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Wetsuit FAQs

1. What is a wetsuit?

Wetsuits are worn by surfers, spearfishers, scuba divers, snorkellers, windsurfers, and a whole range of other water sport enthusiasts to prevent abrasion and provide thermal insulation as well as assisting in resistance and buoyancy.


2. What are wetsuits made of?

A wetsuit is predominantly made of foamed neoprene, combined with materials such as spandex, Lycra, and various forms of thermoplastic materials. Better-quality wetsuits for colder conditions use titanium woven in with the lining for added insulation.


3. Which types of wetsuits are there?

- Steamer: a full-length wetsuit with long arms and legs, which completely covers the body. A ‘Long John’ has long legs but no arms.
- Springsuit: a wetsuit for milder conditions with short arms and legs. Also called a ‘Shortie’ or ‘Springy’.
- Semi-Dry suit: restricts the amount of water in the suit, with purpose-designed seals at the neck, wrists and ankles.
- Dry suit: a suit that doesn’t let any water in and is used in very cold conditions. Diving with a dry suit is different to diving with a wetsuit, as your buoyancy changes considerably, so make sure to get expert advice before you try one.
- Camouflage suit:
very suitable for spearfishing as they blend in in a marine environment.
- Two-piece wetsuit: especially useful when your body shape requires a different sized vest than pants. The two-piece wetsuit is easier to fit on, but the added gaps can be a disadvantage.
- Hooded vest: as the name suggests, this wetsuit covers only the top and has an hood attached to it.

4. What is the difference between a surfing wetsuit and a diving wetsuit and what thickness should I choose?

Which wetsuit you need depends on which activity you plan to do and what the water temperature will be. Neoprene varieties have come a long way and thicker wetsuits are now far less restrictive than before. Better-quality brands offer a 360-degree neoprene super stretch technology, which you can find on both and

Depending if you want to use your wetsuit mainly for surfing or for diving, you need to be aware of the differences between these two types of wetsuits.
- For scuba diving wetsuits highly-compressed neoprene is used, with fewer bubbles so you don’t lose your warmth as fast when you go deeper and the cavities get compressed. In the tropics, a 5mm wetsuit is a good option for scuba diving, while colder conditions ask for a wetsuit of up to 8mm thickness, or even a dry suit.
-Surfing wetsuits require less thickness for added flexibility and us neoprene with more bubbles. Split numbers, like 3/2mm, illustrate that the core, where body warmth is most important, is thicker (in this case 3mm), but the arms and legs have less thickness (in this case 2mm) to allow for more movement. 


5. How do you get the right fit for wetsuits?

With excellent size charts now available for any brand of wetsuit, there is no need any more to go into a shop to try one. Simply look on this website for the wetsuit model and type that you like and examine the size charts to find your size. Don’t buy a size up to be on the safe side, as wetsuits need to be a tight fit to be able to contain the water and heat it with your body. And remember that a wetsuit becomes suppler in the water, so don’t worry if it feels a bit tight and stiff when you first try it on. If the wetsuit limits your movements, or even breathing, in the water it is too small and should be exchanged.


6. What seam structure is best for wetsuits?

Most wetsuits these days are made with a blindstitching method. Blindstitching uses a curved needle that doesn’t completely puncture the neoprene and comes back up on the same side. This prevents holes in the neoprene and avoids flushing of water, keeping you warmer. Due to the nature of blindstitching, it creates a flat seam which increases the comfort of the wetsuit.


7. How do I look after my wetsuit?

Always rinse your wetsuit thoroughly after every use, to get rid of salt or chlorine, which can damage the wetsuit. Use wetsuit wash to clean, kill bacteria and prolong the life of your valuable wetsuits and gear.