Swimming Wetsuit Guide
If you’re new to open water swimming, chances are you may have already asked the million-dollar question—how to choose the right swimming wetsuit?
If you’re thinking about buying a wetsuit, it’s important to find one that not only fits you best but one that can also support you whilst you’re swimming without causing any friction or without slowing you down. Whilst there’s a wide range of wetsuit options you can find on the market, we’ve prepared a list of the essential things you need to know before you make your decision:
Why should I buy a swimming wetsuit?
Swimming wetsuits keep you comfortable in cold water by providing thermal protection. They also provide additional buoyancy, which can give you a competitive edge in open water swimming.
Flexibility is one of the most important features of a wetsuit that’ll help you move freely in the water. If you use a regular wetsuit for swimming, this added flexibility and the ability to move your arms and legs freely, will be restricted. Dedicated swimming wetsuits are designed to be highly flexible in all the right places to ensure your swimming is effortless.
How should a swimming wetsuit fit?
A Swimming Wetsuit should fit tightly against your body. You’ll want to check how it fits around your throat and torso, too much restriction in this area can make breathing difficult in the water. Check to ensure there are no painful restrictions or pain points anywhere. The right swimming wetsuit should allow your arms to move freely and comfortably. The arm and leg holes, on the other hand, should be snug to keep water from freely flowing in and out of the suit. Overall, your wetsuit should feel like a second skin when you wear it.
Swimming wetsuit should:
- Have no excess material or extra folds.
- Snug but not tight.
- Provide a full range of motion on arms and shoulders.
- Feel comfortable and not too tight around the neckline
To see if the swimming wetsuit is the right size for you, you may want to try it on first before purchasing. You can visit any of our wetsuit megastores, or you can shop online with our hassle free returns guarantee if it’s not the right fit.
What are the different swimming wetsuit cuts?
Full sleeve swimming wetsuits give you full-body coverage and optimum buoyancy. They are buoyant and provide good heat retention making it ideal for swimming in cold water. Sleeveless wetsuits, on the other hand, do not cover your arms but still offer the maximum arm movement. They are also easier to put on and off. However, they provide less thermal protection in cold water compared to full sleeve swimming wetsuits.
Important things to look for when buying a swimming wetsuit:
The range of options for wetsuits can be overwhelming especially when you don’t know where to start. Check out these four key things you need to know:Thickness
The thickness of the neoprene is one of the most important factors when considering a wetsuit as it helps your body maintain heat in cold water to prevent hypothermia. The thicker the neoprene the more warmth it gives; however, offers less flexibility. Ideally, the neoprene should be thicker in your core area (where you need less flexibility) and thinner on arms and legs (where you’ll need to be in constant motion).Buoyancy
Swimming wetsuits give swimmers more buoyancy and less drag when in water. They give you extra lift and make it easier to float as you swim. One of our favourite brands, ORCA wetsuits, are made from Yamamoto neoprene. This type of neoprene is engineered for speed and is lighter than traditional neoprene giving you ultimate freedom of movement in the water.Flexibility
Generally, your swimming wetsuit should allow you to move through the water comfortably. Every movement that causes resistance could take so much of your energy and lower your swimming efficiency. Many of our wetsuits provide a combination of different thicknesses of neoprene panels. This allows for a more elastic material to be placed in the arm area to increase your flexibility in swim strokes making you feel comfortable without the neoprene restricting your arms and shoulders.Material
If you are planning to swim in a pool, the chlorine in the water can be bad for traditional wetsuits. Chlorinated water can accelerate the wear and tear process of wetsuits therefore reducing its lifespan. Choose wetsuits that can withstand the harsh effects of chlorine. ORCA wetsuits are chlorine-resistant wetsuits that are built to last. They also provide comfort and support where you need it most.
How to put on a swimming wetsuit step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Hold the swimming wetsuit out in front of your waist with the back facing towards you.
Step 2: Unzip it all the way down. Let the torso fold over the front.
Step 3: Put your first leg into the suit. Point your foot out so that you can glide your leg easily into place. Repeat the step with your other leg.
Step 4: Adjust the legs into the correct position by manoeuvring the swimming wetsuit up your leg using your hands.
Step 6: Once you’ve adjusted the wetsuit up to your hips, move on to the arms. Lift the upper body of your wetsuit up to your first arm. Thread it through using your other hand and position the suit into place. Repeat this process with your other arm.
Step 7: Adjust the waist and body of your wetsuit into the correct position. Next, make sure that the neckline is correctly positioned and comfortable.
Step 8: Lastly, zip up the back of your wetsuit by pulling the zip string up over your shoulders. Allow the zip to fall downwards and fold over the velcro flap.
Swimming either in pools or open water can be a great experience for swimmers or simply water lovers alike. That is why having the right swimming wetsuit is important in ensuring that you get the maximum performance whilst in water. If you are looking for the best swimming wetsuit for your next outdoor swim, find a wetsuit with the perfect fit for you! Check out our range of the top swimming wetsuit brands.