Are you ready for a new wetsuit? Or do you want to buy your first wetsuit? Then you soon discover that there are many sizes and types. From very expensive neoprene suits to the budget suits at the budget stores.
What should you pay attention to when buying a wetsuit?
If you are going to buy a wetsuit there are a number of things that are important before you proceed to purchase. We list them here for you!
1. How thick should your wetsuit be?
Wetsuits have different thicknesses. Which thickness you need depends on when you will use your wetsuit? Do you only do that in the Noth of Europe in the Summer? Do you also go on the water with your neoprene wetsuit in Winter? These are important questions if you are going to buy a wetsuit.
In the Summer in the North of Europe you generally have a 4/3 mm. sufficient for kite surfing, windsurfing or wave surfing.
In general, the following applies in the North of Europe:
- Summer: 4/3 mm. A 3/2 mm on very hot days.
- Fall and spring: a 5/3 mm.
- Winter a 6/5 mm, a steamer or dry suit for the timid.
less than 5℃
6℃ – 12℃
13℃ – 20℃
18℃ – 22℃
22℃ – 24℃
6/5 mm – 5/4 mm
5/3 mm – 4/3 mm
3/2 mm or shorty
Boardshort + rash guard
A wetsuit keeps you warm in the water, but for (kite) surfers the wind chill is also an important factor when you are out of the water.
The wind blows through the suit, making it look colder. It is smart if you put on a slightly thicker suit to also stay warm on the side or on the beach.
2. Note the stretch
You must be able to move well during kite surfing. A suit with sufficient stretch is therefore necessary. Diving suits have little stretch and are therefore not suitable for kite surfing. Although these neoprene suits can hold heat well. I myself have a diving hoodie for the Winter. This keeps my head nice and warm during kite surfing.
You need to be able to move the sleeves, shoulders and legs, well and smoothly. Pay attention to this when buying a wetsuit. Can you turn your arms well, can you get through your knees when you are wearing the suit? Make a few squats to test.
3. Ensure a good fit
A suit must fit tightly with your body. If your suit fits well it is warmer. Cold water is less likely to get between your skin and the suit.
A golden tip when buying a wetsuit is, buy it 1 size too small. Then the suit is actually a bit too tight, but as soon as it gets wet, the neoprene will stretch slightly, making the suit fit just right around your body.
4. What's your budget?
You have suits of over 600 Euro , but you can also buy a great neoprene around 100 in the buged sports department. The material will be of lesser quality, but with a small budget you can go here.
A good wetsuit is important, but your budget is just as important. Don’t you have much to spend at the moment? Then keep an eye on the sale of the shops. There are also regular garage sales around Cities, where you can buy cheap (brand) suits.
5. The seams of a Wetsuit
The seams can be roughly joined together in 3 ways:
Stitched: Also called Flatlock. Here 2 parts are laid over each other and stitched. The disadvantage of this is that a hole is always made in the neoprene through which water can pass.
Glued (GBS): With GBS, the fabric is first glued together and then stitched with a crooked needle that stops halfway through the fabric, so that no holes are created.
Sealed: Name says that all the seams are sealed (glued), so that no water can get through. These suits generally hold the heat best. A disadvantage may be that the glue comes off.
6. Types of closures
You have a front zip and a back back zip closure.
A Frontzip, sits from the front and is more difficult to put on because the opening is rather small. You have to wriggle your entire body in through this. Frontip suits are generally warmer because of the small opening.
A backzip has the zipper on the back. These wetsuits are slightly easier to put on, but are therefore often less warm due to the larger closure.
7. Where do you buy a wet suit?
If you made up your mind and you know which wetsuit you want to buy, go to a physical store. Here you can fit and see if you have the right size. You can also try different wetsuits to see which suit suits you best. Buying online is not recommended for a wetsuit, unless you know your size exactly.
8. Enjoy kite surfing with your new wetsuit!
Our last tip is to use your suit as soon as possible after purchasing, preferably the same day. Because a new wetsuit screams to be used!
Have fun and hopefully through our tips you have bought the right wetsuit!