How to try on a wetsuit
How to find the right wetsuit size
How to try on a wetsuit? First of all, before you try it on, make sure that it’s close to your body shape, size and 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 a wetsuit to function, it’s of great importance that it fits your body like a second skin. Contrary to everyday clothes, most wetsuits come in many different sizes. In addition, 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 the difference between sizes MS or LT? We’ll explain the meaning of these abbreviations below. Firstly, 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 size is to use our Size Finder. Our Size Finder is an intuitive online size chart that recommends the best wetsuit size based on your body type. Fill it in as accurate as possible and the Size Finder will calculate the best size for you. Please note that wetsuit sizes and fit will vary between brands.
Wetsuit fit: What to look out for
Now that you have determined your size and ordered a wetsuit online, 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 more here. The right fit is determined by the following: The suit should feel snug and slightly tight the first time you try it on. This is completely normal. Moving freely and being able to breath should obviously still be possible. After using your suit a couple of times it will slightly stretch because of the flexible neoprene material. It shouldn’t show any 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 suits’ performance. If you’re not sure about the size, ask our customer support team to help you out.
Check the length! Firstly, pull up your crotch to make sure your knee panels are on top of your knees. Secondly, check if the bottom of the leg is at your ankle, just above your feet. Thirdly, the sleeve should end right at your wrist. Lastly, 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 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.
You have made sure the length is right. Now check 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 any restriction. The chest should be tight but should obviously not cut off any blood flow or restrict you from breathing. If the shoulders, chest and underarm fit snug, there is less chance of water entering your suit. Note that the wetsuit will stretch out slightly after wearing it, just like a pair of jeans. 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. However, a snug fit is best.
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 suit
Water testing a wetsuit
What to look for when get-it-wet-testing your suit? There is only one way to find out: Taking it out for a spin. It’s important to notice if there is any water leaking into your wetsuit. There should be no or very little water coming in through the neck, arm, and ankle cuffs. Note that you are using a wetsuit, surely it’s okay if there is a little bit of water coming in. Make sure you can paddle easily without too much restriction on your shoulders. Try to duck-dive 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.