How to try on a wetsuit
How to find the right size?
How to try on a wetsuit? First of all, before you try on any wetsuit, make sure you are trying one on that is close to your body shape, size and body measurements. A wetsuit is a flexible, skin-tight one-piece suit, that is developed to keep you warm while surfing in cold water. In order for them to do function, it’s of great importance it fits your body like a second skin. Contrary to everyday clothes, most wetsuits come in many different sizes. They cater to people with different body types. Wetsuit sizes are built up by combining body height and chest and waist width. You can verify this by measuring your height, weight, chest and waist sizes. Read how to measure yourself here. Don’t just buy a size large because you always wear large t-shirts.
Understanding wetsuit sizes
Don’t be scared of the weird abbreviations of wetsuit sizes, what is size MS or LT? The meaning of these abbreviations is all explained below. The main difference with regular clothing sizes is the fact that a wetsuit is a 1 piece. When buying clothing it’s okay if your T-shirt is a bit long for you as long as the width is okay, it will just overlap with your pants a bit. Wetsuits don’t work this way, it’s crucial that you find a size that matches both your height and width, as well as your body type.
The easiest way to determine your best fitting wetsuit size is to use the Size Finder, an intuitive online size chart developed by SRFACE that recommends the best wetsuit size based on your body type. Fill in your sizes such as your height, weight, chest and waist circumference sizes and the Size Finder will calculate the best size for you. Note that wetsuit sizes and fit will vary between brands, so make sure to check out the size finder when ordering your suit online. If there is no Size Finder available, make sure to find your perfect size by comparing wetsuit sizes and body measurements in a traditional size chart.
Wetsuit fit, what to look out for when trying it on.
After you have determined your size and ordered a wetsuit online, now it’s time to try it on and see if it fits as it should. If you need help with how to get into and out of a wetsuit, you can read some tips and tricks here. The right fit can be determined by a few things. A wetsuit should feel snug and slightly tight the first time you try it on. This is completely normal and shouldn’t surprise Moving freely and being able to breath should, of course, still be possible. After using your suit a couple of times it will slightly stretch because of the flexible neoprene material. just like a new pair of jeans. It 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.
Start by checking if the length is okay, this means the arm sleeves should end at your wrist, but should not overlap your hands. They should also not be too short. Same for your legs, pull up your crotch, make sure your knees knee panels are on top of your knees, then check if the bottom of the leg at your ankle, just above your feet and not overlapping your feet.
Check if the body length of the wetsuit is alright. Make sure your crotch is not baggy (too long) or pulling up too much (too short). If the body length is too long, you can experience wrinkles at the waist or bulging neoprene around the chest. If the wetsuit body section is too short for you, you will feel the wetsuit pulling your shoulders down, and your crotch will be pulled up. Note that neoprene can be very flexible, so always make sure you pull up your arms and legs into the right position before you check the fit.
After you have made sure the length of the wetsuit is okay, check to see if the width is correct. The most important area to check width is your chest, shoulders and waist area. Make sure you can make some ‘air paddles’ without the wetsuit restricting you. The chest should be tight but should not cut off any blood flow or restrict you from breathing normally. If the shoulders, chest and underarm fit snug, there is less chance of water entering your suit through your shoulder-opening or your neck. Note that the wetsuit will stretch out slightly after you have tried it in the water for a few sessions. Your waist should fit right, but it’s okay if it’s slightly tight or loose, there is no chance of water coming into your suit at the waist area. But of course, a snug fit is best. A sign of perfect waist fit is if there is no air bubble in your lower back if you stand upright, no air means no possibility of water gathering there when you sit on your board.
How do you know you have the right fitting wetsuit?
After you have made sure that the length and width fit your body shape, make sure that;
- Your neck is sealed tightly
- Arms, shoulders, chest, and crotch fit tightly
- Wrist and ankle cuffs 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
- There are no big wrinkles, loose parts or air bubbles in your wetsuit.
Water testing a wetsuit
What to look out for when get-it-wet-testing a wetsuit? To be 100% sure you have the right fit, there is only one way to find out: taking it for a few surfs. Important to notice any water leaking into your wetsuit, if this is a lot, you might have a size that’s too big, or you should adjust your shoulder elastic toggle to get tension on your shoulder opening. There should be no or very little water coming in through the neck, arm, and ankle cuffs. Note that you are using a wetsuit, its okay if there is a little bit of water coming in, it’s not a drysuit after all. But the less water the better of course. Make sure you can paddle easily without too much restriction on your shoulders. Try to duckdive a few times and make sure the wetsuit stays in place and you stay as dry as possible inside your suit. While on the wave, make sure you can move freely. When sitting on your board, notice it is little or no water moving around inside your suit. Now you have found a right fitting wetsuit, go get that 30-second barrel.