1. What kind of wetsuit should I choose for wake boarding?
Wake boarding is a fun and active water sport. If you want to buy a wetsuit for wake boarding then you need to choose one that can offer you plenty of flexibility. Wetsuits are sold in a number of different thicknesses and this is measured in ‘mm’. The thinner the neoprene then the more flexible it is, but also the less heat retention is offered. You need to choose a wetsuit that can combine warmth with the flexibility you need. If your budget allows then a 60% super stretch neoprene wetsuit in a 3/2mm thickness is the ideal choice for active water sports such as wake boarding.
2. What is the difference between standard and super stretch neoprene?
Standard neoprene is great for leisure time in the water but does not offer the additional flexibility required for active sports such as surfing and wake boarding. Super stretch neoprene allows much more freedom of movement and can be produced in a variety of different mixes. Surfers and wake boarders prefer wetsuits with 60% or 100% super stretch neoprene as these offer the best fit and most flexibility.
3. Which thickness of wetsuit should I choose for cold water conditions?
When you are wake boarding in colder conditions you do need to choose a thicker wetsuit to help keep you warm. A 5/3mm 60% super stretch neoprene wetsuit is a good compromise between warmth and flexibility. You should also choose a wetsuit with sealed, glued and Blindstitched seams as this will help to prevent cold water from seeping into the wetsuit whilst you are wake boarding. If you do feel the cold then you could also try wearing a Poly fleece under lining. This is a great way to enhance the thermal insulation of a wetsuit without decreasing the flexibility.
4. How do I choose a wetsuit for children?
Wetsuits need to fit snugly but should not be so tight they restrict breathing or movement. There are plenty of wetsuits available for children so you should be able to find an option that suits your budget and requirements. If your children love spending time in the water then you must be prepared to buy a new suit for them almost every year until they finish growing. You cannot buy a suit with a few years growth in it like other apparel. The wetsuit would be too baggy and would not fit correctly. This would mean it would not be effective at retaining heat. Likewise you cannot expect children to wear wetsuits that are too tight as these will be uncomfortable and less heat efficient as well.
5. How can I fix rips in my wake boarding wetsuit?
If you have small rips and tears in your wetsuit then you can buy neoprene repair kits. These are simple to use and you can literally ‘glue’ the rip back together. However you will need to be careful with your wetsuit as this repair will be vulnerable to further damage. If you have a large rip or hole in your wetsuit then you may need to get it repaired professionally.
6. How can I prevent rubbing around the neck of my wetsuit?
If you spend a lot of time wake boarding then you may suffer from rubbing around key areas such as the neck collar and chest. This can cause an uncomfortable red friction type burn on your skin. To help prevent this you can wear a rash vest under your wetsuit. This close fitting garment does not restrict movement and will provide an extra barrier against your skin to prevent rubbing.
7. Should I choose a leading manufacturer for my wake boarding wetsuit?
By choosing leading brand name such as Cressi you can be sure that the wetsuit you buy will have a good fit and will be made from quality neoprene. This is important if you do a lot of wake boarding as good quality suits last longer and offer better heat retention and flexibility. If you buy a cheap wetsuit then you will save money to start with but it could cost you more in the long run. Cheap suits are much more prone to damage from UV light and chemicals in the water. They also rip more easily and this could mean they don’t last very long and you may have to replace them every season.
8. Can you wear shorty wetsuits for wake boarding?
Shorty wetsuits have short arms and finish just above the knee on the legs. These wetsuits off plenty of flexibility in the limb sections so are a good choice for active sports such as wake boarding. These wetsuits do not offer the best heat retention so are only really suitable for warmer waters. Full body wetsuits are more appropriate for cooler water conditions and for those wake boarders who spend a lot of time in the water.
9. What is a semi-dry suit?
Semi-dry suits are used for very cold water conditions. They are full body suits with reinforced seams and inner seals around the neck, wrists and ankles to prevent flushing (cold water entering the suit forcing out the warm water). These top end suits can be expensive but if you want to go wake boarding in very cold conditions then they can help to keep you nice and warm.
10. What types of neoprene are there?
There are three main types of neoprene available for wetsuits. These are:
- Single Lined Neoprene – this neoprene has a nylon lining on the interior side. This provides a more comfortable finish and makes it easy for the wetsuit to be taking on and off. This also offers more thermal insulation.
- Double Lined Neoprene – this type of neoprene has a lining both on the interior and exterior of the wet suit. This provides additional warmth and durability. The additional exterior lining aids water run off and can reduce wind chill. Most water sport wetsuits are constructed from double lined neoprene for additional performance and durability.
- Titanium Lined Neoprene – titanium can be added to the main body panels of neoprene suits to increase the thermal properties. Most top end wetsuits on the market have titanium lining added to construction to add overall heat retention.