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Are All Wetsuits Made From The Same Material?

Are All Wetsuits Made From The Same Material?

Peter Harris |

Wetsuits are popular with surfers. They are designed to keep the body warm through thermal regulation and by using body heat to warm up the water that gets inside the suit. And although it is possible that there may be other materials that manufacturers can use in making wetsuits, the most common and popularly used material is Neoprene. It is hard to find a wetsuit that is not made of Neoprene.

Wetsuits are not only used by surfers, but they are also used by divers as well as those participating in sport fishing, water skiing and other various water sports. Wearing the right wetsuit is important as it helps you to avoid hypothermia.

Why Is Neoprene Used In Wetsuits?

Neoprene is a synthetic rubber material that has a series of nitrogen gas bubbles that are trapped within it. It is stretchable and conforms to the body so anyone can get an ideal fit for their body if they get the right size. 

Body-hugging suits are needed for better movement underwater and for surfers, it is important to be able to move comfortably while they are on top of the board too.

Neoprene is a stable material that does not break down or easily react to chemicals and other elements in the water. It can also withstand harsher temperature and does not go stiff in cold water, unlike other materials. This means divers, surfers and other water sports enthusiasts can move freely even when the water is freezing.

Wetsuit Thickness

The thickness of the wetsuit depends on how and where the wetsuit will be used. Wetsuits for tropical areas can be thinner compared to wetsuits used for colder water like for deep-sea diving, etc. The thicker the wetsuit the better the insulation. The downside is, movement can be restricted if you go thicker. 

How Does A Neoprene Wetsuit Work?

When you put on your neoprene wetsuit, most of the time, there is a space or gap between your skin and the suit. Water will immediately fill that gap the moment you get wet. Your body heat will warm the water while the wetsuit will trap that warm water preventing it from escaping. You will have warm water going around in between your suit and your skin, keeping you warm and safe from hypothermia. 

How to Choose a Wetsuit

When shopping for a wetsuit, it is crucial to know the right fit for your body. The wrong size can restrict your movement, cause discomfort, and expose your body to the cold water which can lead to hypothermia. The only way to find out the right fit is if you try the wetsuit on. It should fit snugly on your body while still allowing mobility. 

A loose suit will allow more water inside the suit making it ineffective to keep your body warm. If it is too tight, on the other hand, it can hinder your movement and can cause your blood circulation to slow down which is very dangerous. 

Pro Tip:

Check the tightness on the neck. Make sure it is not too tight to avoid skin abrasion and skin rashes. 

Wetsuit Zipper

There are three common styles of wetsuits in the market today:

  • Back Zipper – the classic wetsuit style which is very popular among surfers. It is easy to put on and take off. However, the zipper may cause more water to get inside the suit. The back Zipper can also cause discomfort and some movement issues. This is good for warm weather surfing.
  • No Zipper – This style is popular because it is comfortable and easy to put on and take off. Less water gets inside the suit provided that the suit fits properly.
  • Front Zipper – this style offers more flexibility and is less likely to cause skin abrasion and rashes. 

The Aussie weather is relatively warm all year round so a thin or average thickness is more preferred. In fact, some surfers and divers use thin suits while some even prefer rash guards for warmer water.

Beachin Surf is a surfer’s one-stop-shop. We offer a wide range of essentials for your surfing and outdoor needs including a large range of wetsuits perfectly suited for your needs.

Please feel free to visit us at 262 Maine Road, Toukley, NSW to check out our range. You can also call ahead to make sure we get to assist you properly.

Please call us today on (02) 4396 5159 or feel free to send us an inquiry.