How to Select a Wetsuit

  • Posted on
  • By Nick Casper
How to Select a Wetsuit

Diving is fun! Being cold SUCKS - literally!!!  It sucks the warmth out of you and sucks the fun out of the dive.  

And if you are like most Floridians, being cold is not acceptable!  Fortunately for us divers, there is a technology that can keep us warm while we are immersed in water − neoprene rubber.

Choosing the right wetsuit

A wetsuit made of neoprene rubber keeps us warm by retaining body heat within a thin layer of water trapped by the suit that is insulated by the rubber.  The rubber is impregnated with closed micro air bubbles that conduct heat slowly.  The thicker the suit, the more air bubbles, the warmer you are!  Just like any air space, these bubbles compress as you descend deeper, so if you dive deeper more often you may want to consider a thicker suit than someone diving to 40 feet or less.

There are a couple styles of suits available on the market. Force-E Scuba Centers carry a wide selection of styles including skin-suits, shorty suits, 1mm, 3mm, 5mm, and even some 7mm suits in the winter.  We stock different suits from different manufacturers to give you a good variety from which to choose.

When shopping for your wetsuit you will need to try on more than one to be sure you get the perfect fit. While wearing a suit you might experience some discomfort, especially if you are new to wearing a suit at all. If any aspect of the suit is not comfortable, try another one.  Again, the most important thing is fit. The suit should fit like a second skin. Every body is different and you may have to opt for the best fitting of the suits you try. Our staff will help you select a suit for you or you could go with a custom suit.

TIP: Wear your swimsuit to try on the suit. You may discover that a bikini tie for women or baggy shorts for men are uncomfortable under the suit in some way. I recommend a swimsuit that has no ties or a slimmer suit for men like a jammer. To accommodate both issues try wearing a dive skin or a rash guard under the suit.  Placing a plastic bag over your hands and feet will help make it easier for you to slip into the suit.

Nice features to have on a wetsuit:

  • Ankle zippers they make it easier to get the wetsuit on and off.
  • Seals on the ankles or wrists, these minimize suit flushing.
  • Plush interior lining − this creates more surface area inside the suit reducing water movement and increasing comfort.

The ultimate test for any wetsuit will come the first time you dive in it.  Force-E Scuba Centers is the only retailer in South Florida that will let you dive a suit and exchange it if it is not to your liking.  That is our “no fear guarantee!”

Next time we will be discussing how to clean and store your suit.