How Do I Know if My Wetsuit is the Right Fit?

wetsuit fittingAt Sharks Swim & Triathlon, we get a high number of customers in our shop who have ordered wetsuits from an online store, only to find they don’t fit properly and have to be returned.  When it comes to wetsuits, rather like an elite athletes training shoes, it’s important to get it fitted correctly not just to keep you protected in the water but to enhance your performance too.  Unfortunately, online sizing charts aren’t the answer.  On the whole, these tend to be on the generous side and so the chances are that your wetsuit will be too big.

These are just two of the issues we find when people don’t have a wetsuit fitted by people who know what they are doing.  Some of the other questions we are asked regularly (along with our answers are listed below) when people come in for a fitting.  Our aim is to help you to understand why it’s so important to take time when it comes to choosing a wetsuit so it fits snugly but still allowing your limbs to move freely.

FAQ 1 – The suit feels a bit tight, is it the right size?

Most people tend to buy a wetsuit that is too big for them which can then result in water seeping in and dragging, both of which will impact on your performance.  Wetsuits are generally made from a flexible material called neoprene which is designed to fit like a second skin, allowing you to move your legs and arms freely.  Please note, it’s the flexibility of neoprene and not a roomy wetsuit which creates this freedom of movement.

FAQ 2 – How can I tell if a wetsuit is too big?

A simple test is to check whether a wetsuit is too big, is to see if you can reach around and zip it up easily yourself.  If you can, then the chances are it is too large for your frame.  Another method is to tug gently on the lower back, if there is no give then the fit is correct.

FAQ 3 – My wetsuit is so tight it feels uncomfortable, do I need a bigger one?

We often get this question from people who are trying on a wetsuit for the first time as they are not used to the essential tightness of the neoprene on their body.  If you do find it really unbearable, rather than opting for a bigger size, look for a model which is less tailored around the chest and waist areas.  Wetsuits come in a variety of shapes and cuts so try on several before making the final decision (and follow the advice of the person fitting the wetsuit for you).

FAQ 4 – Which wetsuit gives the most buoyancy?

There’s no easy answer to this as wetsuits do vary in terms of the thickness of the neoprene.  You need be wary of cheaper wetsuits which are 5mm thick all over.  These suits may give additional buoyancy but have no flexibility and you will find yourself becoming tired very quickly.  A good fit, in a suit that give flexibility of limbs is what you should be focussing on.  A simple guide is to look for a suit which offers 5mm in the chest area and around 2 to 3mm around the shoulder panels for optimum movement.

FAQ 5 – How much should I spend on a wetsuit?

When buying a wetsuit you should focus first on size and fit rather than the cost.  Sizes will vary from brand to brand and so does the fit.  As mentioned previously, some suits come in a tailored, slim fit whilst others can be more flexible with wider shoulders for example for a larger frame. What you don’t want is for the arms and legs to be too long or too short; another key reason for getting your wetsuit fitted properly, even if it isn’t your very first one.

Sharks Swim & Triathlon

At Sharks Swim & Triathlon we offer comprehensive fitting service at our shop in Sketty, Swansea.  We encourage our customers from across South Wales to visit us personally for a fitting and they always leave with a suit that fits perfectly.

We stock a huge range of leading brands and latest innovative designs including Speedo, Blue Seventy, Orca, Magna, Aqua Sphere, Dare2Tri and Huub.

You can see our full range of wetsuits on our website and to book your wetsuit fitting service call us today on the number below:

Wetsuit fitting

Leave a comment