There are so many different wetsuits on the market to feast our eyes on but which ones are right for us? Here are twelve handy pointers to help you choose.
Remember that fit is everything and we recommend that you try on lots of different styles and brands before picking your perfect suit. There are loads of local surf shops to support with a great range of brands and sizes with amazing assistants to help you choose the right suit to fit you!
1. Check out our online guide where there are plenty of brands to choose from and information about each individual suit so that you know what is on the market here: Summer Wetsuit Guide
2. Decide your budget and read up on all the wetsuits in that price range.
3. Go to your favourite surf shops and ask for help on selecting three suits in your price range from different brands that fit your criteria and shape. Try on a couple of sizes as every brand differs and it may not end up being your dress size.
4. Check and compare the neoprene thickness and distribution, are you looking for a summer or slightly warmer spring? Do you want differing thickness on your arms, legs and body, for example a 4,3,2mm or a 3,2mm? Do you need to reconsider your budget for a better fit or a warmer suit if you are prone to getting cold quickly?
5. Make sure you happy with the entry mechanism, do you prefer back zips or chest zips? Which is better for your body shape?
6. Turn the wetsuits inside out and check the insulation inside. Some suits have heat retaining and water repelling linings but the labels seldom give you the thickness or coverage so check it out and make sure its what you want.
7. If you can, its always best to try the suits on. Don’t be afraid to ask the sales assistant’s opinion on the fit, or take along a fellow surfer girl who knows how it all works. These opinions could be invaluable.
8. So how do they all feel? Are they super comfy or a little too tight in places? Make sure there is a good seal around the neck, not too baggy on the lower back and not too much excess material under the arms. If there is too much extra material you could be prone to rubbing/rashes and being colder in the water. However if it is too tight you can feel uncomfortable and the warm insulation layer of water will not exist so you could get cold quicker too! Do you need to go up or down a size to check comfort?
9. Make sure you stretch up, touch your toes, twist and squat ect to test flexibility and stretch of every suit. It shouldn’t be too restrictive but it does need to be fitted to keep you warm and will feel slightly looser and more comfortable when you get in the water.
10. Are all the seals comfortably tight but not too tight? Check the neck, wrist and ankle seals, there is nothing worse than an unexpected cold flush!
11. Check the warranty and ask the retailer for feedback or previous comments on your favourite wetsuit.
12. If you are happy then get the best suit that fits you, try not to get too tempted by colour or design!