene material is flexible and will stretch slightly after you’ve used your wetsuit for a couple of times, just like a new pair of jeans. Your wetsuit should show no ‘air bubbles’, wrinkles or excess material under the arms, shoulders, and crotch. These air bubbles might fill itself with water and will drastically influence the wetsuits’ performance. If you’re not sure about the size, ask the brand’s customer support team to help you out. Always make sure that;
– Your neck is sealed tightly
– The arms and crotch fit tightly
– You’re able to lift your arms without too much resistance
– You’re able to bend down and forward without too much resistance
Size Finder or size chart
When buying a wetsuit online, you can use the Size Finder, an intuitive online size chart developed by SRFACE that recommends the best wetsuit size based on your body type. Enter your sizes such as your height, weight, chest, and waist circumference measurements and the Size Finder will calculate the best size for you. Note that wetsuit sizes and fit are different for each brand, so always check out the size finder carefully to make sure you fit a certain size before buying a wetsuit online. If there is no size finder, make sure to look at the size chart to determine your best wetsuit size manually.
To begin to determine your best fitting wetsuit size, measure your height from the bottom of your heel to the top of your head. The best way to do this is to stand against a doorpost and put a book vertically on the top of your head. Measure from the floor to the bottom of the book to find out your exact height. After you have checked your height, find a scale and measure your weight. For instance, you measure 180cm, this makes you a contender for size ST (Small Tall), M (Medium) or L (Large)
Body weight measurement
Your body weight is a good indicator to estimate your chest and waist width. For example, if you’re 180cm tall and weight 82kg you’ll most likely need a size L (Large). But be cautious, your body weight is not a guarantee for a perfect fit. Bodyweight is distributed differently for every individual. To be 100% sure you get the right size wetsuit you need two more measurements: Your chest and your waist circumference. This will give you a better idea about your body type and avoid unnecessary size exchanges.
Chest size measurement
To get the best results when using an online size chart, measure your chest circumference or chest size. This size is one of the most important measurements to determine your wetsuit size. But how to measure your chest size? Get a flexible tape measure, or rope and measure around the widest part of your chest, just under your armpits at the nipple line. Your measurements might be influenced by breathing in and out. To correct this use the average of inhale and exhale while breathing naturally. For instance, your chest might measure 103cm.
Waist size measurement
After you have determined your chest size, measure the circumference of your waist. Measure around your waistline, just above your belly button and below your rib cage. For instance, your waist might measure 87cm. Which means you’re almost 100% a size L (Large)!
Example: Wetsuit size Medium vs. Large Short
For example, wetsuit size Medium means you are a medium in length and a medium in chest and waist width. Now imagine you’re a medium in body height but you’ve been working out lately. A medium might feel too tight in the shoulders, chest, and waist. You’re actually a Large in body width. In that case, you might want to try an LS (Large Short). Which is a fancy name for a Medium in height but a Large in width. The opposite might be the case as well if you are more skinny and tall with the height of a Large or XL but with the width of a medium, you might fit a size MT, a Medium Tall.
Your normal clothing size will give you a first indication of what wetsuit size to choose. But to make sure you choose the right wetsuit size we advice to carefully measure your body sizes.
Not sure what wetsuit size to get?
In roughly 90% of the cases, the SRFACE wetsuit size finder finds the right wetsuit size. In some cases, you might match some of the variables but not all of them. For instance, you’re 176cm tall (S, M or LS height), you weigh 80kg (LS weight) but your chest measures 100cm in width (which falls in the Medium size range of M and MT).
Free wetsuit size advise
In these cases, SRFACE offers personal and free wetsuit size advice. Get in touch with their experienced customer support team run by surfers and they’ll walk you through finding the right wetsuit size. In these rare cases, it’s often better to choose a wetsuit that fits your width rather than your height. The arms and legs might be a bit shorter / longer, but at least the wetsuit is able to do its job by keeping your core warm. It’s always better to buy a wetsuit that fits very snugly than a wetsuit that’s too wide.
Wetsuit brand size converter
If you already own a wetsuit that fits you well you can use the SRFACE wetsuit size Brand Converter to find your size match. In most cases, SRFACE wetsuit sizes correspond with sizes from other brands. In some cases, there are slight differences and overlaps between sizes. Keep in mind every brand uses its own unique patterns, so wetsuit fit will vary between brands. SRFACE patterns are neatly tailored to fit many different body types. But to be sure, you get the right size, measure yourself and fill in your sizes into the online size finder for best results.
Something to keep in mind is the amount of flexibility you have when choosing the right wetsuit. A more flexible wetsuit often fits better than a stiffer wetsuit. More flexibility gives more comfort and less restriction when paddling. High flexibility can be achieved by using a flexible neoprene foam, inside and outside lining. Strategic seam placement will allow for more stretch in a wetsuit. A less flexible wetsuit is often made a bit bigger to compensate for the lack of flexibility. A more high-end wetsuit can be cut smaller to fit snugly around your body without feeling uncomfortable due to the neoprene’s stretch. Don’t buy a wetsuit that is the wrong size and expects it to stretch around your body to fit. The right wetsuit fit and size is very important. An overstretched wetsuit is uncomfortable and the neoprene becomes thinner, which results in a colder wetsuit than a wetsuit that is worn with the neoprene in a more relaxed state. Obviously, a wetsuit that is too baggy will let air and water in, which will be cold too.