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Does a Wetsuit Help in Cold Water?

   December 5th, 2017   Posted In: Articles  

Real Talk: Does a Wetsuit Help in Cold Water?

Wetsuits are designed to use the water, along with the body’s temperature, to keep you warm while you swim, dive or compete in water sports. They work extremely well as long as the correct thickness and type of suit gets utilized for the water’s temperature. With a few considerations, you can find a suit that helps tremendously in any cold water you experience. So, how does a wetsuit help in cold water? Read on to find out more!


The thickness of the suit varies from one to the next. Measured in millimeters, the thicker the wetsuit is, the colder temperatures it allows you to handle. A 7mm suit can withstand temperatures around 38 degrees. Have a suit that is less than 2mm, and you can only go into water around 70 degrees or better.


The cut of the suit also plays a part in how warm you stay while in the water. A springsuit works great during the summer months when the water has been warmed by the sun. The minimal coverage offered by the sleeveless, short leg wetsuit is ideal for warm water conditions. Surfers often enjoy this style because it allows them the flexibility to move and surf without a fullsuit hindering their performance. When you’re competing in cold, frigid waters, a fullsuit would be the best option as it keeps the entire body covered and safe from the effects of the environment.


Wetsuits are not all you need when the water temperatures plummet. Certain accessories should get paired with your suit to ensure an all-over warmth and comfort. You may want to invest in a pair of swim socks or boots that will keep your feet warm as well. Gloves come in handy too. You can also get a cap or hood to ensure your head remains warm and you don’t get sunburn around your ears.


The sport being played also determines the type of suit you need. If you’re surfing, sitting on top of your board, a thinner suit can often be worn. If you’re diving, you will consistently be exposed to colder temperatures below the surface. A SCUBA fullsuit would be the best choice. For example, surfing in 58 degree water would require a 4/3mm wetsuit. Scuba diving in the same water requires a 7mm fullsuit that could withstand the colder temperatures while fully submerged.

With the right thickness, cut and accessories designed for the sport or activity you’re doing, you will stay as warm as possible no matter how cold the water. Go in without a suit and you will quickly see the difference a wetsuit makes for keeping your temperature regulated while you enjoy your time playing or competing under the surface. For additional help, check out the water temperature chart below!

Lauren (LoLo) has been turning words into blog posts for Wetsuit Wearhouse since 2014. She learned to surf for the first time ever in Costa Rica but she gravitates more towards SUP. When she's not scouring the web for travel deals, you can find her either hiking, running, gardening, tending to her animals, or reading a good book outside on a beautiful day.

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