Each manufacturer/brand will have produced their own size chart based on the cut and fit of their wetsuits so, we’d always recommend using the measurements provided to work out which size would be best for you. Even though you may always be one size in t-shirts or trousers, wetsuits must fit your whole body and, as we’re all different shapes and sizes, wetsuit manufacturers have to offer larger range of sizes so everyone can have the perfect fit for them. For example, lots of brands now offer short, tall or petite options. If you’re struggling to choose a wetsuit, the chest and waist measurements are often more important than height, so it is best to stick to where these are accurate.
Wetsuits tend to be a combination of different neoprene thicknesses, usually with a thicker neoprene covering the core body areas for warmth. For example, a 5/3 wetsuit will have 5mm neoprene in the central body and 3mm elsewhere for flexibility. So, keep in mind that the thicker the wetsuit, the more restricted your movement might become, which is particularly important with activities like stand up paddling or kayaking.
It’s important to remember the sea heats up slowly so, although the sun may be shining in Spring, it will take a few months for the sea to heat up. Many surfers will wear a winter wetsuit through the Spring but, you’ll find them still wearing a summer wetsuit through Autumn as the sea remains warm. February is often the coldest month; the sea temperature has had time to drop to match the air.
Wetsuits are designed to keep you warm by trapping a layer of water between your skin and the suit so, it should be a snug fit to avoid water flushing – this will remove the layer of water your body has heated to keep you warm and replace it with new, cold water.
If you’re new to wearing a wetsuit or haven’t worn one in a while, they can feel tight and uncomfortable at first. However, the closer the fit, the better it will keep you warm in the water. But a wetsuit should never feel constricting so, if it does, you probably need the next size up. If you have any loose areas with excess material, you probably need a smaller size.
Even with all the technology in a wetsuit, they can still be damaged – particularly by long fingernails. If you’re struggling to get a wetsuit on, please take care not to tug directly on any seams or on the soft chest/back panels. Also, take care when zipping the wetsuit up (especially with a back zip) and ask someone to help initially if you need to.
We’d also recommend removing any sharp jewellery or watches before putting your wetsuit on to avoid rips – and to save your jewellery too!
If you’re struggling to pick a size or, can’t find a size guide for a product, just let us know your measurements and/or the product via email ([email protected]) and one of our customer service team will be able to help you out.