A wetsuit is a suit that you see all these people wearing when they surf down the beaches. No, they’re not the same as a swimsuit, you see. Wetsuits are made to insulate your body against the cold waters due to the nature of their purpose being to be used in water sports and other rough water conditions.
Made from Neoprene technology, an elastic polymer that is a widely used commercial alternative to rubber, these are made in a way so as to guard your body heat and trap it within so that you don’t get hypothermia and accidentally turn into an icicle! Really, hypothermia is no joke, as due to this your body temperature may suddenly drop at alarming rates.
Not to worry though, this is exactly why these suits exist! They are to fit you much like a bodysuit would; not too tight or it’ll restrain your movement, not too loose or it’ll retain too much water and not maintain your body heat properly, but just right, snug as a bug and the Vissla North Seas wetsuits fit right over your body like a second skin, if you will.
Now when it comes to choosing the right wetsuit for you, it can be quite daunting, to say the least.
How do I pick a design? I want to look … acceptable of course.
Even if it seems so fun to pick the color and print you’d like, or it’s the trending piece right now, there are quite a few things to consider that you should look at in terms of functionality that just might be the best thing you ever did to yourself. This means taking a look at things like the stitch pattern, zip positioning, and so on. When it comes to stitching there are quite a few out there for you to choose from, ranging from blind stitched to overlock stitch, seam tape, and flat stitch/ flatlock.
If you’re looking at using these under warm water conditions, flat and overlock would be best suited since they actually let the water in through the seams. Blindstitched is recommended highly for colder water conditions because the glued seams and then the stitching on top of that make it near impossible for water to get through keeping you warm and snug as a bug.
There are so many thicknesses and materials to choose from!
Now like I mentioned before, most wetsuits are made using neoprene. That’s not to say there aren’t ones that are not made from neoprene. There are, but depending on your expertise in the field I’d say stick to neoprene till you’re an experienced water sportsman/woman.
Even though most of these brands use a different specification of neoprene at large, they prefer using different terms to call their materials even if they’re almost the same.
I understand it can be hard to keep up with all the different innovations in this department with the technology constantly evolving to try and make quicker drying, more warming, less difficult wetsuits. But the key thing you need to look for here is thickness. This thickness in a wetsuit is shown on the label as two numbers separated by a ‘/’ mark followed by the ‘mm’ sign. The former digit represents the thickness of the suit in the torso, followed by the latter denoting the thickness of the shoulders, arms, and legs of the trouser area.
Do I ask for a size that’s my normal clothing size or?
Just like normal clothes these suits come in a variety of sizes from brand to brand (we all know what a hassle that is when we go shopping for normal clothes) but they usually do help you measure yourself and find the most perfect fit. If you are comfortable too, ask the shop assistants, they’re trained to help!
By now you’re hopefully a little more confident in what to look for when choosing a wetsuit. Go get that wave!