How much should I wear my wetsuit? This question comes up time and time again. The answer depends on several factors such as the water temperature, the length of the wetsuit, and the type of water activity you are taking part in.
However, before you decide this, you need to know what size to buy.
Wetsuits are designed to protect from cold water temperatures. They also offer buoyancy and insulation against wind and rain. If you want to stay warm in colder waters, a wetsuit is a great choice.
There are two main types of wetsuits: full-length and shorty. Full-length suits are ideal for surfing because they cover the entire body. Shorties are good for swimming and snorkeling in warmer waters because they only cover the chest, legs, and feet.
But how do I know what size to get? In this article, we look at how to size a wetsuit and tell you everything you need to know to make sure your wetsuit fits comfortably! Let’s dive in!
How To Size Your Wetsuit
As a result of the material and how tight wetsuits are, finding the right size can prove to be tricky. A basic way of sizing a wetsuit is as follows:
1. Measure Your Body
The first thing you need to do is measure yourself. You’ll need to take measurements around your waist, chest, arms, thighs, calves, and ankles. You can use a tape measure or a ruler.
It’s important to keep the measurement accurate so that it doesn’t end up being too big or too small. Height and chest measurements will be the most important, and you should measure your chest at the widest point, ensuring the tape is gently snug.
It’s ok if the wetsuit is a little long but it’s never great if it is too short, as it will be tight around the crotch and neck. If you’re stuck with measurements and are between sizes, always opt for the larger.
If you are sizing a wetsuit top, the chest measurement is the most important and height is much less of a worry. With shorts, the waist is more important and height is completely irrelevant.
2. Find Your Ideal Fit
Once you’ve measured yourself, it’s time to find the best fit for you. Look through a sizing chart on the website you are buying from to see which one works best for you. Follow this guide and the wetsuit should fit accurately on arrival.
3. Check That The Sizes Match
When you receive your wetsuit, check that the sizes match. Make sure the suit is not too loose or too tight. If it feels too tight, try to remember that it gets looser over time and a wetsuit should be tight to keep you insulated in the water.
If it does feel so tight that you are uncomfortable, you may have to return it and buy a different size.
If you’re looking for a wetsuit that covers your whole body, then you should opt for a suit that is about 2 sizes larger than your normal size. For example, if you usually wear a medium in pants, then you would wear a large in a wetsuit.
Even a wetsuit that fits perfectly can be hard to take off and put back on again as wetsuits work by trapping water in between the suit and the skin. This creates an insulating layer of water that has been warmed by body heat.
Using Body Weight To Size Your Wetsuit
Your body weight is a good indication of your chest and waist widths. Be careful though, because your body weight doesn’t guarantee a perfect fit. An example would be that if you’re 180cm tall and weigh 85kg, you’ll probably fit into a size large.
Bodyweight however is distributed differently for every surfer and though it can be a great guide, taking proper body measurements is usually the most accurate way of ensuring your wetsuit fits correctly.
This will give you a much better idea of what wetsuit your body type needs and will prevent lots of unnecessary size exchanges and wetsuit returns.
Sizing Wetsuit Boots
Order your regular shoe size when ordering wetsuit boots. If you wear a half size, such as a 6.5, you will need to round down to the nearest whole size which in this case would be a 6.
Neoprene (the material used for wetsuit boots) stretches a bit more than regular clothing and will stretch a half size. For this reason, wetsuit boots do not come in half sizes and you should always simply round down instead.
You should also remember that wetsuit boots should fit a little tighter than normal shoes.
When it comes to sizing your gloves, you need to start by measuring around your palm. If you are between sizes, you should round down to a smaller size, just like you would when measuring boots.
How Do I Know My Wetsuit Fits?
Buying the right wetsuit size is imperative for a successful and comfortable surf. A wetsuit that is too tight will be restrictive and make your surf tiring, whilst a loose fit will rub and allow water to flush into the suit.
The wetsuit needs to be a tight-fitting piece of clothing but it also needs to be flexible. You should know if you have the right fitting wetsuit if it feels like a second skin but still allows you to move in the water.
The most important thing to remember is to ensure the neck collar seals tightly, the arms and the crotch are snug but not too restricting, you can lift your arms up without a lot of resistance, and you can bend down towards the ground without a lot of resistance.
We hope after reading this article you’ve learned all you need to know about wetsuits and wetsuit sizing and feel confident in taking your measurements when the time comes to upgrade and treat yourself to a brand new wetsuit.
Remember to always size up, and though bodyweight can be a good indicator, it is much more accurate to take measurements for a proper fit. Wetsuits are a key accessory to any surfing trip and they can keep you warm, protect you in the water, and offer buoyancy to keep you safe.
So always remember to measure, and always ensure you buy the proper size!