How Tight Should a Wetsuit Be?
So, How Tight Should a Wetsuit Be?
It’s the question that many new divers and surfers struggle with every day: How tight should a wetsuit be? Unfortunately, there is no standard answer to this question. While the aim is to maintain a thin layer of water next to the body, it can also depend on personal preference.
Assess the Tightness of Your Wetsuit
There’s a fine line between tightness and restricted movement when selecting a wetsuit. If you’re trying one on for the first time, it’s important to remember that the wetsuit should feel tight and a little unusual. If it doesn’t, it’s probably not tight enough.
However, you still need to be mobile and agile, so your wetsuit needs to allow free movement in all your joints and limbs. Think of this in terms of a compression bandage — it needs to be tight, but it also needs to allow free movement.
If the wetsuit clings to your body and doesn’t have air pockets or folds, it’s probably suitable for use in the ocean. But it’s important that you move around in it to ensure it allows you to move freely. There is slight possibility for going tighter or looser with your wetsuit — as long as it doesn’t hinder your mobility and clings to every area of your body.
Check the Crotch Area
A good wetsuit shouldn’t leave too much room in the crotch area. When you try one on, make sure it is pulled up between the legs. Take your time to position the wetsuit properly before you decide to buy it or not.
Check the Arms and Legs
Some wetsuits are available with extra-long arms and legs, but this is usually a matter of personal preference. Depending on the manufacturer, you may be given instructions on how to trim the arms and legs — but the priority is to ensure that the neoprene fabric clings to your limbs.
Check the Back
One of the areas many wetsuit novices forget about is the back. A wetsuit that does not fit right can leave folds and air bubbles in the lower back area, which can cause drag and make you feel uncomfortable. As with all the areas of a good wetsuit, the fabric covering your lower back should cling to your skin.
It’s important to remember that different wetsuit brands offer slightly different fits. Wetsuit Wearhouse provides detailed wetsuit size charts that have been tweaked by experts — giving you a more accurate idea of how a wetsuit will fit.