In kind collaboration with SRFACE.
Buying a wetsuit in a store can be a daunting experience. Name one person that likes trying on a wetsuit in a sweaty and sandy fitting room. Not us. No one. Ever… With these how to’s, buying a wetsuit online and choosing the right size becomes a walk in the park. The team of SRFACE was so kind to help me with their expertise on wetsuit fits and the right treatment.
Driven by this passion for surfing, SRFACE was born quite simply by the curiosity of five friends and entrepreneurs brought together by the sport. Amazed at the high price of performance wetsuits, they made it their mission to find a way of bringing a fair priced high-end wetsuit on to the market.
So here we go with a wide range of important tips on how to find your perfect wetsuit and how to keep it in shape for a long life.
The perfect wetsuit fit
- Make sure you buy a wetsuit that matches all your body sizes
- Specific sizes are available for taller and skinnier, and shorter and broader people
- Use the SRFACE Size Finder to determine your wetsuit size
- Don’t just buy a size medium because you always wear size medium clothes
- A wetsuit should feel snug and slightly tight the first time you try it on
- Of course, you should be able to move freely and breathe normally
- Neoprene is flexible and will stretch slightly after a few surfs
- Your wetsuit should show no big ‘air bubbles’, wrinkles or excess material
- Check the armpits, waist, and crotch for wrinkles: A small wrinkle is okay, big folds are not
- If you’re not sure about the size, ask the brand’s customer support for help
Wetsuit fit checklist
- Check your wrists and ankles. Do the arms and legs have the right length?
- Is the neck sealed tightly?
- Is the overall length of the wetsuit right and not too tight or loose in the crotch
- Are your knee pads located exactly over your knee caps?
- Are you able to lift your arms without too much resistance?
- Are you able to bend down and forward without too much resistance?
- Check for excess material, air bubbles and wrinkles. Does the wetsuit feel snug all over your body?
- Do some air paddles… feels good?
Well this means you’re officially ready to hit the water. As there the story of your wetsuit only begins we continue with some important tips on how to take care of our wetsuit best:
Here’s an important life lesson: A wetsuit, like most things, will last longer if you take good care of it. Following the steps below will extend the lifespan of your wetsuit.
- Rinse your wetsuit thoroughly with fresh water after each surf and hang it to dry in a shady and dry place
- Don’t dry your wetsuit in direct sunlight to avoid ozone and UV damage to the neoprene and glue
- Fold and hang your wetsuit at the waist over a rail or suitable (waist) hanger while drying. Thisprevents the neoprene in the shoulder area stretching
- Whatever your mom says: Do not machine wash, iron or tumble dry your wetsuit.
- Don’t use chemicals to clean your wetsuit. It will damage the materials and glue.
- Avoid chlorinated swimming pools (sorry wavepool owners!)
- Only store your wetsuit in a closet or cupboard when completely dry on both sides
- Be careful when taking your wetsuit on and off. Stones, nails and pulling hard on the material might damage it.
Sometimes it’s just bad luck, and some wetsuit damage can be prevented. But luckily most damage towetsuits can be repaired. The number one cause for wetsuit damage? Believe it or not: Fingernails. Lighter high-end neoprene is more flexible because it has more air bubbles trapped inside of it. The downside is that this material is easier to tear than stiff, cheaper neoprene. Single lined (smooth) neoprene, often used on chest and back panels, is especially vulnerable.
Here are some tips to avoid and repair wetsuit damage:
- Take care when getting in and out of your wetsuit and avoid sharp stones, fingernails and pulling hard on the material
- If you notice an issue with a new wetsuit, contact the brand immediately. Wetsuits are made by hand with great attention to detail, but every now and then we miss something. Sorry!
- Don’t overstretch the zip to avoid a zip or zip runner replacement
- Small cuts in the middle of a panel or on a seam can be glued with neoprene glue
- Don’t use superglue or other types of glue other than specific neoprene glue
- Fixing a cut repair only takes about 20 minutes and avoids the tear from getting bigger
- Bigger cuts or broken seams can be fixed too, but leave that to the experts
- Visit your local repair shop for bigger repairs that involve sewing or patch repairs
- Repair shops can also assist in changing wetsuit fit to your specific needs
If you have any more secret tips on how to find the perfect wetsuit and treat him rigth – let us know in the comments!
I am personally very happy with my SRFACE wetsuit. I got a 4/3 in size 6ST and I am 173cm tall and about 55kg. So far I tested the wetsuit in the UK in fall and winter (adding a hood, gloves and booties) and in Fuerteventura and Portugal in winter. I was very pleased with the fit and the performance of the wetusit. What I found remarkable is, that it keeps you warmer than some other brands 4/3 wetsuits.
In case you are looking to get a new one – contact me for a code to get 10% off of your new SRFACE wetsuit.