Wetsuits Part Two: Considerations

The choice of what wetsuit to buy depends on several factors, including the type of water activity you’ll be engaging in, the water temperature, your budget, and your personal preferences. Here are some steps to help you make an informed decision.

What Wetsuit to Buy

  • Determine Your Activity and Water Temperature: Different water activities require different wetsuit styles and thicknesses. If you’re primarily surfing, diving, swimming, or engaging in other water sports, consider the temperature of the water you’ll be in. Colder water requires a thicker wetsuit for better insulation.
  • Choose the Right Thickness: Wetsuit thickness is crucial for staying warm. Here’s a general guideline:
    • Warm Water (above 70°F or 21°C): A 2mm wetsuit or even a shorty wetsuit might suffice.
    • Moderate Water (60-70°F or 15-21°C): A 3/2mm wetsuit is commonly used.
    • Cool Water (50-60°F or 10-15°C): A 4/3mm wetsuit might be appropriate.
    • Cold Water (below 50°F or 10°C): Consider a 5/4/3mm wetsuit with added insulation.
  • Consider Brand and Quality: Established brands often offer higher-quality wetsuits with better construction, materials, and durability. Research brands known for their wetsuits, read reviews, and consider investing in a reputable brand for a longer-lasting product.
  • Fit: Proper fit is crucial for a wetsuit’s effectiveness. A wetsuit that is too loose will allow water to flush in and out, reducing its insulation capabilities. A snug fit ensures the warm water layer is trapped against your body. Refer to size charts provided by manufacturers and, if possible, try the wetsuit on before purchasing.
  • Seams and Construction: Look for wetsuits with sealed, glued, and blindstitched seams or taped seams. These constructions prevent water from entering through the seams, improving warmth and comfort.
  • Features: Depending on your needs, consider additional features like back or front zippers, integrated hoods, knee pads, and reinforced areas for durability.
  • Budget: Wetsuits come in a wide price range. While higher-priced models often offer better quality, you can still find reliable wetsuits within a reasonable budget. Balance quality, features, and your budget to find the best option for you.
  • Try Before You Buy: If possible, visit a local surf shop or outdoor gear store to try on different wetsuits and get advice from the staff. They can help you find the right fit and provide recommendations based on your needs.
  • Online Reviews and Recommendations: Research online reviews and recommendations from fellow water sports enthusiasts. These insights can help you learn from others’ experiences with specific wetsuit models.
  • Rent or Borrow: If you’re unsure about committing to a specific wetsuit, consider renting one for your first few outings. This will allow you to gauge its comfort and effectiveness before making a purchase.

Ultimately, the best wetsuit for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider the factors mentioned above, and don’t hesitate to seek advice from experienced water enthusiasts or professionals in the field. Learn more at sandiegosurfingschool.com