How to put on a Wetsuit

Step 1

1. Entering Your Wetsuit

Great! You have your new wetsuit and now you are ready to put it on. Now it is easier to put on a wetsuit if you are dry and the wetsuit is dry. (hint: it is also easier to put a wetsuit on if you have a rash guard or skin suit on, the slippery fabric is super helpful and can change your experience of putting on a wetsuit) Okay, if you have a wetsuit with a vertical zipper, the zipper goes in the back along your spine. This is often a common mistake, no worries, zipper in back. If you have a horizontal zipper that runs across the chest of the wetsuit or a zipper less wetsuit, you will enter the wetsuit from the top. The zipper will be across your chest if there is a zipper. If you are putting on a Triathlon wetsuit, be very careful that your finger nails do not tear your wetsuit; you have to be very gentle with triathlon wetsuits because they are not coated with a nylon coating on the exterior of the neoprene.

Step 2

2. Start at your ankles, then knees, up to groin

Make sure the zipper on the wetsuit, if you have one, is all the way down. Make sure you are sitting so that you don’t down. Have bare feet, do not have boots on, put your wetsuit on one leg at a time. Make sure that the bottom of the first leg of the wetsuit is up above the ankle of your wetsuit, this will ensure that you get the proper fit bottom up. Now pull the wetsuit up behind your knees and slowly pull the wetsuit up to your groin area. Go ahead and put your other leg in the wetsuit and repeat the same steps. It is important that you have your wetsuit pulled up, without wrinkles into the groin. If this area is not snug, you will have tightness in the chest, shoulders, neck and arms. If you are taller you may need to make sure your wetsuit is a bit higher on your lower leg, no worries, most boots will cover the extra inch or so exposed on the ankle.

Step 3

3. Waist,Chest, Arms and Neck

Now that the wetsuit is snug up in the groin area, pull the wetsuit up around your waist and chest. Don’t rush to put your arms in, you will regret it. Now that you have the wetsuit up your chest, treat your arms like your legs, put one arm in the sleeve at a time. Make sure the wrist of the suit is right at the wrist before you proceed gently pulling up through the elbow and then up in the arm pit area. Go ahead and repeat these steps on the other arm. Make sure your wetsuit is nice and snug in the arm pit, if not you will lose range of motion. If you feel any tightness in the neck, make sure from ankles all the way up that you have taken the wrinkles out and are snug in the groin all the way up. This is often the number one reason for improper fit.

Step 4

4. Zip and Velcro your wetsuit

Once you have the proper fit, go ahead and reach back for the zipper cord and pull up and zip up your wetsuit. Most wetsuits have a Velcro around the neck, go ahead and Velcro the neck flap.

Step 5

5. Protect your Feet, Heads, and Hands

We lose most of our heat through our heads, feet and hands. It is important that you protect your extremities. It is important to protect your extremities because they are the furthest from your heart. The warm blood has to pump to the extremities to keep them warm. With the help of Boots, Gloves and Hoods your extremeties can be more protected. It is important to select appropriate thickness of your gear based on the temperature of the water.

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Step 6

6. Boots

If you are wearing boots, make sure you roll up your wetsuit at ankle, put your boots on and roll your wetsuit back over the boots. Putting the wetsuit inside your boots will not allow your wetsuit to flush and will fill your ankles, legs and feet with water. Be sure to check the water temperature you are going to be in so that you select the right thickness for the activity that you will be doing.

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Step 7

7. Hoods

If you wear a hood with a bib, make sure you put your hood before you zip up your wetsuit. The bib goes under the neck of your wetsuit. If your hood does not have a bib, you can put it on any time. Hoods provide thermal protection for your head as well as protect your ears, full hoods also protect your neck. Be sure to check the water temperature you are going to be in so that you select the right thickness for the activity that you will be doing.

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Step 8

8. Gloves

If you are wearing gloves, put them on after you have put your wetsuit on. We recommend that if you are wearing a full sleeved wetsuit to make sure that that your wetsuit is not tucked into the gloves. What can happen is that the water that gets in your wetsuit can fill up your gloves with water with no place to drain and your gloves can swell with too much water. Be sure to check the water temperature you are going to be in so that you select the right thickness for the activity that you will be doing.

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Step 9

9. Thermal Shirts and Suit

Sometimes you may need an added layer of thermal protection during colder times of the year. We recommend a 1mm thermal shirt or suit that will add an additional 1mm of thermal protection throughout if you are wearing a suit. If you wear a long sleeve you will have added warmth throughout your chest, shoulders and arms. If you are wearing a 1mm thermal shirt, you will have added warmth in your chest and shoulders. Thermal suits and shirts will have an associated thickness with them like 1mm. Rash guards do not provide thermal protection but they do help with putting wetsuits on and taking them off.

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