2. Choosing the right wetsuit
4. The right size
6. How to care for wetsuit
Wetsuits Do The Job
There is one thing that you should first think of before buying your board or kite. A wetsuit! You can always rent a windsurf, a kite or sup equipment but something like a wetsuit should be your own, if only for hygienic reasons. We think that you will agree, that wearing a used suit, which is meant to have tight contact with your skin, is not the nicest solution.
The main factors that determine a right wetsuit should be water and air temperatures in which you intend to do your activities.In our climate, even during summer months, it is recommended to have at least thin wetsuit with short arms and legs - especially if you plan to be on water in stronger winds. On the other hand, a thicker wetsuit can extend our water season for a few months! That's why buying a wetsuit should be the most important step while choosing your own equipment.
How Does a Wetsuit Keep You Warm?
The main purpose of wetsuit is to keep our body warm. This happens thanks to the special material of which all wetsuits are made- the neoprene. Its rubber structure allows for a slightly water soak up and keeps it inside. It results in a very thin layer of water between our body and the wetsuit, which is heated to our body temperature and maintain thermal comfort. The thicker the wetsuit, the larger number of layers of materials and tighter seams it has, the warmer it will be.
Choosing The Right Wetsuit
We can divide wetsuits into two basic types - shortie and long. Shorties have thinner neoprene, about 2 mm thick, and short legs and sleeves. This is a great option for warm summer days when we need a minimum of protection against the cold. The long ones have full length legs and sleeves. They are also thicker and much warmer than shortie models. If you plan your surf activity only for a short period of time i.e. during summer holiday, then a shortie should be enough. But if you want to take your water sport more seriously, then a long wetsuit is a must. There is also a very popular hybrid kind of wetsuit, with short sleeves and long legs. It is a quite nice solution for longer summer sessions!
The main factor determining the warmness of a wetsuit is its thickness. You can find this parameter on every wetsuits description - something like 2 mm, 4/3 mm or 6/5 mm. Usually summer wetsuits are made of 2 mm neoprene, warmer ones contain materials of varying thickness. For example the parameter 5/4 mm means that the wetsuits body was made of material having a thickness of 5 mm, arms and legs of a thinner 4 mm. This allows for a great thermal comfort and adequate freedom of movement for arms and legs.
Examples of wetsuits thickness for different seasons:
Summer - 2 mm, 3/2 mm
Late spring, early autumn, cool summer - 4/3 mm
Late fall, early spring - 5/4 mm
Winter - 6 mm
The Right Size of The Wetsuit
You can buy the best wetsuit on the market, but without choosing the right size it will be much worse then cheaper one but better matched! Well-chosen wetsuit must fit tightly to the body, but it should not hinder it. There should be no gaps in it as these areas will remain filled with cold water. To provide heat, the wetsuit needs to have tight contact with our skin. The best current wetsuits are made of extremely flexible materials, which despite the fact that they fit well to the body, provide incredible freedom of movement.
When buying your new wetsuit it is always advisable to try it on personally. If you are buying on the Internet, you should very carefully check the size chart suggested by the wetsuits manufacturer.
Like any dress, wetsuits are sewn in separate cuts for men and women. There is no such thing like a universal wetsuit. So it is worth to check out for whom it was made. Another important thing in the wetsuits construction is the way in which the zipper is sewn. You can find:
- Back zip - the wetsuit is easy to put on, but has lesser freedom of movement and inferior thermal qualities
- Chest (Front) zip - the wetsuit is more difficult to put on, but is way more flexible and noticeably warmer.
A few years ago any good wetsuit had to have a full rubber coat on the external side. It provided good protection against the wind chill but greatly limited the flexibility of the wetsuit. Recent huge progress in materials has allowed producers to limit the rubber elements to parts of chest and back. All the rest is made of jersey-like material. Its magic comes from special inner coats build into the neoprene structure. Thanks to them the wetsuit can not only perfectly warm your body, but also provide superior flexibility. Another reason why the rubbered wetsuits are losing popularity is their high sensitivity to damage. You can make a hole in the rubber even with a fingernail, if you're not careful enough.
How To Care For Your Wetsuit
If you want your wetsuit to serve you for many seasons, you need to learn some special treatment. Here are few practical tips:
- Do not dry your wetsuit it in the sun - UV rays destroy the structure of neoprene.
- Do not hang your wetsuit on a hanger for a long time - a burden badly affects the foam seams.
- Rinse your wetsuit after each swim only with cold water - hot water can damage the bonding stitches.
- Do not throw a wet wetsuit on the floor, hoping that it will dry itself - sooner we get an odor than full drying.
- The best way to dry a wetsuit is to sling it through a thicker rope or a rod.
- Avoid contact with sharp objects.
- Do not scrub your knees on the board’s deck.
The End Note
Should you have any more questions or need further consultancy, don't hesitate to contact us at our Customer Care section.
EASY / SURF Team