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Sizing up to get the best-fitting wetsuit - 3 important considerations

Don’t forget those booties.

Image: Shutterstock/R.M. Nunes

NEVER LISTEN TO anyone who tells you what wetsuit you need to buy. Full stop.

Because we are all different sizes, we are all going to need different wetsuits.

It is a very, very individual thing. A wetsuit that is too big will not carry out one single function while one that is too small will restrict performance at worst and at best, is dangerous.

The benefits of a good-fitting wetsuit are as follows:

  • They last longer
  • They allow you slip through the water faster
  • The give you more buoyancy
  • They keep you warmer (duh)
  • They can be more flexible than cheaper ones, meaning it’ll feel less stiff or restrictive

Here, we’ve outlined a few things you should know before you go er, wetsuit shopping…as you do

1. All wetsuit brands are different

The more popular the sport becomes, the more brands appear on the market. Some brands are for those with a narrower body, others a wider one, some are made for tall men, more for short men, some for women, some for kids. The selection is endless but it is absolutely worth spending the time and the money to get a suit that fits you. Don’t settle for one you aren’t happy with; there is a wetsuit out there for you!

2. Beware of the short-sleeve

Granted they look sleeker, lighter and just plain better, but the opposite is true and is the reason you’ll see very few of the world’s top guys using one. One of the big problems with short-sleeve wetsuits is the amount of water that leaks inside. It must be remembered that all wetsuits allow a little water inside as this then gets heated up and is used as a protective layer against the cold, believe it or not. But only up to a point. Too much water and you’ll not only be a lot heavier, but you’ll also be colder. Which defeats one of the main purposes of getting one in the first place. If you plan on doing triathlons in Ireland, stick to the long-sleeve ones.

3. Does the suit fit like a second skin?

Never ever buy a wetsuit without trying it on first. And when you do get to the changing rooms, take your time because some wetsuits can tear if tugged. Once both legs of the suit are on, work the suit up as high into your groin as possible, giving yourself a wedgie. Work the arms on like you did with the legs one, at a time.

Now pull on the body, zip it up at the back and swing your arms. This range of motion is crucial. Can you perform your swim stroke without being ‘caught’ anywhere? Perform some exercises you’d do during a typical warm-up? Does it feel like another skin?

If you were careful putting it on, be twice as cautious taking it off.

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TheScore Team

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