What Does A Wetsuit Do? - Green Iguana Surf Camp

What Does A Wetsuit Do?

Wetsuits are a type of neoprene suit designed to provide protection from cold water. The material is stretchy and flexible, allowing them to fit snugly around the body.

They are worn by surfers and divers to reduce the risk of hypothermia or drowning.  With that in mind, what exactly happens when you put one on?

What Does A Wetsuit Do

Let’s take a look at wetsuits in more detail. This includes how they work, the material, and when you should wear one. 

What Is The History Of A Wetsuit?

Wetsuits have been used for thousands of years. They were first made out of sealskin and then later made from rubber.

In the 1960s, surfers started wearing wetsuits as a way to stay warm while surfing. It was also during this time that scuba diving became popular.

Divers needed something similar to a seal’s skin to protect their bodies from the cold water.

The modern version of the wetsuit was invented in 1959 by Australian surfer John Davis. He patented it under the name “The Dry Suit”.

It wasn’t until 1965 that he sold his company to Billabong Industries. The company changed its name to Billabong Incorporated and has since become an international leader in wetsuit manufacturing.

How Does A Wetsuit Do Its Job?

A wetsuit is not waterproof, but it does help protect your skin against moisture. It also provides buoyancy for swimmers who need extra support while swimming.

The main purpose of a wetsuit is to keep you warm. A wetsuit traps air between the skin and neoprene, which creates an insulating barrier that keeps you warm.

The more layers of clothing you have on top of the wetsuit, the better insulated you will be. You can add additional layers if needed.

When Should I Wear A Wetsuit?

You should always wear a wetsuit if you plan to go into cold water. If you don’t want to get wet, then you shouldn’t bother wearing a wetsuit – unless there is a high chance you might be spending time near water. 

If you plan to swim, dive, snorkel, or kayak, you should definitely wear a wetsuit. Even if you only plan to stand on the beach, you should still wear a wetsuit because you never know what might happen.

If you are planning to surf, you should wear a wetsuit even if you aren’t going into cold water. Surfing requires constant movement, which makes it difficult to stay warm without a wetsuit.

Also, surfing often takes place during winter months, so you may find yourself in cold water at any time.

You may also fall into the water and the wetsuit will stop you from freezing. 

How Much Water Can I Get In My Wetsuit?

Most wetsuits are rated for up to five feet (1.5 meters) of water pressure. However, some wetsuits are rated higher than this.

It depends on how much water pressure you encounter when you enter the water. For example, if you are diving, you may encounter 10-12 feet (3-4 meters) of water pressure as you descend.

It is important to check the size chart before buying a wetsuit. Some people prefer to buy a smaller size because they like their suits to fit tightly.

Others prefer larger sizes because they feel more comfortable with looser fitting suits.

Why Does The Ocean Cool Our Body So Quickly?

Why Does The Ocean Cool Our Body So Quickly

Wet bodies lose heat faster than dry ones. When we come out of the ocean, our body temperature drops quickly.

This is because our blood flows away from our core body parts to our extremities. The colder the environment, the faster our blood flows away from the core of our body.

This means that we cool down quicker than if we were just standing outside.

Wearing a wetsuit helps prevent this rapid cooling. By trapping air inside the suit, the suit slows the rate of heat loss.

This allows us to spend longer in cooler waters without feeling too chilly.

How Long Will I Stay Warm With A Wetsuit On?

Your wetsuit should provide adequate insulation for about 30 minutes. After that, you will start to feel chilled.

To make sure you stay warm all day, you should bring along enough clothes to cover your entire body. This includes socks, gloves, hat, and shoes.

If you are traveling, you should pack extra clothes because you may not be able to change them while in the water.

How Cold Is Too Cold?

There isn’t really a safe minimum temperature for swimming. It varies depending on where you live and how long you plan to stay in the water.

For instance, if you live in an area where the average low temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celsius), then you can safely stay in the water until your body reaches 46 degrees Fahrenheit (8C).

However, if you live in a warmer location, such as Florida, you can stay in the water until you reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10C).

The best way to determine whether you should go into cold water is by checking the weather forecast. You don’t want to get caught in a sudden storm or have to wait for hours if there is no chance of rain.

Can I Swim Without A Wetsuit?

Yes, but only if you are experienced in open water swimming. Otherwise, it could lead to hypothermia.

Hypothermia occurs when your internal body temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 C). If you do not wear a wetsuit, you run the risk of falling victim to hypothermia. Your heart rate will slow down, your muscles will begin to cramp, and you will become confused.

You need to know what to look for in order to avoid getting hypothermia. First, you need to pay attention to your surroundings. Are you seeing any signs of danger?

Are you having trouble breathing? If so, you need to get out of the water immediately.

Do you see other swimmers who appear to be struggling? If so, help them. They may need your assistance.

Do you notice yourself becoming dizzy or disoriented? These symptoms indicate that you are losing consciousness. Get out of the water and seek medical help.

Final Thoughts

Using a wetsuit is a great way to stay warm whilst in the water. Whilst the majority of people also think a wetsuit is waterproof, this just isn’t the case.

A wetsuit was created to keep the wearer warm to avoid hypothermia. So long as you make sure you are well prepared to venture into the ocean, then you will have a great time without coming into difficulty with your health.

Thank you for reading!

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