A proper wetsuit can make the difference between a nice dive and a dive that is canceled due to the cold. Here are some pointers on how to choose your first wetsuit.
The value of a high-quality wetsuit is immeasurable. It keeps you warm and comfortable below, allowing you to dive in places where you wouldn’t be able to without thermal protection. In addition, having your own suit means avoiding all the dangers of renting wetsuits: poor fit, possible urine (do not judge), arms and legs that are too long and more. Before making an impulse buy, however, be sure to select the right suit for your type of diving. Before you go out and buy your first wetsuit, here’s what you should know.
A Proper Fit is everything
Wetsuits, more than any other diving gear, should fit you well. A well-fitting wetsuit will keep you warm by trapping a thin layer of water between your body and the wetsuit. Then your body warms up. Raise this water to make you feel comfortable.
If a wetsuit is poorly fitted, water can flow in and out of the neck, wrists, and ankles of the wetsuit while diving, and the wetsuit cannot perform all of its thermal functions.
Check the fit of a wetsuit before purchasing to avoid this issue. Make sure the merchant accepts returns while shopping online.
Here are some pointers for determining how well a wetsuit fits:
- The finish on the neck should be snug but not too tight.
- The wrist and ankle cuffs should lie flat against the skin and should not pucker or open as you move your limbs.
- The suit must be tight; After all, it keeps you so warm, but if it is so tight that you cannot stretch both arms over your head and bring your hands together, you should take a size bigger.
- The crotch of the wetsuit should be close to yours and not get caught somewhere between your abdominal regions and your knees.
- Check that the suit’s arms and legs reach your wrists and ankles. If not, consider getting the tall version of the suit or moving up a size.
- The wetsuit must fit your body everywhere. If it’s moving away from your body along your spine, it’s likely too small. This is more of a problem for women and is often the reason why zipped wetsuits tear at the bottom of the zipper.
Choosing the correct thermal protection level
Buying a modern double wetsuit with a 7mm layer, though if you intend to dive into the tropics and never venture into colder climates. in summer.
Buy the right suit for your type of diving and you’ll be comfortable underwater and on land. Wetsuits are available in a variety of thicknesses, which are measured in millimeters. The warmer the suit, the thicker it is. Here’s a quick guide to water temperature and which suits the climate best:
- 75 to 85 F (23 to 29 C) – Wetsuits of 1 to 3mm thickness or, on the warmer end of the spectrum, Lycra skin suits provide protection from the sea spines that float by your side. If stingy things aren’t an issue, consider wearing a short, tight wetsuit or bulletproof vest and shorts.
- 65 to 75 F (18 to 23 C): In temperate waters, a 5mm full suit is recommended. A hoodie or chicken vest (yep, you read it correctly) can help add a little more warmth. They are usually 1-3mm thick and add an extra layer to your torso.
- 50 to 65 F (10 to 18 C): If the water temperature is on the cool side of this prop, choose a 7mm full suit and add extra layers of neoprene.
- 40 to 50 F (4 to 10 C): A 7mm full or double wetsuit may suffice for a short dive on the warmer end of the scale, but when it’s this cold, you’ll need a dry suit.
Weights and Flush
Wetsuits contain small air bubbles in the suit material. This keeps you warm, but also lets you float. As a result, you will need more weight diving in a thicker suit than a thinner one. Carry a couple more pounds if you’re switching from a rented outfit to your own.
The new wetsuits have more buoyancy. When divers wear and compress them, they lose some of that buoyancy. So don’t be startled if your new suit is heavier than you anticipated.
As you may recall from your training, the gas compresses with depth. As you go deeper, your wetsuit will thin out and provide less thermal protection, and in some dive sites, thermoclines mean the water is closer to the surface and experiences a drop of up to 10 degrees after passing through depth. Your suit can keep you warm in the depths.
Seals and Zippers
Wetsuits are like any product: the more expensive they are, the better they should work. Seals and zippers are factors that affect the quality and price of a suit.
If possible, choose wetsuits with strong and sturdy zippers – YKK zippers are always reliable.
While most wetsuits used to have back zips, front zips are becoming more common. The placement of the zippers is largely freely selectable. Some divers do not mind closing the rear zippers with the special label; other divers prefer an easy-to-use front zip.
Some divers also wear suits without a zipper. These are usually more expensive or designed with freediving in mind. That said, they are perfectly fine for diving.
Wetsuits are often marketed with “taped” seams. This signifies that all seams have been bonded together in addition to the regular seam. As a result, less water percolates through the seams, keeping you warmer.
Wetsuits are made by almost every diving equipment manufacturer. It doesn’t matter what brand you wear; quality and fit are far more essential. Choosing a reputable manufacturer, on the other hand, should provide a high-quality product.
You can also look for great wetsuits outside of diving. For example, it might be better known as a surf brand. Billabong, Rip Curl, and Quicksilver also make wetsuits that have a dual function on a board and underwater.
We hope this guide to choosing your first wetsuit has been useful. Buying a wetsuit is a great first step in improving any dive.