Choosing the right wetsuit size is important for achieving proper comfort and warmth. If it’s too big and baggy, you will experience flushing, meaning water flow through the suit. The entire purpose of a wetsuit is to eliminate flushing so your skin is not in constant contact with fresh, cold water. The goal is to have a wetsuit that fits snugly but if the suit is too small, comfort is compromised. Finding the right size wetsuit is actually quite easy if you know what to watch for.
If you are interested in spending large amounts of cash, you can have a specialist measure every dimension of your body and build you a custom wetsuit. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with having a custom suit made, it’s totally unnecessary for people of moderate shapes and sizes. What many people don’t know is, having wetsuit sleeves and legs that are too long isn’t an issue. Most wetsuit manufacturers air on the side of being too long, so it’s normal for the legs and sleeves to be a bit scrunched up when you wear the wetsuit dry. Small wrinkles in the limbs do not alter warmth or comfort in the slightest. When you get in the water, wrinkles disappear as the suit positions itself on your body.
The dimension that IS important is the torso length. If the wetsuit’s torso is a bit long on you, you’ll never notice it. However, if the torso is too short, the suit will feel stiff and uncomfortable. This means that when looking at the size chart, make sure you are accurate in the height. Since wetsuits have become so advanced in recent years, you can always find a size that fits both the weight and height requirements of the user. If the torso is too short, you will know immediately because it will be difficult and uncomfortable to zip up. If the shoulders feel significantly tighter than the rest of the wetsuit, you probably need a different size.
The most important thing is that the wetsuit is comfortable, yet snug. Getting into and out of a wetsuit is an acquired skill. Check out our Wetsuit Tips for the secret to putting on a wetsuit gracefully!