There is a lot to consider when buying a wetsuit. It can be especially daunting if you're purchasing your first suit or one for your children.
Here we have laid out all the information you will need to make the perfect purchase when buying a wetsuit online.
On this page, you will find an array of videos demonstrating everything from how a wetsuit should fit to wetsuit care! We will also be explaining how wetsuits work and offer guidance on choosing the right wetsuit thickness.
For more information and advice about wetsuits, you can contact a member of our team here, at Wetsuit Centre! We also regularly update our blog, which will give you an insight into the UK's best surf spots and much more!
Wetsuit Centre Video Demonstration
To help you purchase the perfect wetsuit, we have created a number of videos. If you still require more information, feel free to contact a member of our team!
How a Wetsuit Should Fit
This video will explore how you should put a chest zip and back zip wetsuit on with our easy-to-follow video demonstration. This Wetsuit Centre video will explain the following:
• How to put on a chest zip wetsuit
• How to put on a back zip wetsuit
• Getting in and out of your suit
• Wetsuit zip entry
• How a wetsuit should fit
Buying your first Wetsuit
If you’re not already familiar with the tech and terminology of wetsuits, purchasing your first one can be daunting - which is why we have created this helpful video to explain the following:
• Wetsuit neoprene thickness
• Pricing of different wetsuit models
• Different types of seams
• Wetsuit zip entry
Fitting Your Wetsuit
Here we explore how a wetsuit works and why your suit needs to fit perfectly. This Wetsuit Centre video will distinguish the difference between a wetsuit that fits perfectly and a wetsuit that doesn’t but may appear to.
How to Care For a Wetsuit
Like everything else, wetsuits require some care and consideration.
A common warming technique used by surfers is to urinate in their wetsuit, even without using this technique you will still need to wash off the suit because of the saltwater. In this video, we will explore the following:
• How to look after and care for your wetsuit
A Tour of Our Showroom
Since 1999, Wetsuit Centre has been selling wetsuits, surfboards and other forms of surf equipment. Take a tour of our warehouse and witness our extensive range we have to offer.
We hope these video guides have offered you some guidance into purchasing your wetsuit and what care will be needed to maintain a clean suit and prolong its lifespan.
If you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team!
How Does a Wetsuit Work
Wetsuits keep you warm by acting as a second skin. The wetsuit catches a thin layer of water between your skin and the neoprene, which is then warmed up by your body heat.
It’s essential that the wetsuit fits properly, otherwise cold water will constantly flush the warm water out.
The neoprene in the wetsuit acts as an insulation against the surrounding environment. The thicker the neoprene, the more effective the insulation will be. The neoprene works by containing loads of small air bubbles that provide insulation.
Alongside the advancement of wetsuit technology, neoprene has evolved in its properties to continually offer surfers more insulation and flexibility.
Glued and Blindstitched
Glued and blindstitched, which is also referred to as GBS, is where the material of the wetsuit joins together by being glued and stitched. This process forms a bond that reduces water penetration.
You can find GBS in winter wetsuits that are 5mm thick. The reduction of cold water entering the suit is crucial during the winter season.
Some summer wetsuits, which are around 3mm thick, will have a flatlock construction; this is where the material overlaps and is double stitched.
A flatlock construction can allow some water to pass through the seams, it is used for water temperatures that are generally more tolerable and warmer.
Thermal material is designed to wick water away from the body and act in the same way as thermal underwear.
Thermal material is often soft and is generally fitted in areas such as the chest and kidneys to help maintain warmth in key areas and support blood flow. By insulating these key areas, warm blood can be pumped around the body and keep you warmer.
Thermal lining is less flexible than neoprene, so it may reduce flexibility in the areas where it is added.
Liquid seams are designed to further minimize the possibility of water entering the suit. The process involves the seams being GBS before adding the taping to one or both sides of the seams, making the seal impenetrable by water.
The advancement of technology has allowed these seams to continuously reduce in thickness and width to promote an increased amount of flexibility, which is still advancing to this day.
The more flexible a wetsuit is, the better it will feel, fit and keep you warmer, which is why you should consider a liquid seal when purchasing a wetsuit.
Which Wetsuit Thickness Should I Buy?
The advancement in wetsuit technology means participating in cold water sports is more accessible for longer periods of time. It is now possible for water sports to be continued and enjoyed during cold winter seasons. However, to do this you will require a good quality wetsuit that fits perfectly.
Winter wetsuits are made up of a thicker neoprene in comparison to summer suits. The thicker the neoprene, the more effective its insulation properties are.
The neoprene works by trapping a thin layer of water between the material and the wearer's body. This thin layer of water will conduct the heat produced from the body and provide elongated warmth for the wearer.
If you wore a summer suit in the winter, you would become extremely cold, which can entail painful cramps within your muscles. This is because the neoprene is too thin to maintain warm water inside the wetsuit effectively.
Ensure that the wetsuit fits is just as important as the thickness of the suit itself. If the wetsuit is too baggy, excess water will sit inside the suit and your body temperature will struggle to warm the additional water.
To prevent this, you should only purchase a wetsuit if it fits like a second skin while also allowing you to move freely without any pinching or tightness.
Temperatures & Wetsuits
Winter wetsuits consist of thicker neoprene of 4mm, 5mm and 6mm in thickness. The temperature of the water will generally dictate the thickness of wetsuit you should use. Below you will find a guide that will help you to determine the appropriate thickness you should purchase.
As the image above demonstrates, the colder the water temperature is, the thicker the wetsuit will need to be. Once the temperature drops below 9C, you will need to wear a wetsuit hood, gloves or boots. Naturally, this will also depend on your cold threshold.
The wetsuit hood and gloves will help to insulate their particular areas of the body, preventing heat from escaping.
The wetsuit hood will also prevent headaches related to the cold when submerged underwater, such as brain freezes.
The wetsuit gloves are used to stop the cold water from physically hurting your hands and will maintain some warmth.
Choosing the right wetsuit thickness for you
Choosing a winter wetsuit will not only rely on the temperature alone, it will also depend on your cold threshold. If you find that you are still cold after wearing a wetsuit, you might want to consider opting for a thermal rash vest to go underneath the wetsuit.
A thermal rash vest is normally made from a material called Polypro. The material is essential, a close-knit fleece that provides an extra layer of insulation.
We hope this article has helped you with purchasing the perfect wetsuit. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact our team, who will be more than happy to help.