How is a wetsuit made?
Wetsuits are made from neoprene, a stretchy synthetic rubber material. The Wettie (like that - cool surfer speak!) is made out of several of these pieces of neoprene stitched together to cover the desired body parts. Wetsuits come as shorties (the Wetsuit has short legs and arms), full suits and some even have detachable arms and legs. The neoprene comes in different thickness', from 2 to 6 mm. The thicker the neoprene the warmer the suit. Surfers who brave extreme cold conditions usually wear a semi-dry suit which is not made out of neoprene at all but we will not be going there OK!
How do I wear a wetsuit?
Your average Wetsuit will have a zip to make it possible to get in and out of the Wetsuit. With a particularly tight suit this can be the most exhausting part of your day! The zips are situated in different places on the suit, traditionally down the back of the Wetsuit, but can be found across the shoulders or high up on the chest. The latest Wetsuits are made out of neoprene so stretchy that you can get in through the neck. Pretty cool stuff.
How does a wetsuit work then?
A Wetsuit works by trapping a thin layer of water between the Wetsuit and the skin. The body temperature of the surfer heats this water giving a nice warm water blanket. This is why getting a Wetsuit that fits well is a must. The Wetsuit should be a nice tight fit (not too tight that you can't move freely) and should be no baggy areas where the suit comes away from your body. If it is for cold water make sure that there is also a nice tight fitting neck - there is nothing worse than ducking under a wave and getting a blast of cold water right down your back