Choosing the Right Wetsuit for Watersports

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Ever struggled to pick the perfect wetsuit for your watersport adventures? You’re not alone, many enthusiasts grapple with making the right choice. This blog post will guide you through the essential factors such as thickness, temperature ratings, styles and size to consider when buying a wetsuit.

Let’s dive in and find that sweet suit that transforms your water sports experience!

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right wetsuit is important for enjoying watersports. Consider factors like thickness based on water temperature, size and fit, entry system, seams and stitching, lining options, and necessary accessories.
  • Wetsuit thickness should match the water’s warmth to keep you comfortable. Use a chart to determine the right thickness for different weather conditions.
  • Find the perfect fit by consulting a size guide and trying on wetsuits. Make sure it hugs your body snugly but doesn’t restrict movement or cause discomfort.
  • Different wetsuit entry systems include back zip, chest zip, and zipless. Choose what suits your needs for convenience and comfort.
  • Look for glued and blind – stitched seams for better water resistance in a wetsuit. Reinforced stress points can improve durability during intense activities.
  • Different linings provide insulation and warmth. Consider neoprene or thermal linings depending on the water temperature.
  • Accessories like gloves, boots, and hoods can enhance your wetsuit experience by keeping you warm and protected from sharp objects in the water.
  • The right wetsuit thickness depends on activity level as well as the temperature of the water. Thinner suits allow more mobility while thicker ones provide better insulation.
  • There are different types of wetsuits available such as full suits for maximum coverage, shorty suits/springsuits for more freedom of movement in warmer conditions, long john/jane suits that offer excellent lower body coverage with arm flexibility; tops/bottoms that offer versatility; accessories like gloves, boots,and hoods add extra protection during watersports activities.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Wetsuit

When choosing a wetsuit, it is important to consider factors such as thickness based on water temperature, size and fit, type of entry system, seams and stitching, lining options, and any necessary accessories.

Thickness based on water temperature

The right wetsuit must match the water’s warmth. Cold water needs a thicker suit. If you get cold in your suit, you won’t have fun. The local weather and surf spot can help decide the best choice.

Use a chart to guide your pick. It shows how thick the suit should be for each type of weather. Pick carefully so you stay warm and happy in the water!

Size and fit

Finding the right size and fit is crucial when choosing a wetsuit for your watersports adventures. You want to make sure it’s comfortable and allows for freedom of movement. Don’t just guess your size; consult a wetsuit size guide to ensure the perfect fit.

Keep in mind that different brands may have slightly different sizing, so always double-check their specific guidelines. When trying on a wetsuit, make sure it hugs your body snugly but not too tight that it restricts your movements or causes discomfort.

Remember, an ill-fitting wetsuit will let water seep in, which can make you feel cold and affect your performance in the water. So take the time to find the right size and fit before diving into your next watersports adventure!

Type of wetsuit entry system

Wetsuits have different entry systems to make it easy for you to put them on and take them off. The most common types are back zip, chest zip, and zipless. Back zips have a zipper running down the back of the wetsuit, making it easy to get in and out but sometimes allow water to enter through the zipper.

Chest zips have a zipper across the chest area, providing better insulation and less chance of water seeping in. Zipless suits use stretchy neoprene material that you can slip into without any zippers.

They offer a snug fit but can be challenging to put on and take off. Choose the entry system that suits your needs and preferences for convenience and comfort while enjoying your watersports activities.

Seams and stitching

The seams and stitching of a wetsuit are crucial for its durability and performance. When choosing a wetsuit, look for glued and blind-stitched seams, which offer better water resistance compared to flatlock stitching.

Glued and blind-stitched seams prevent water from seeping through the suit, keeping you warm in the water. Additionally, reinforced stress points on the wetsuit can help extend its lifespan and ensure it holds up well during intense activities like surfing or diving.

Remember to check the quality of the stitching when buying a wetsuit to make sure it’s built to last in challenging conditions.

Lining options

The lining of a wetsuit is important because it affects your comfort and warmth in the water. There are different lining options available, such as neoprene or thermal linings. Neoprene linings provide insulation and help retain body heat, while thermal linings enhance warmth by reflecting heat back to your body.

These lining options can make a difference, especially in colder water temperatures. It’s worth considering these options when choosing a wetsuit to ensure maximum comfort and protection during your water sports activities.

Consideration for accessories

Accessories can enhance your wetsuit experience, so it’s important to consider them when choosing a wetsuit for watersports. Some common accessories for wetsuits include gloves, boots, and hoods.

Gloves protect your hands from the cold water and provide extra grip while holding onto surfboards or other equipment. Boots keep your feet warm and protected from rocks or sharp objects in the water.

Hoods cover your head and help retain body heat on chilly days. These accessories can make a big difference in comfort and performance during your water activities. So, don’t forget to think about what accessories you might need when buying a wetsuit!

Understanding Wetsuit Thickness and Temperature Ratings

To ensure optimal comfort and protection while engaging in water sports, it is crucial to understand wetsuit thickness and temperature ratings.

Importance of appropriate thickness for water temperature

Choosing the right wetsuit thickness is important to stay comfortable in the water. The thickness of a wetsuit determines how well it can keep you warm. When the water temperature is colder, you’ll need a thicker suit to provide better insulation.

On the flip side, when the water is warmer, a thinner suit will be more suitable to prevent overheating. It’s essential to consider the local surf spot and climate when selecting your wetsuit thickness.

By choosing an appropriate thickness based on water temperature, you can ensure that you stay comfortable and enjoy your watersports activities without feeling too hot or too cold.

Temperature ratings guide for wetsuits

When it comes to selecting the perfect wetsuit, it’s crucial to consider the water temperature where you’ll be participating in your water sports. To help you make the right choice, here’s a handy temperature ratings guide for wetsuits:

Water Temperature (°F) Wetsuit Thickness (mm) Wetsuit Type
Below 45 6/5/4 – 6/3 Full suit + boots, gloves, and hood
45-54 5/4 – 4/3 Full suit + boots, gloves, and hood
55-60 4/3 – 3/2 Full suit + boots
61-66 3/2 – 2/2 Full suit
67-70 2/2 – 1.5 Spring suit/Long John
Over 70 1.5 – 0.5 Neoprene top/Shorty

Keep in mind that this is a general guide and individual comfort can vary. The thickness you choose should also take into account the local surf spot and climate, as colder water requires a thicker suit. You also need to consider your activity level. For example, if you’re engaging in a high-intensity water sport, a thinner wetsuit might suffice even in colder conditions.

Activity level and thickness considerations

When choosing a wetsuit for your water sports activities, it’s important to consider both your activity level and the appropriate thickness of the suit. If you’re engaging in high-intensity activities like surfing or wakeboarding, you may want a thinner wetsuit that allows for more mobility.

On the other hand, if you’ll be diving or participating in slower-paced water activities, a thicker wetsuit will provide better insulation and warmth. Remember to also factor in the temperature of the water and climate when selecting the right thickness.

By considering your activity level and thickness needs, you can find a wetsuit that suits your specific water sports adventures.

Different Types of Wetsuits

There are various types of wetsuits to suit different water sports activities and preferences. From full suits for maximum coverage to shorty suits for warmer conditions, explore the different options available to find the perfect fit for your needs.

To learn more about each type of wetsuit and make an informed decision, keep reading.

Full wetsuits

Full wetsuits are a popular choice for water sports enthusiasts who want maximum coverage and warmth. These wetsuits cover the whole body, including the arms and legs, providing protection against cold water and wind.

They come in different thicknesses to suit various water temperatures and climates. When choosing a full wetsuit, it’s important to consider factors such as fit, material, and stitching type to ensure comfort and durability.

The article provides a comprehensive guide on selecting the right full wetsuit based on activities, preferences, and temperature ratings.

Shorty wetsuits/springsuits

Shorty wetsuits, also known as springsuits, are a great option for water sports enthusiasts who want more freedom of movement and don’t need full-body coverage. These wetsuits typically have short arms and legs, providing extra flexibility for activities like surfing or paddleboarding in warmer waters.

They offer some insulation against cooler temperatures while still allowing your body to stay comfortable during active water sports. When choosing a shorty wetsuit, consider factors such as the thickness of the neoprene material and the fit to ensure you can move freely and stay comfortable in the water.

Long john/jane wetsuits

Long john/jane wetsuits are a popular choice among water sports enthusiasts. These wetsuits have full-length legs but don’t have sleeves, making them perfect for activities where you need more freedom of movement in your arms.

They provide excellent coverage and insulation for your lower body while allowing you to easily paddle or swim. Long john/jane wetsuits are a great option for surfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding in moderate to cold water temperatures.

When choosing a long john/jane wetsuit, consider the thickness based on the water temperature and personal preference. Make sure it fits snugly without restricting your movement.

Wetsuit tops and bottoms

Wetsuit tops and bottoms are another option to consider when choosing a wetsuit for watersports. These separates offer versatility, allowing you to mix and match according to your needs.

Wetsuit tops provide additional warmth and protection for your upper body, while wetsuit bottoms cover your legs and lower body. They can be worn alone in warmer conditions or layered with other wetsuits for added insulation in colder water.

With various styles and designs available, you can select the combination that suits your preferences and provides the right amount of coverage for your chosen water activity.

Wetsuit accessories (gloves, boots, hoods)

Don’t forget about the important wetsuit accessories like gloves, boots, and hoods. These accessories can make a big difference in keeping you warm and protected while out on the water.

Gloves help to keep your hands warm and provide extra grip for activities like surfing or paddleboarding. Boots protect your feet from sharp rocks or coral, as well as insulate them from the cold water.

Hoods are especially important for colder temperatures, as they keep your head and ears warm. Remember to choose accessories that match the thickness and style of your wetsuit to ensure proper insulation and comfort during your water adventures.

Choosing the Right Wetsuit Based on Activities and Preferences

When it comes to choosing the right wetsuit for your favorite water activities, factors such as surfing, scuba diving, wakeboarding, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding should be considered.

Discover which wetsuit suits you best! Read More.


Surfing is an exhilarating watersport that requires the right wetsuit to keep you warm and comfortable in the water. When choosing a wetsuit for surfing, it’s important to consider factors such as the temperature of the water and your level of skill.

For colder water temperatures, you’ll want a thicker wetsuit to provide better insulation and keep you cozy. Beginners may prefer a full wetsuit for more coverage, while more experienced surfers might opt for a shorty or springsuit.

It’s also important to make sure your wetsuit fits properly and allows for easy movement so you can catch those waves with ease!

Scuba diving

If you’re into scuba diving, choosing the right wetsuit is crucial. The water can get pretty chilly down there, so you want to make sure your wetsuit keeps you warm and comfortable.

Look for a wetsuit with thicker material, especially if you’ll be diving in colder waters. Pay attention to the temperature chart provided in this article to find the appropriate thickness based on your dive location and climate.

Consider the fit and style of the wetsuit as well, making sure it allows for easy movement underwater. With the right wetsuit, you can enjoy your scuba diving adventures to the fullest while staying cozy beneath the waves!


Wakeboarding is an exciting watersport that combines elements of surfing, snowboarding, and water skiing. When choosing a wetsuit for wakeboarding, there are a few things to consider.

The water temperature of your desired wakeboarding spot will determine the thickness of the wetsuit you’ll need. The colder the water, the thicker the suit should be to keep you warm and protected.

It’s also important to consider your activity level while wakeboarding – if you’re planning on doing more intense tricks or spending longer periods in the water, a thicker wetsuit may be necessary.


Kayaking is a fun watersport that requires the right gear, including a suitable wetsuit. When kayaking, it’s important to consider factors such as water temperature and climate when choosing your wetsuit.

Remember that colder water will require a thicker wetsuit to keep you warm and protected. Additionally, you’ll want to focus on finding a wetsuit that allows for good flexibility and movement while paddling.

The ultimate wetsuit buying guide provided in this article will help you find the perfect wetsuit for your kayaking adventures, ensuring that you stay comfortable and enjoy your time on the water.

Stand-up paddleboarding

Stand-up paddleboarding is a popular watersport that involves standing on a large board and using a long paddle to navigate through the water. When choosing a wetsuit for stand-up paddleboarding, it’s important to consider the water temperature and your personal preferences.

If you’re paddling in colder conditions, you’ll want to opt for a thicker wetsuit to keep you warm. On the other hand, if you’re paddling in warmer waters or during summer months, a thinner wetsuit or even just board shorts might be sufficient.

It’s also essential to choose a wetsuit that fits well and allows for freedom of movement as you paddle. By considering these factors, you can select the right wetsuit for an enjoyable stand-up paddleboarding experience.

Tips for Proper Care and Maintenance of Wetsuits

Proper care and maintenance of your wetsuit is essential for its longevity. From washing and drying to storing and patching, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn how to keep your wetsuit in top condition for endless watersports adventures!

Washing and drying

To keep your wetsuit clean and in good condition, follow these simple washing and drying tips:

  • Rinse your wetsuit with fresh water after each use to remove salt, sand, and other debris.
  • Use a wetsuit cleaner or mild detergent to wash your wetsuit. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals.
  • Gently scrub any stubborn stains or spots on the wetsuit.
  • Rinse the wetsuit thoroughly after washing to remove any soap residue.
  • Hang your wetsuit to dry in a shaded area or out of direct sunlight. Avoid drying it on hot surfaces or using a dryer as excessive heat can damage the material.
  • Turn the wetsuit inside out while drying to allow both sides to dry evenly.
  • Ensure that the wetsuit is completely dry before storing it to prevent mold and mildew growth.
  • Store the wetsuit flat or hanging on a wide hanger in a cool and dry place.

Storage tips

Here are some storage tips for your wetsuit:

  1. Rinse your wetsuit with fresh water after each use to remove any salt, sand, or dirt.
  2. Hang your wetsuit in a shaded area to dry completely, avoiding direct sunlight which can damage the material.
  3. Store your wetsuit in a cool and dry place to prevent it from becoming moldy or developing a strong odor.
  4. Avoid folding or creasing your wetsuit as this can cause permanent wrinkles and damage the neoprene material.
  5. Consider using a wetsuit hanger or laying it flat when storing to maintain its shape and integrity.
  6. If you need to pack your wetsuit for travel, roll it up instead of folding it to minimize stress on the seams.
  7. Keep sharp objects away from your wetsuit to avoid puncturing or tearing the neoprene fabric.

Repairing and patching

Repairing and patching your wetsuit is important to keep it in good condition. Here are some tips:

  1. Check for any tears or holes in your wetsuit.
  2. Use neoprene glue to repair small tears or holes.
  3. For larger damage, use a patch made of the same material as your wetsuit.
  4. Apply the glue or patch following the instructions carefully.
  5. Allow the glue or patch to dry completely before using your wetsuit again.
  6. Regularly inspect your wetsuit for any signs of wear and tear.
  7. Address any repairs promptly to prevent further damage.
  8. Remember to store your wetsuit properly to avoid unnecessary damage.
  9. Consider using a wetsuit repair kit for easy and convenient repairs.
  10. If you’re unsure about how to repair your wetsuit, seek professional help from a dive shop or wetsuit manufacturer.

Frequency of replacement

To keep your wetsuit in good condition, it’s important to know when to replace it. Over time, wetsuits can wear out and lose their effectiveness. The frequency of replacement depends on how often you use your wetsuit and how well you take care of it.

If you’re a frequent water sports enthusiast and use your wetsuit regularly, you may need to replace it every 1-3 years. However, if you only use your wetsuit occasionally, it could last longer.

It’s also important to pay attention to signs of wear and tear such as loose seams or holes. When these issues arise, it’s time for a new wetsuit to ensure maximum comfort and protection in the water.

Recommended cleaning products

To keep your wetsuit clean and fresh, here are some recommended cleaning products:

  1. Wetsuit shampoo: Use a specialized wetsuit shampoo to clean your wetsuit after each use. It will remove salt, chlorine, and bacteria without damaging the neoprene material.
  2. Mild soap: If you don’t have wetsuit shampoo, you can use a mild soap like baby shampoo or gentle body wash. Mix it with water and gently scrub your wetsuit to remove dirt and grime.
  3. Vinegar: A mixture of vinegar and water can help eliminate odor from your wetsuit. Fill a tub with water, add a cup of white vinegar, and let your suit soak for about 15 minutes before rinsing it thoroughly.
  4. Anti-bacterial spray: After cleaning and drying your wetsuit, use an anti-bacterial spray specifically designed for neoprene to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
  5. Avoid harsh cleaners: Do not use bleach or harsh chemicals on your wetsuit as they can damage the neoprene material and shorten its lifespan.


In conclusion, choosing the right wetsuit for your watersports activities is crucial for comfort and safety. By considering factors such as water temperature, fit, entry system, seams, lining options, and accessories, you can make an informed decision when buying a wetsuit.

It’s important to select the appropriate thickness based on the water temperature of your surf spot or climate. Use the provided chart as a guide to determine which wetsuit style and thickness is best for you.

Remember to care for your wetsuit properly by washing it after use, storing it correctly, and repairing any damage. With the right wetsuit in hand, you can enjoy your favorite water activities with ease and confidence!


1. How do I choose the right wetsuit size for watersports?

To choose the right wetsuit size, measure your height and weight, then refer to the manufacturer’s sizing chart for guidance.

2. What thickness of wetsuit is suitable for different water temperatures?

Thicker wetsuits provide better insulation in colder water, while thinner wetsuits are suitable for warmer water. Generally, a 3mm to 5mm thick suit is ideal for cool waters, and a 2mm suit works well in warm conditions.

3. Can I use the same wetsuit for different watersports activities?

Yes, you can use a versatile wetsuit designed for multiple watersports activities like surfing, diving or paddleboarding.

4. Are there any specific features to consider when choosing a wetsuit?

When choosing a wetsuit, consider features such as zip type (back or chest), neoprene stretch and quality, seam construction (sealed or stitched), and extra padding or reinforcement in high wear areas like knees or elbows.

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