Mens Wetsuit Sizing Guide
It can be difficult to choose a wetsuit when first starting out. Different seasons can demand different wetsuit thicknesses, which can add to the confusion of things.
This guide will help you decide which wetsuit and size will work for you. We explore how to fit the perfect suit and suggest various wetsuits that can work year-round or for specific seasons. Once you’ve worked out which size you need, you can buy wetsuits online from us here at Wetsuit Centre.
If you find that you still require more information once you have read this guide, you can also check our blog for more information, or contact a member of our team!
- Men’s Wetsuit Size Guide
- Wetsuit Fit
- Choosing a Wetsuit
- Tips for Men's Wetsuit Sizing
- Brands and Sizing
- Men’s Skin & UV Protection Size Guide
- Men’s Impact Vest Size Guide
- Men’s Wetsuit Boots Size Guide
- Men’s Wetsuit Hoods Size Guide
- Men’s Wetsuit Gloves Size Guide
- Buying from Wetsuit Centre
Men’s Wetsuit Sizing Guide
A wetsuit is essentially a second skin, it should feel tight but not be restrictive. Be sure to check areas such as under your arms, the lower back and behind the knees. For men, the suit is likely to be tighter around the arms and legs, but this is nothing to worry about as once the suit has been worn a few times it will stretch and mould to the body.
Why Does a Wetsuit Need to Be Tight?
A wetsuit works as a barrier against the uncomfortable cold by using closed cell neoprene. The closed-cell foam is made of tiny air pockets, these slow down the conduction of heat so that your body heat can be retained. To allow your wetsuit to do this it needs to fit tightly, so when choosing a wetsuit, be sure to avoid any that are loose-fitting or allow an excess of material to gather or be pinchable. Excess material will allow water to sit in between your skin and the suit, which will rapidly cool you down.
The Lower Back
As said above, a wetsuit should be tight, but not restrictive. This is especially important for areas such as your lower back, where your kidneys are situated. By retaining heat here you will support them to pump warm blood around your body.
A good rule of thumb is to check if the material on the lower back can be pinched, if the material can barely be pinched, then it indicates a good fit. A little bit of material under the arms is not the end of the world- it’s the actual body of the wetsuit that is critical.
Choosing a Wetsuit
Here are a few thoughtful considerations to make when intending to purchase a wetsuit.
Before purchasing a wetsuit, its thickness is the main factor to think about.
First, consider what time of year you will be using the wetsuit. Wetsuits are available in an array of thicknesses to accommodate different water temperatures.
The thickness of the wetsuit is measured in millimetres in a leg/body-to-arm ratio. For example, a 3:2 means the suit's neoprene is 3mm on the body and legs, and on the arms, the suit's neoprene will be 2mm.
The thickness of the suit will depend on the time of year you like to hit the sea and how much you can tolerate the cold. Here is a rough example that can guide you if you are unsure, however, this is dependant on your cold threshold:
• At 22 Celsius or higher you won’t require a wetsuit, boardies will suffice.
• At 19 Celsius we would recommend a 2mm wetsuit.
• At 15 Celsius we would recommend a 3mm wetsuit.
• At 12 Celsius we would recommend a 4mm wetsuit and potentially a pair of boots.
• At 9 Celsius we would recommend a 5mm wetsuit, a pair of boots and potentially a hood and some gloves.
• At 6 Celsius and below we would recommend a 6mm wetsuit, a hood and a pair of boots and gloves.
Your budget will influence which wetsuit you choose. Whether you have one or not, the price of wetsuits will always vary.
The winter months aren’t one to stop die-hard surfers hitting the water. The beach in winter is often reserved just for surfers with some of the best surfs.
For those who are looking for a more affordable winter wetsuit option, we would recommend the Rip Curl Freelite 4:3. It can be used from April to December in UK waters. It has a strategic panel, which thanks to the super stretch neoprene, you will be able to freely move in the water without restriction.
As your surfing abilities progress you might decide to go for the Mystic Star 5:3. The wetsuit is excellent at keeping you warm while also allowing manoeuvrability. It also has a chest zip which doesn’t just allow for easy entry but also ensures a much warmer surf.
If you’re looking for a summer suit at an affordable price you might want to start with one of our best sellers; C Skins element 3:2. It offers a brilliant combination of performance technology at a great value. It incorporates Ultra-Stretch C-Flex neoprene as well as hard-wearing Duroflx knee pads.
If you have a bigger budget, you might want to consider O’Neill Epic 4:3. It’s a longstanding wetsuit that has progressed over the years. The Epic is well known in the community as outstanding, which is naturally expected from O’Neills. It’s a fantastic all year-round suit if you can’t help but dive on in from the months of April until December.
Zip placement can help to maintain a bit of extra heat. Most entry-level suites are back zipped, this is because they tend to be a bit easier to get on and off.
However, these won’t keep you as warm as a chest zip; this is because chest zips remove any weak spots at the lower back which can allow water to enter. That said, they will still keep you warm when in the water and are a lot easier on the wallet!
Tips for Men’s Wetsuit Sizing
• Height and chest are the most important measurements.
• Measure the chest at the widest point, the tape should be gently snug.
• It’s generally okay for the wetsuit to be a little on the long side.
• Ensure the wetsuit is tight around the neck, wrists, ankles and lower back. This does not mean restrictive.
• If you are in between sizes, you should generally take the larger size.
• If in doubt, give us a call! We’re always happy to help!
Brands and Sizing
Wetsuit sizing and fittings will vary from brand to brand. To ensure you find the right fit for you, you should check the brand's size guide to ensure it’s the correct size.
It’s also worth noting that wetsuits will mould to the body, so they may initially feel a bit tight, but once they’ve been used a few times they will become more comfortable. However, this is not to say that they should feel tight to the point of being restrictive.
Men’s Skin & UV Protection Size Guide
If you find yourself suffering from your wetsuit rubbing against your skin, then a rash vest can be worn underneath the wetsuit, this will help to protect your skin. Rash vests can also be worn on their own with a swimsuit or boardies to protect them from the sun. This can be especially useful in warmer climates. Rash vests won't usually improve warmth unless they include a thermal lining to help maintain heat.
Men’s Impact Vest Size Guide
Impact vests are worn over the wetsuit, they are a piece of essential safety equipment that will ensure buoyancy, should you fall into the water. They are usually used for sailors, kayakers and water skiers.
Men’s Wetsuit Boots Size Guide
Wetsuit boots are essential for when the water temperature drops. They ensure that your feet are kept warm. They will need to fit more like a sock than a shoe, so there should be little room between your foot and the wetsuit boot. However, they shouldn’t fit so tightly that your feet curl up.
Men’s Wetsuit Hood Size Guide
Wetsuit hoods are another cold water essential; the hood ensures your head and face are protected from the colder climates. It should fit fairly tight but not so much that it causes pain around your neck or face. When wearing a hood, be sure to pay extra attention to your surroundings and fellow surfers in the water!
Men’s Wetsuit Gloves Size Guide
Wetsuit gloves ensure that your hands retain heat and won’t suffer in the colder conditions of the UK winters!
Buying from Wetsuit Centre
No need to worry if you’re eager to get in the water, Wetsuit Centre aims for all orders before 3 pm to be shipped the same day. Orders after 3pm should be sent for delivery the following day, providing it isn’t a bank holiday.
If you purchase a wetsuit but decide that it isn’t right for you, all items purchased from us can be returned for an exchange or refund within 90 days, providing they haven’t been used and the tags are still intact.
Remember, our expert team is always here to help! Just give us a call on 01202 302943 or drop an email to [email protected] with any of your questions!