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How Should a Wetsuit Fit?

   July 29th, 2020   Posted In: Articles  

How Should a Wetsuit Fit?

If you are a first-time wetsuit buyer, figuring out how a wetsuit should fit and what size to choose can be difficult. The design and fabric of a wetsuit are so different from normal clothing that it is often hard to tell if it is fitting the way it is supposed to. Sometimes you may think you have the right fit, but as soon as you get into the water you discover it is a little loose.

How Should a Wetsuit Fit?

So, that being said, how is a wetsuit supposed to fit? A wetsuit should fit like a second skin, it should not be too loose or too tight. Like Cinderella’s glass slipper, it must fit just right. When a wetsuit is too tight it can feel like you are being suffocated or squeezed into a sausage casing. If a wetsuit is too loose it can feel as though you are being weighed down and inhibit your performance.

how should a wetsuit fitThe Importance of a Wetsuit Fit

The main purpose of a wetsuit is to keep you warm and comfortable in the water. In order to keep you warm, a wetsuit traps water between your skin and the inside layer of the fabric. Your own body heat warms up the trapped layer of water and keeps you at a comfortable temperature.

If your wetsuit fits too tightly the essential water layer will not be able to flow into your wetsuit and you won’t be able to get warm. If your wetsuit is too loose, the water layer will be constantly flowing in and out/the suit will get flushed with water which will prevent your body from being able to warm up the water.

Wetsuit Sizes

When buying a wetsuit for the first time it is important to note that wetsuit sizes are not the same as normal clothing sizes. The best way to ensure you are choosing the right size is to look at the size charts. Size charts will give you an accurate estimation of which wetsuit size is right for you. You may need to size down or size up depending on how the suit fits, but it will give you a good starting point. *An important thing to remember is when looking at a wetsuit size chart, always go off of the chest measurement first (and no, this does not mean your bra size), followed by your height and weight.

While this can give you a great starting point, make sure you are taking your body type into consideration. Do you have a longer torso and shorter legs? Long legs and a short torso? These factors can influence how the wetsuit fits. As a woman, correct sizing can be difficult, but don’t be afraid to try out multiple sizes to find the right one. If you are still having difficulty you could even try a men’s wetsuit.

Getting the Right Fit

When trying on wetsuits for the first time it can be overwhelming figuring out if the fit is right or not. Here are a few tips to make sure you have the right size.

It should be tight, but it should not cut off your circulation or restrict your range of motion. A Wetsuit should fit similarly to compression shorts – snug with a little pressure. It may feel weird at first to have such a tight-fitting garment, but it will keep you warm and buoyant.

When you are putting on a wetsuit it should take you a few minutes to get it on. Because a wetsuit fits tightly, it can take a little while to put it on, but that means it is fitting properly. It is similar to when you get out of the shower and are putting on tight jeans. You know the jeans fit, but it can take a while to get them on. However, you should not feel uncomfortable once it is on. And you should not have a difficult time getting your arms through the holes. If it feels uncomfortable while it is on, then it is too tight.

If the arms and legs are a little long (or short) that’s ok. More often than not, manufacturers will create the wetsuit with the arms and legs extra long. That way you can trim them to your desired length. The most important aspect of your wetsuit fit is the torso. It needs to be tight enough to hold the water in, but not so tight that you can’t breathe.

The collar area is important. If your collar area is too tight it can restrict your breathing; if it is too loose then it can cause drag while you are swimming.

Make sure that your crotch and butt area are not too loose. Your wetsuit should not billow, bubble, fold, or fill with too much water in these areas. Try to get a wetsuit that doesn’t prevent your range of motion while also remaining snug in those areas.

Final Thoughts

To sum it all up: A properly fitted wetsuit will keep you warm and comfortable and should fit like a second skin, but it should not be uncomfortable to wear. If your suit is too loose (gapping or folds) it can decrease your performance and fail to keep you warm. If your suit is too tight it won’t be able to keep you warm and you can feel like you are suffocating. Make sure you are finding the right suit by checking sizing guides and paying attention to the fit in key areas of the suit!

Need help with sizing? Contact us today and we’ll get you suited up properly!

Hannah lives in Virginia Beach with her two cats and her fiance. She loves to read, write, and binge watches YouTube videos. Her favorite hobbies are tending to her overgrown houseplants and traveling. To contact Hannah please email hannahb2713@gmail.com.

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