How to find a wetsuit that fits

Finding a wetsuit that slips on like a second skin has always been a tricky task and as neoprene becomes ever more flexible, it is only going to get harder to find that perfect fit. Here are five pointers to put you on the right track.

1. Don’t struggle to put your wetsuit on

Be aware that if you are putting serious strain while putting your suit on, the sizing might not be quite right.

2. Looking good is not the same as a good wetsuit fit

Remember that just because the suit looks like it fits doesn’t mean it fits well.
Once you have the suit on, you shouldn’t feel any significant resistance when bending and flexing limbs. The suit won’t “break-in” or loosen up once in the water. You will experience discomfort, rubbing, poor performance and accelerated wear on the wetsuit.

3. Always follow the size chart

A simple way to get the right size is to make sure you have the largest suit possible that still fits like a second skin. The size chart is there for a reason. Take your measurements, and try a size up and down to find your sweet spot.

4. Try a range of brands

Sometimes a brand will just not be the right fit for you. Although most brands try to create the fullest possible range of fits, people come in all shapes and sizes and to accommodate everyone is near impossible. If one brand isn’t right for you, there will be another that will suit you perfectly.

5. Try before you buy

Put the wetsuit on, walk around for a while and make sure you feel comfortable. If you are a little clammy, don’t be afraid to jump about and wave your arms so the suit can settle into its natural resting position. If you are uncomfortable in a shop, it won’t be much better in the water and two-hour paddle fest in the sea will be an unpleasant ordeal. Head over to our dealer page by clicking here.

Look for the signs of an incorrect fit. A super stretchy suit may feel like it fits ok although if its too small, the seams will become stressed and the longevity of your wetsuit will be significantly reduced.  Signs of the suit being too small are – riding up on your arms and legs. If the front of the suit isn’t long enough, it will pull on the collar and the neckline, this means water flushing when you duck dive, never nice.

Signs of the suit being too large are – bunching at the wrist and ankles, knee pad placement too low. Excess material behind knees, armpits, and the back of the neck will cause rubs and be very noticeable when paddling.

Slide THE TEST SMALL, LARGE & XL THREE WETSUITS HEIGHT - 178CM
WEIGHT - 86 KG
CHEST - 104CM
WAIST - 84CM
SIZE GUIDE SAYS:
LARGE
THE STATS

Meet Stefan

Stefan goes to the gym, is an active surfer and although he is of average size, he has a big chest and arms.

When you run his stats through the size guide, we can determine that his height of 178cm could put him in a Medium Large or Large.

His weight at 86Kg  puts him into a Large and just into an XL.

Chest size of 104cm puts him perfectly into a size Large.

Waist size 84cm is closer to Medium.

Based on Stefan’s height and waist sizes alone, you could put him into a size Medium Large although, with his big chest, and muscle weight it may mean that the wetsuit may be a bit tight. He may not have a problem with the fit (as the length of the suit is sufficient), the material would be stretched around his chest and he may find that the seams start to fail, leak or even come apart quite quickly.

The Wetsuit

The COMP is one of our best selling suits so it seemed like an obvious choice. The reason COMP and COMP X are so popular is mostly down to the panel cut mixed with an abundance of stretch that allows the wetsuit to hug every curve of the body and fit like a second skin.

Slide SIZE LARGE SIZE SMALL SIZE XL WETSUIT SIZE COMPARISON

The Results

Even when you really examine the images of all three suits, it is hard to see any real difference between the Small up to the XL. The legs and wrists seem to be of equal length and the knee pads are in the correct place and the necklines look equal. The first impression is that they all fit. However, if you inspect the images a little closer you may notice that the colour of the size Small suit is lighter in colour. This is because the neoprene is under stretch and the lycra inside the suit is reflecting the camera flash.

In the XL suit, you can see a little bit of bunching under his left arm, this is because he isn’t tall enough for the panel length of this suit. This extra material would more than likely start to rub under his armpits and cause discomfort while paddling.

We were correct, Stefan is a Size Large!

Summary

This is a 3/2 summer suit that is so stretchy that Stefan could almost get away with a child version. If we were to run the same test with a 6mm hooded winter suit the results may be different and he probably couldn’t squeeze into a size Small. It does get you to thinking, “am I wearing the right size suit?”

We challenge you to measure yourself and see where you fit in the size guide?