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How to buy a wetsuit

Wearing a wetsuit helps you warm up while swimming or diving, but choosing one can be overwhelming because there are so many options. Although you should always choose the wetsuit that is most comfortable for you, there are some guidelines to follow depending on what activity you are doing and the average water temperature. Before you buy a wetsuit, try it on so you can see if it fits your body tightly.


[[[[Edit]Choose a style

  1. Choose a bodysuit if you want the most warmth and protection. Bodysuits are the most common type of wetsuit and have sleeves and legs that extend down to the wrists and ankles. If you easily catch a cold while swimming, a bodysuit may be your best option. Because a bodysuit also covers most of your skin, it can protect you from injury or damage if you brush against something while underwater.[1]
    Buy a wetsuit Step 1 version 2.jpg
    • You will usually use a full bodysuit for diving and triathlons, but you can wear them for any activity.
    • Some bodysuits also have hoods to keep your head warm in cold water.
  2. Wear a sweater if you want something that is easier to wear. Shorties, also known as health suits, have sleeves and legs that end at the elbows and knees. Because there is less material, it is much easier to pull the suit on your arms and legs so that it has a tight fit.[2] They will also keep your body cool if you swim or dive in the hot water available.[3]
    Buy a Wetsuit Step 2 version 2.jpg
    • Your arms and legs will lose heat faster, so avoid using a shorty if you normally get cold while swimming.
    • Avoid wearing a shorty if you are swimming in a triathlon as the water does not move as easily over the skin and will make you slower.
  3. Try a sleeveless wetsuit for a better mobility. Regular wetsuits can limit your flexibility and make it harder for you to move your arms. Sleeveless wetsuits are cut at the shoulder and work perfectly if you swim, surf or rapids. Sleeveless wetsuits, however, do not cover your arms, so you can get colder when you wear them.[4]
    Buy a Wetsuit Step 3 version 2.jpg
    • Sleeveless wetsuits are usually cheaper than full bodysuits and shorties.

[[[[Edit]Choose the right thickness

  1. Check the average water temperatures for where you plan to swim. Search online for the water where you plan to swim and look for a temperature range. You can also ask other swimmers, divers or local water sports shops to see if they know the average temperatures. Write down the interval you find so that you do not forget it later while shopping.[5]
    Buy a Wetsuit Step 4 version 2.jpg
    • Water temperatures will also be lower as you dive deeper.
  2. Find the two thickness measurements printed on the wetsuit. Look at the sleeves or collar of the wetsuit to find two numbers separated by a line or colon. If you shop online, look for the numbers in the product description. Use the first number to determine the suit on the suit around the upper body and the second number for the arms and legs. Both of your measurements will be in millimeters.[6]
    Buy a Wetsuit Step 5 version 2.jpg
    • For example, if your wetsuit says “4: 3”, the material is 4 mm thick for the body and 3 mm thick for the arms and legs.
    • If your wetsuit only has one number printed, it is the same thickness throughout ..

      pick one 3-5 mm wetsuit if the water temperatures are.

      Choose a wetsuit that is 6 mm or thicker in water below.[7]}}

  3. Choose a wetsuit with thinner arms and legs for better flexibility. Thicker material restricts your movement, so you may not be able to stretch or lift your arms completely. Check the thickness measurement on your wetsuit and make sure the second number is smaller than the first one listed.[8]
    Buy a wetsuit step 6.jpg
    • Wetsuits with thinner materials work well if you swim or surf.
    • Your arms and legs may become slightly colder than your core.
  4. Choose a wetsuit with the same thickness all the time for more buoyancy. If your legs normally sink in the water while swimming, look for a wetsuit where the material has a uniform thickness. The added material around your arms and legs helps them to float so that the body remains flat on the surface.[9]
    Buy a wetsuit step 7.jpg
    • These wetsuits also prevent you from losing heat through your arms and legs.

[[[[Edit]Test Wetsuit Fit

  1. Check your height and weight on the brand size chart. Each brand has slightly different sizes and styles, so always look in the size chart. Look for the chart on the brand’s website or ask an employee in the store where you shop. Find your height and weight given in the chart and find the corresponding size.[10]
    Buy a wetsuit step 8.jpg
    • If you can not find a size for your height and weight combination, you can try to contact the brand directly via email or customer support to get their recommendation.[11]
  2. Put your feet through the legs of the wetsuit. Sit down when you start putting on your wetsuit so it’s easier for you to do. Unpack the wetsuit and place one of the legs inside. Move the leg through the wetsuit until your foot comes out from the end. Pull the wetsuit as high up as you can on your calf so that it fits snugly. Then put your other leg in the wetsuit.[12]
    Buy a wetsuit step 9.jpg
    • It is okay to have a regular swimsuit or diving shorts under your wetsuit.
  3. Pull up the wetsuit so that it is tight against your groin. Thread up from the bottom of the wetsuit so you can grab most of the material. Hold on to any loose material around your legs and pull it closer to your groin area. Your wetsuit should fit snugly against your legs, but not so much that it is uncomfortable. Take the suit around the hips and pull it up as high as you can so that there are no wrinkles on the legs.[13]
    Buy a wetsuit step 10.jpg
    • If your wetsuit is not tight against the skin, water can be pooled inside and make you colder and less liquid.
  4. Slide your arms into your sleeves. Put your arms at a time as it can be difficult to push them through the sleeves. When you push your hand into the sleeve, pull the wetsuit further up the arm so that the material does not converge around the wrist. Once you have your first arm through the wetsuit, put on the second sleeve.[14]
    Buy a wetsuit step 11.jpg
    • You can wear a neoprene shirt or rash protection under your wetsuit for extra warmth. It can also make it easier for you to put on your wetsuit.
  5. Pull the excess material towards the chest. Look for all the bound material on the legs, sleeves and hips of your wetsuit. Pull the wetsuit tightly against the skin so that it lies flat and has no wrinkles. Continue to move the upholstered fabric closer to the chest and shoulders so that there are no air pockets inside the wetsuit.[15]
    Buy a wetsuit step 12.jpg
    • If you can not get rid of the air pockets around your arms and legs, you may need a smaller wetsuit.
  6. Pull up your wetsuit. Most wetsuits have their zipper in the back, but you can also find them on the front or on the shoulder. Grasp the strap on the zipper and pull it up properly. Press the velcro seal over the end of the zippers so that it creates a waterproof seal and will not regret while swimming.[16]
    Buy a wetsuit step 13.jpg
    • Ask a helper to unzip your wetsuit if you have trouble reaching the zipper.
    • Placement of zippers all depends on personal preference, so choose the style that is the most practical and comfortable for you.
  7. Move your arms and legs around to ensure you have complete range of motion. Swirl your arms in large circles to see if your movement is limited or not. Then try to stay as close to the floor as you can while lifting your arms. If you have problems moving around or feel that your breathing is constricted, choose a larger wetsuit instead.[17]
    Buy a wetsuit step 14.jpg
    • Wetsuits feel a little looser when wet, so try swimming in your suit if you can.


  • The wetsuit style you choose depends on personal preferences and what feels comfortable for you.
  • If you only need a wetsuit for a few days, you can usually rent one at surf or dive shops for a daily rate.


  • If you get a wetsuit that is too big, more water can get trapped inside and make you cold.[18]

[[[[Edit]Related wikiHows

  • Take care of a wetsuit
  • Put on a wetsuit
  • Buy a used sailboat


  1. https://www.deeperblue.com/art-buying-first-scuba-wetsuit/
  2. https://www.raftingmag.com/rafting-magazine/the-gear-shed-wet-gear
  3. https://www.cleanlinesurf.com/wetsuit-guide/types-of-wetsuits/
  4. https://www.raftingmag.com/rafting-magazine/the-gear-shed-wet-gear
  5. https://www.deeperblue.com/art-buying-first-scuba-wetsuit/
  6. https://www.cleanlinesurf.com/wetsuit-guide/wetsuit-thickness/
  7. https://www.cleanlinesurf.com/wetsuit-guide/wetsuit-thickness/
  8. https://youtu.be/4M_i2Fywssg?t=200
  9. https://youtu.be/4M_i2Fywssg?t=229
  10. https://completetri.com/how-should-a-wetsuit-fit/
  11. https://youtu.be/4M_i2Fywssg?t=278
  12. https://youtu.be/ts1xs0OaUSc?t=19
  13. https://completetri.com/how-should-a-wetsuit-fit/
  14. https://youtu.be/mo66T1TIk9c?t=124
  15. https://youtu.be/mo66T1TIk9c?t=181
  16. https://www.cleanlinesurf.com/wetsuit-guide/how-to-put-on-a-wetsuit/
  17. https://youtu.be/mo66T1TIk9c?t=206
  18. https://completetri.com/how-should-a-wetsuit-fit/

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