The range of different wetsuits is huge. How are you supposed to keep track of that?
Admittedly a difficult task, but not impossible.
But what do all these designations mean? And what do I get for my money?
Since the temperatures in Europe can vary greatly, it is helpful for water sports such as kitesurfing , windsurfing or stand-up paddling (SUP) to get a second skin. Because if the water is colder than in the bathtub at home, you need a wetsuit. I'll tell you how to find the right wetsuit here.
It doesn't matter whether you're on vacation, at the weekend or during the week. Taking the opportunity to jump into the sea or the lake and play sports is then possible at any time of the year.
Whether, for example, wakeboarding or wingfoiling at the lake, kitesurfing or surfing in the sea, you should have a short or long wetsuit in your water sports wardrobe, depending on the temperature. Even in warm places with cold sea currents, such as in Cape Town in winter, you need a wetsuit to be able to pursue your passion. Another advantage: the suits not only protect against the cold but also against the sun and scratches from shells, reefs or stones.
CLASSIC BLACK OR WHAT EYE?
Why are dark colors often used in wetsuits? The dark neoprene suits store the heat much better than light or colorful suits. Nevertheless, there are high-quality materials that also look stylish and work very well.
However, the focus should be on the function. Depending on the water sport, your right wetsuit needs flexibility or reinforcement in another area. Whether you are a swimmer, diver or kitesurfer, the right wetsuit lets you have more fun on/in the water for longer.
In particular, the freedom of movement on the arms and shoulders should not be restricted by the suit.
THE RIGHT SIZE:
A wedding suit with creases not only looks modest, but is usually also too large. The same goes for your wetsuit. The suit should fit snugly to the body so that the insulation function of the suit can be guaranteed. If the wetsuit is too big, cold water can easily penetrate and cool you down. Putting on the wetsuit is a bit more strenuous at first, but worth the effort once you can stay out on the water longer. New wetsuits also expand over time, so the neoprene should be tight at first.
Ideally, you should get a second opinion from an expert advisor and make sure that no wrinkles are visible.
WHICH NEOPRENE FOR WHICH WATER TEMPERATURE?
There are six different categories of wetsuits:
+ Rashguard/Lycra : very thin material, protects against UV light and abrasion
+ Short Arm (S/S) Shorty : short arms & short legs
+ Long Arm (L/S) Shorty : long arms & short legs
+ Steamer : Short arms & long legs
+ Fullsuit : Long arms & long legs
+ Hooded Fullsuit: Long arms & long legs with an additional integrated hood
The appropriate thickness of the wetsuit is described with two to three numbers, such as 6/5/4 or 3/2. The material thickness of the neoprene is given in mm. The first number indicates the thickness of the neoprene on the torso, the other number(s) indicate the strength on the extremities.
Your personal sensitivity to cold and the place of use play the main role when choosing the thickness of your wetsuit. Especially when it comes to wind sports, you should consider that you can also stand on the beach to set up and dismantle when there is a lot of wind. You might want to think about useful products such as neoprene jackets, wind stoppers, gloves, neoprene shoes, hoods and the like, so as not to cool down too quickly, especially in cold regions.
An approximate overview could look like this:
|>25°C||Summer + Warm water||Rash guard, lycra|
|22-25°C||Early summer + Mediterranean climate||Rash guard, neo top shorty|
|20-22°C||late summer + cold water, windy||L/S shorty, 3/2 full suit|
|18-20°C||Autumn/Spring + Cold water, windy||3/2 & 4/3 full suit|
|15-18°C||Fall/Spring + cold water, windy||4/3 & 5/4 full suit|
|12-15°C||Winter, windy, cold water, windy||5/4 full suit, shoes, gloves|
|9-12°C||Winter, icy water, lots of wind||6/5 hooded & 5/4 full suit, shoes, gloves, neoprene jacket|
|<9°C||Winter, icy water, lots of wind||6/5 hooded full suit, shoes, gloves, neoprene jacket|
WHERE TO GO WITH THE ZIPPER?
There are three different zipper positions in a wetsuit:
+ Frontzip : Zipper at the front of the chest
+ Backzip : Back zip closure
+ Zipless : completely without zipper
Zipless suits have maximum freedom of movement because the lack of a zipper does not limit movements. However, getting in and out is much more strenuous, as the suit must fit snugly and not be too wide, especially in the neck area. It is also possible that the suit will wear out after prolonged use.
Are you looking for a comfortable and easy entry ? Then the Backzip is the right choice for you. We recommend neoprene with a back zip, especially if you have shoulder problems. Overall, the zipper on the back somewhat limits freedom of movement and is also a possible cold bridge.
The front zip neoprene offers the best combination of freedom of movement and warmth . The additional strap that is pulled over the head keeps water entry to a minimum.
WHAT DOES A WETSUIT COST AND WHEN IS IT WORTH IT?
It is always worth having your own wetsuit. If you have your own, you are more independent and will probably also feel more comfortable than in a rental suit.
No matter what your budget, there is a suitable wetsuit for you. Inexpensive shorts start at around 50 euros and there is no upper limit, as is well known.
Basically one can speak of three price categories for wetsuits, whereby there is usually a fourth high-end variant.
Using the example of a 5/4 mm wetsuit, you can estimate the costs as follows:
Lower price segment: approx. 230 euros
Middle price segment: approx. 320 euros
Upper price segment: approx. 400 euros
High end: around 500 euros
I hope to have helped you with your open questions and to provide you with new, interesting information about wetsuits.