Sealed arm and leg wetsuit cuffs
Sealed arm and leg cuffs
A wetsuit should prevent water from entering your wetsuit. Sealed arm and leg cuffs play an important role in achieving this goal. But it’s called a wetsuit, and not a drysuit for a reason. Then again, no one likes a good flushing when you duckdive. The neck is an area where water could potentially enter your wetsuit. The arm and leg cuffs are also at risk of letting water in. This is why these areas should seal off your wetsuit as good as possible.
A good and functional wrist and ankle seal limit the amount of stretch in the edge of the cuff. In addition, it sticks to your wrists and ankles to create a watertight area. We do this by applying a strip of liquid rubber on the inside of the wrist. An extra stitched on cuff panel with glideskin is another option to create a seal. However, these cuff panels can be fragile at times. If the seal is too sticky it can pull out your arm or leg hairs when taking off your wetsuit. There is a fine line between a good seal and an uncomfortable or leaky one. So make sure your arm and leg cuffs are the right size for you.
Wetsuits come with different types of neck seals. The most common one is a glideskin inside collar panel that sticks gently to your neck to create an even seal over a big surface area. Another way to create a neck seal is a glideskin binding edge. This limits the amount of stretch in the edge of the collar panel and seals off by sticking to your neck. This type of neck seal makes the size of the collar panel very important. A neck that is too tight will restrict your breathing, while a collar panel that is too wide will not seal well. Summer suits with a non-waterproof flatlock seam construction don’t need a glideskin neck seal. In summer a double lined inside and outside collar panel will suffice.
Drysuits, mostly used for diving, require a higher level but a more uncomfortable neck seal. Drysuits often come with latex seals to make them 100% watertight at the neck, arms, and ankles. These seals are extremely tight, easy to damage and can be uncomfortable. This is why latex seals are not often used in surfing wetsuits.