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Wetsuit Buyersguide

Wetsuit Buying Guide

Buywake strives to bring you the best and most current guides, sizing help and gear tips to help you choose the right products and have the absolute best experience using it.

What is a Wetsuit?

A wetsuit is a must have if you are the typical wakeboarder, waterskier or SUP enthousiast and want to enjoy your watersport year round. You are one lucky guy or girl if you are fortunate enough to be able to wear your board shorts all the time, or rich enough to follow the summer year round. First used by surfers in the early 1950's, wetsuit technology has come a long way. Modern wetsuits are super-light, super-stretchy, and some don't even have zips! There are many different wetsuit types for everyone on the water, but they are all constructed from similar material, by similar methods, and all work in a similar way.

Wetsuits are made from neoprene, a stretchy synthetic rubber material. The wetsuit is made out of several of these pieces of neoprene stitched, sealed or blind stitched together to cover the specific body parts. Wetsuits come in many forms, including shorties and full suits.

We sell wetsuits from well known brands as Follow, Mystic and Brunotti.

> Shop Wetsuits

How does a Wetsuit work?

A wetsuit works by trapping a thin layer of water between the wetsuit and the skin. The body temperature of the rider heats this water giving a nice warm water blanket. This is why getting a wetsuit that fits well is a must. It should have a nice tight fit (not so tight that you can't move freely) and shouldn't have baggy areas where the suit comes away from your body. For cold water use, make sure that there is also a nice tight-fitting neck; there is nothing worse than ducking under water and getting a blast of cold water right down your back.

Water Temperature Wetsuit Thickness Optional Extra
26° Celsius - Rashguard - Sun
22° Celsius Shorty / NEO Top -
19° Celsius 3/2 – 2/2 NEO Top
16° Celsius 3/2 – 2/2 NEO Top - NEO Jacket
13° Celsius 5/3 – 4/3 NEO Top – NEO Jacket
10° Celsius 5/4 - 5/3 Hood – Booties - Gloves
7° Celsius 6/4 Hood - Booties – Gloves

The different Types of Wetsuits

Wetsuit Jacket / NEO Top

Wetsuit Jackets or NEO Tops have full length arms and offer additional warmth for the top half of the body. You'll be more protected against the elements. Wetsuit Jackets or NEO Tops are normally constructed from 2mm/1mm thick material. They are available with a full length chest zip at the front or without zip. Choose the one you prefer (and is the easiest to get into.

Wetsuit Shorty / Springsuit

The Wetsuit Shorty or so called springsuit has arm and leg coverage, at least in part. It comes with short legs, and can have both short and long arms. These Wetsuit Shorty or so called springsuit are also available with longer ¾ legs and short legs. Enough choice to choose the model perfect for you.

Wetsuit Long John

The SUP favorite! The classic Wetsuit Long John gives you full body coverage, while leaving your arms uncovered. Great for easy paddling! You can easily move your arms around with no neoprene or other resistance. The classic Wetsuit Long John is ideal in conditions where the air temperature is nice and warm but the water temperature is more uncomfortable.

Wetsuit Fullsuit Short Arm

This Wetsuit design looks like it's built for warmth, and that's the point. The Short Arm Steamer is normally made with a mix of 3mm and 2mm neoprene, and covers the trunk and legs. It also covers the upper arms, while leaving the forearms exposed. Some riders find it more comfortable to have their arms uncovered.

Wetsuit Fullsuit

What’s is a name? Fullsuit covers it all … The Wetsuit range is complete with the Fullsuit. This wetsuit if for the cold water boarders, and comes in a range of wetsuit thicknesses, depending on the level of warmth required. For cooler temperatures, you would choose a 3mm/2mm wetsuit. For very cold weather you would need a 6mm/5mm/4mm wetsuit to allow you to stay in the water for longer. Some even come with hoods attached. They come with a back zip, front zip or even zipperless. We have enough choice in our store to make you happy!

The Wetsuit Buying Process

If you are riding in cold water, then you need a good wetsuit, and you should be prepared to pay for it. Good wetsuits are not cheap, but they are well worth the investment! The longer you stay in or on the water, the more fun you will get. The colder the water, the better the suit.

There are a number of different types to choose, from a simple NEO top through to a fullsuit. They all have pro's and cons, whether it's improved warmth or decreased flexibility. Your choice will depend on the conditions that you will be riding in.

Wetsuit manufacturers produce a range of wetsuit sizes, and use letters to describe the different sizes. You'll have to look at a brand specific wetsuit size chart to find out which suit will fit you correctly. Although manufacturers use the same letters in their ranges, the sizes for those letter ranges differ between brands. Make sure you look at the size chart for the right wetsuit brand!

What thickness wetsuit will I need? It's a question we see often in customers emails. Check the chart with a range of temperatures, and the type of wetsuit that should be ok for those temperatures. We've included additional items of surf equipment that may be required for a little extra warmth. Keep in mind that it's a general guide only. If you feel the cold, err on the side of caution and get a thicker wetsuit.

As you might expect, there's a little more involved in wetsuit construction than just a needle and thread. It's not just a great fit that ensures a wetsuit is nice and warm. If you're a lightweight summer rider, this information is probably not that interesting, you should head straight for the board shorts page. A comfortable fitting wetsuit is essential for warmth, and the fit is achieved by the use of separate, tailored panels. These panels are joined to each other by stitching along seams. The seams are less flexible than the sheet neoprene. In a good quality wetsuit, seams are kept away from areas were high flexibility is important. Seams should not run along the shoulders or under arms, where they could intrude on paddling areas.

We cannot say enough how important a good fit is. Every wetsuit has a different fit and cut, and one brand's size may not be the same as another. The fit that you find on the size chart might not be suitable for your body shape. If you can, try the wetsuit at home. Bend, stretch, sweep your arms around, it does matter that you get a great fit. Underarms, the backs of the knees and the groin are all potential trouble spots, so pay particular attention to these areas.

Wetsuit Care

Taking good care of your wetsuit will make it last longer. Regular care will extend the life and save you money. Take good care of your wetsuit and it will keep you warm and in the water longer all year. They all need a little TLC.

Rinse your wetsuit after every session

Rinsing at the end of a session is the least you should do. Use cold fresh water to remove all the seawater or dirty water, sand and grime from inside and outside your wetsuit. It's likely that your wetsuit will be inside out once you have taken it off, but whichever way round, make sure both inside and out are rinsed really good. The wetsuit material will break down if you rinse your wetsuit in hot water. Always use cold or lukewarm water. Don't leave your wetsuit in the sun! The UV rays will deteriorate the wetsuit fabric really fast. Dry your wetsuit in the shade if possible. Don't leave your wetsuit in your car or boat for an extended time on a hot day. \

Dry your wetsuit inside out first

Don't leave your wetsuit wet following the rinse. Hang it to dry on a suitable hanger. Don't use a traditional shoulder hanger. Dry your wetsuit inside out first. You should always peel your wetsuit off inside out anyway. Once the inside is dry, turn the wetsuit right side out to finish drying. Laying it flat for storage is ok.

Don't Wash your wetsuit in the washing machine etc.

Don't wash your wetsuit in the washing machine! Or, dry it in the dryer! Use soap made especially for the purpose, or a mild, liquid soap like baby shampoo. Check out wetsuit care products available. Wash your wetsuit by hand! Always use fresh water!

Any more questions?