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How to Get Out of a Wetsuit?

   June 23rd, 2020   Posted In: How-To  

How to Get Out of a Wetsuit?

You’ve done your research. You’ve learned about style, fit, and material, and now you’ve finally purchased your first wetsuit. You’re ready to zip up and take your surf skin on the waves and test out your new gear. But, sliding in and out of your second skin isn’t quite as easy as surf movies make it appear, and it might take some practice to get used to it. Here are a few tips for how to get out of your wetsuit. And, how to get in it for that matter.

A Wetsuit Refresher

Before diving into how to get out of a wetsuit, it’s important to refresh yourself on how it works. And, if you’re a first-timer, you may not know the ins and outs of your new gear. Your wetsuit is there to protect you from the elements when you’re out on the water. The material protects you from the sun and regulates your body temperature, especially when surfing in cooler waters. They’re made with neoprene, which is a type of rubber that provides excellent thermal regulation and is incredibly durable for saltwater.

What to Look for in Wetsuit Fit

When picking out a wetsuit, it’s not only about style and material, but also fit. The fit of the wetsuit is just as, if not more important. This will help properly maintain adequate warmth in the water and ensure that you’re not hindered by loose fabric or restrictive, tight fit. The suit should be snug in order to trap the water against your skin to heat the water. The snug fit helps to avoid the circulation of cool water to move between the suit, cooling you down. If the suit is too loose, your body will get too cold.

Be sure that you don’t have too much room in your midsection, crotch, knees or shoulders so there isn’t any sag when you’re swimming. That being said, you should still have a full range of motion in order to swim properly. Try lifting your arms over your head and waving them in circles and bend your knees to a full squat to test the motion.

So, How Do You Put on a Wetsuit?

Get ready for a workout when putting on a wetsuit since it can sometimes be a challenge!

First, while there aren’t any rules to what you can wear under a wetsuit, it’s best to avoid bulky clothing, like larger boardshorts, that can bunch up and be uncomfortable. Some people wear bathing suits under their wetsuits, and some don’t wear anything at all. It’s really up to you. The first step to putting the wetsuit on is to get your feet through the wetsuit and completely outside. Some say it helps to put a plastic bag over the foot to avoid nails catching on the neoprene and possibly causing tears. You can also wear a pair of WORN socks to help you slide in. Either way, always point your toes to avoid tearing the suit with your toenails.

Next, start pulling the wetsuit up your legs and up to your waist. Be careful not to use your fingernails, especially if your suit has smooth skin neoprene since it can tear more easily. Continue to work the wetsuit up until the knee pads are properly lined up at your knees. Pull, pull, pull the wetsuit up to your chest and slide in one arm at a time, using the other arm to help pull the suit up over your shoulder. Again, remember to avoid snagging the material with your fingernails. If your suit has a zip up the chest or back, pull the tab and secure the zipper, Velcro and whatever other pieces are secure your suit.

How to Get Out of a Wetsuit

When you get out of the water, keep in mind the suit will have been busy trapping water against your skin. When you step out into the open air, the suit will likely be tight and somewhat suctioned onto your skin. So, always take it slow when you’re taking off your wetsuit to avoid damaging your material.

Start, of course, with unzipping the wetsuit either from your chest or back. Use one arm to slide the wetsuit off the opposite shoulder and down the arm. Again, watch the fingernails! Once the first arm is free, use that arm to roll the other side down. Then, once both arms are free, roll the wetsuit down your chest to your waist, minding those nails and avoiding pulling too hard in any one spot. Think of peeling a banana as the suit releases from your skin. Since the suit will have been fitting tightly against your skin, and any garments underneath, be sure that your bathing suits don’t peel off with it.

Once the wetsuit is peeled down to your waist, continue pulling it down the body, taking the wetsuit off one leg first. Then, follow with the other leg. One tip is to use your hands like a shoehorn under your heel to slide the wetsuit off your foot. As you would when putting on the suit, point the toes to avoid ripping any fabric with toenails.

As tough as wetsuits are in the water, salt and sun, neoprene is still a pretty sensitive fabric to tears, so be gentle with your wetsuit. Putting your second skin on and taking it off with care will help it last and help you make the most out of your surf gear.

Here’s a quick video on how to take off a suit!

As a proud born-and-bred Miamian, Paige can’t imagine a life away from the ocean. She’s a travel, food and lifestyle writer hell-bent on uncovering new, under-the-radar destinations, sights, sips, and bites. When she's not busy writing, Paige can most likely be found throwing together a new recipe, running around Downtown Miami, trying out a new restaurant (most likely sushi), or heading to the beach with her black lab, Remi.

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