Ensuring that you get yourself the right fit for your wetsuit isn’t always as simple as buying a pair of jeans, or a new sweater. If you accidentally purchase a wetsuit that is too big, then it won’t be able to properly do its job and keep you safe out in the water.
However, on the flip side, if you purchase a wetsuit that is too small, then you will likely find that you aren’t able to move properly, which will then make it harder for you to enjoy the watersports activity you are partaking in.
So, how tight should your wetsuit be?
Well, as a general rule of thumb, you should try to make sure that your wetsuit is skin-tight, but not too tight that you feel uncomfortable or are experiencing a restriction in your movements. The main reason for this comes down to the fact that they are designed to be able to keep you warm while out on the water.
Most wetsuits are mainly made from a type of stretchy material such as neoprene, which is able to provide a certain amount of insulation to the wearer by cleverly trapping a thin layer of water between the user’s body and the material of the wetsuit.
In turn, this thin layer of water is then able to warm up to a considerably warm temperature thanks to the body heat of the wearer, which will then help to prevent any heat from escaping out of the suit.
For this reason, it’s very important that your wetsuit should be tight, because if there is too much space inside the wetsuit it will mean that the water will be able to enter and then escape again, meaning that the warm insulation layer will be unable to form.
When water comes in and out of the wetsuit, it is referred to as “flushing” and many people find it to be far from enjoyable, especially during the colder months!
Read Next: What is the warmest wetsuit?
How tight should a wetsuit be for surfing?
When surfing, you’re going to be encountering some pretty big waves and swells, so it’s important to make sure that your wetsuit is going to be tight enough to ensure that you’re suit is able to create an insulation layer to keep you warm, but not so tight that you feel restricted and are then unable to safely perform your tricks while on the board.
If you’re currently planning on purchasing your very first wetsuit, then there are a few things that you can do to help ensure that you pick the right size.
If you’ve never purchased a wetsuit before, then it can be pretty tricky to figure out the correct size, especially as a brand new wetsuit can feel extremely tight, especially while trying it on dry!
Check out the tips below to make sure that you buy the right-fitting wetsuit:
- It should feel tight: This one should come as no surprise here, but your wetsuit needs to feel tight when you put it on. If you can easily get into your wetsuit with ease and it doesn’t feel fitted, then there’s a strong chance that the wetsuit is too big for you.
Instead, when you try on your wetsuit, it should feel tight and perhaps even a little uncomfortable at first, although it should never feel restrictive. The perfect fitting wetsuit won’t have any air pockets or excess fabric in the arms or legs area.
- Make sure your shoulders are comfortable: The shoulder area of your wetsuit will be the easiest indicator of whether or not the wetsuit is the right size for you.
Once you have zipped it up, then it will be normal to feel a little bit of tightness in the shoulder area. However, if the wetsuit is pulling your shoulders downwards and making you lean forward slightly, then this means that the wetsuit is too tight, and you will need to size up.
- Get a second opinion: Last but not least, we also strongly recommend that you get a second opinion when testing out a new wetsuit.
Another person will be able to give you their opinion on whether or not the wetsuit is too tight (so it’s a good idea to get the opinion of someone who has experience wearing a wetsuit) while also inspecting the back of your wetsuit.
Ask your friend to grab the panels of neoprene on your back – if they can easily grab large amounts of material, then you’ll know that the wetsuit is too big for you.
Read Next: How to Break in a Wetsuit
Do wetsuits expand in water?
Yes, wetsuits do expand in water. As soon as you submerge your wetsuit in the ocean or sea, the wetsuit will begin to loosen up slightly and become more flexible. This will then mean that you are able to move around a lot more easily than you would be able to while on dry land.
Do wetsuits shrink or stretch?
Wetsuits do not shrink while in the water, which is why it’s always recommended to purchase a wetsuit that feels like it is too tight.
As soon as you get into the water, the neoprene material will stretch and expand in the water, which will increase the “skin-like” feel of the wetsuit, while also ensuring that you are able to move freely without any restrictions.
How do you put on a wetsuit?
If you’re just starting out with a watersport, putting on your wetsuit can be a daunting and off-putting task! The most common method that people use to put on a wetsuit is to turn it inside out, and then put one foot through the reversed suit and then the next.
After doing that, all you will then need to do is roll the suit up past both legs, until you reach the torso and finally, the arms.
Alternatively, another popular method for putting on a wetsuit is in the water. This is a popular technique for beginners, as it helps to loosen up the fabric.
To try this out, stand in the water and pull on the wetsuit. Whenever you find that the neoprene sticks to your skin, simply pull it away from you to allow water to flush in between you and the suit, and continue pulling on the wetsuit until you have finished.