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Advice & Tips

Wetsuit Construction
How to Put on a Wetsuit
Wetsuit Care

 

Wetsuit Construction

Wetsuits are made of neoprene, a flexible and soft material which allows a very small amountr of water between your skin and the suit. Wetsuit won't keep your body completely dry. Your body heat will quickly warms up the thin layer of water that enter the wetsuit. The insulation provided by the neoprene will keep your body warm. That' s why an ideal wetsuit is tailored to perfectly tight to your body to keep water from flooding into the suit. There are 3 most important aspects of wetsuit construction.

1. Wetsuit Thickness:
Wetsuit thickness is measured in millimeters and impacts warmth. For example: 2mm , 3/2mm, 4/3mm. The first number represents thickness in the torso area, the second number in the extremities. Less neoprene is used in the extremities to increase flexibility. As a rule of thumb, thickness increases warmth and decreases flexibility. Kiteboarders and Windsurfers need the thinnest suit possible for the conditions in order to remain flexible. Click on the Water Temperature Guide below for recommendations based on your water temp. Keep in mind that a 3/2mm wetsuit is ideal if conditions permit.

2. Neoprene Type:
The type of neoprene used impacts flexibility, and there are 3 types of neoprene available for wetsuits. Standard Neoprene, Super Stretch Neoprene, and Super Stretch Water Repellant Neoprene. In order to offer wetsuits at different price levels, manufacturers use varying degrees of these neoprene types. To remain flexible, you need at least 30% -60% Super Stretch Neoprene in your suit. Most prefer wetsuits with 60% or 100% Super Stretch Neoprene for the ultimate level of flexibility and that glove like fit.

3. Seam Construction:
Seam construction impacts warmth and comfort. Riders in colder areas with water temps below 65 degrees need Sealed Seams to keep the warm water in and the cold water out. Below is a listing of the 3 types of seams available on wetsuits:

Flatlock Stitching: Recommended for warm water above 62F and wetsuits and accessories 2mm thick and under. You can recognize this seam from the outside. It looks like railroad tracks. The interior and exterior seams look about the same. The interior seam construction is flat and comfortable against the body. Some water may seep in through these seams.

Sealed (Glued and Blindstitched): Recommended for cold water 55F and up and wetsuits 3mm and thicker. This construction is best for cold water because the seams are glued, then stitched. It looks similar to Flatlock stitching, but is narrower in width. Very little water will seep through these seams.

Sealed & Taped (Glued Blindstitched & 100% Taped): Recommended for very cold water 55F and below. Same construction as above plus interior seam taping. The tape reinforces seams for added durability, and prevents any water from seeping through.

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