When choosing a wetsuit, knowing exactly what to look for in the sizing guides from each manufacturer will help you to achieve a comfortable fit. A suit that fits correctly also keeps you warm by preventing water from flushing in and chilling you down. Here is our quick guide to wetsuit sizing.
Fitting Tips For Wetsuits
- Many people find when buying their first wetsuit that it feels tight on the shoulders – but it should be skin-tight, there should be no bulges or loose areas as these are where water will flow in a chill you down.
- Be sure that you have chosen the correct torso length. If it is too short it will be difficult to zip up the suit and it will feel uncomfortable. If you cannot find your exact torso length, choose a suit with a slightly longer one – you will never notice a problem!
- Pay particular attention to the lower back and the area over the kidneys. Having a good fit in this area and keeping water out will help to keep you warmer. You can check for fit by ‘grabbing’ the material of the wetsuit in this area while you are wearing it, between your thumb and index finger – ideally, you should not be able to grab and pull up any surplus material.
- The fit around the neck is very important. It should not be so tight that it ‘strangles’ you but tight enough to prevent water from flowing in. After you have worn a new suit a few times, it will mold to your body shape and feel more comfortable.
- If you find a suit that is a perfect fit in the body but a little long in the arms or legs, don’t worry too much about any slight wrinkles in the neoprene as these will disappear when you are in the water.
Men’s Wetsuit Sizing
Use the size guide from the manufacturer of the suit you are interested in as sizing does vary quite considerably. There are four key areas you need to focus on for the perfect fit:
- Waist Measurement
- Chest Measurement
- Torso Length
If you get these four things right, you are certain to get a good fit.
Women’s Wetsuit Sizing
How to size a wetsuit for women is simpler than for men. Women’s wetsuits are available in dress sizes but there are still some variations between manufacturers so it is important to check their guides to ensure correct fitting at the key points. If you are above or below average height, there are size variations available within dress sizes for taller or shorter women.
Many women who have not previously worn a wetsuit find the neck fitting uncomfortably tight when trying on a new suit. If the fitting is correct, this uncomfortable feeling will pass after the first few times you wear the suit as it molds to your body shape and you get used to the feel of it.
Please refer to the ‘Fitting Tips for Wetsuits’ section above to ensure that you get a suit that will keep you comfortable and warm.
Wetsuit Sizing Guides for Children
Wetsuit sizing for children again depends on choosing waist, chest, and height. Many children’s wetsuits go by age of the child for size increments. Obviously, not all children of the same age are the same height, so it is better to rely on the key measurements mentioned in the men’s section for a more accurate sizing guide.
How to size a wetsuit for every member of the family is easy if you remember the key points to check and always refer to individual manufacturer’s sizing guides.