How will you be using your wetsuit?
The best way to get the wetsuit that’s right for you is to think about what you want out of a wetsuit. Are you visiting Cornwall for the summer and just need something to keep warm in the gorgeous Cornish seas, or do you want to take the first steps to becoming the next pro surfer? Or maybe you’re after the top of the range suit full of all the latest technology? No matter what you’re after we can make sure you get the right suit and most importantly look like you know what you’re doing.
The fit is the most important factor when buying a wetsuit. The idea is to trap water between your body and the neoprene material the wetsuit is made from. Then the heat generated from your body heats the water and in turn keeps you warm. If your wetsuit is too baggy or its to loose especially around the neck, wrists and ankles then the water is free to flush through the suit, which means it will never heat up and you will stay chilly. Not sure what size you want? then get out the tape measure, write down your stats and check the individual brand size guides or print them off if that may help you.
Your wetsuit has got to FIT PROPERLY to serve a purpose. Also if you are buying a suit for your budding little surfer please don’t get the next size up so it will last the next few years. Not only will the poor little surfer turn blue due to a chilly little body but also it can be VERY dangerous. Water can collect in the baggy areas which can weigh the child down and when you’re in the surf that’s the last thing you want to happen. So check the size guides, get the right suit and you'll be laughing.
If you are trying it on in your living room and its feels quite tight then that is good, remember it is not designed to be worn around the house and it does give when you are in the water.
There are different suits for each season as well. Most suits come in a summer and winter styles, the only difference being the thickness of the material. Summer suits will be 3/2, this being 3mm in the main body, keeping your main organs warm (the important bits) and 2mm in the arms and legs (the bits that move the most). Where as winter suits will be 5/3 or 5/4/3, so 5mm in the body and 3 to 4mm in the arms and legs. You can also get shorties which are just the summer suit styles with the arms and legs chopped off so you can get more freedom to move. Also spring suits which have full length legs and short arms, so a bit of both!
Basic Entry Suits: If you’re after a suit that will keep the chill off while you have fun in the water, then the basic entry suits are just for you. Starting from around £60 for adult sizes, these suits are widely used by the surf schools for their great value and performance. Normally they incorporate bright colours to ensure you’re seen in the water. This is great if you’re just starting out, as life guards and instructors can always see where you are. They are constructed using “flat lock stitching” on the seams of the suit. This is where the neoprene material is overlapped and the sewn together. This type of stitching ensures durability and comfort.
Mid Range Suits: Next in line we have the mid range suits. These suits are ideal if you’re planning on spending that little bit longer in the water while you’re practicing to become the UK’s next pro surfer. The good thing about these suits is they incorporate some great technical features while still not breaking the bank. One of the main features is the stretch panels used on the suit. These are made from a stretchier neoprene material and are normally found under the arms and on the legs, which means they don’t give any resistance and stretch with the movement of your body. This enables you to become less fatigued while paddling and moving around in the water, so you can put all you’ve got into becoming a pro!
The stitching used on these suits is called “blind stitch”. This is done by gluing the seam together and then stitching part way through the neoprene. This prevents water entering through the stitching, keeping you warmer and in the water longer. All this technical stuff coupled with some great styling and brilliant value makes these really good suits.
Top End Suits: Then we have the top end suits, the cream of the crop, the big daddies. These suits offer it all and are ideal for those who really love the surf. The technology used in these suits can enable you to stay in the water for quite a while giving you all the time you need to perfect your style. A large majority if not all of the panels on these suits are made from the super stretchy neoprene really making it feel like a “second skin”, giving you a lot of freedom and a brilliant fit. The stitching used is very similar to the blind stitch but has an added advantage. A water resistant tape is applied on one side of the stitching or on some suits both sides! This “fluid seam” doesn’t allow water flow in the suit and can keep you warm for ages. Some other added features can include inner back panel (or batwing) which protects you from water entry from the zip or neck, stash pockets to keep your wax comb or keys, extra comfort on the neck and wrist seals and loads more. Each suit is different and offers different extra features.
If you are still not sure what’s best for you or just need some helpful advice then get in touch. Email us on email@example.com or call one of our shops.