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Wetsuit Construction

Seam Construction

The seams are one of the core features of a wetsuit. They determine the strength, flexibility and watertightness of its construction, so it's an important factor when picking the right suit for you.

Flat Lock Seams

Flat Lock Seams

The seams are one of the core features of a wetsuit. They determine the strength, flexibility and watertightness of its construction, so it's an important factor when picking the right suit for you.

GBS Seams

GBS Seams

A GBS seam is glued together with waterproof glue then blind stitched together. The stitch only passes half way through the neoprene. The result is a durable waterproof seam that keeps water out. Some manufacturers use double and triple gluing techniques as well as doubling the blind stitch, this reinforces the seams and makes them extremely durable.

Fluid & Liquid Seams

Fluid & Liquid Seams

A durable liquid rubber that seals GBS (Glued & Blind Stitched) seams. This liquid rubber can be applied internally, externally or both. The advantage over a GBS seam is that the Fluid Seam is typically the most watertight seam. There are different types of Liquid / Fluid seams. Some are thinner, lighter, and more Flexible than others.

Fused/Welded Seams

Fused/Welded Seams

Fused / Welded Seams are extremely durable, stitch-free, and typically provide maximum stretch in all directions. Each manufacture names this type of seam differently. The key differentiate is that these seams are cypher and use less rubber giving them a lower profile.

Taped Seams

Taped Seams

Taped Seams can be applied over the interior or exterior the seams. These are typically super stretchy and add extra durability and comfort. Higher end taped seams are more flexible and water resistent than other less expensive taped seams.

Spot Taping

Spot Taping

Spot tape is used to help prevent leaks or tears at the intersections and stress points of your wetsuit. Spot taping is also used to strengthen the seams within your wetsuit. Spot taping is typically used in conjunction with glued and blindstitched seams create seams that are high performance and almost indestructible.

Zippers

Spot tape is used to help prevent leaks or tears at the intersections and stress points of your wetsuit. Spot taping is also used to strengthen the seams within your wetsuit. Spot taping is typically used in conjunction with glued and blindstitched seams create seams that are high performance and almost indestructible.

Chest Zip One Side Opening

Chest Zip One Side Opening

Chest Zippers get the zipper off your back so that you get more stretch along your spine. Additionally, with a smaller chest zip, you have less opportunities for water to come into the wetsuit thus keeping you warmer. These designs have only one open shoulder, less water can enter the suit and you stay warmer.

Chest Zip Two Side Opening

Chest Zip Two Side Opening

Chest Zippers get the zipper off your back so that you get more stretch along your spine. Additionally, with a smaller chest zip, you have less opportunities for water to come into the wetsuit thus keeping you warmer. Two side opening designs tend to have wider openings so it is easier to get into.

Back Zip

Back Zip

Back Zippers are the most popular wetsuit zipper. The benefit is that it is generally a larger opening that allows more space for you to get in and out of your wetsuit.

Neoprene

All wetsuits are made of neoprene. Great wetsuits are made of great neoprene. The higher the quality, the lighter, warmer and more flexible your wetsuit will be.

Laminated Neoprene

Laminated Neoprene

Laminated neoprene is the most popular neoprene for multi-sport wetsuits. This is a rubber coated with a nylon blend or polyester blend laminated over the rubber to protect it from tearing. There are different grades of rubber and laminate, this determines the starchiness of the neoprene.

Air Insulated Neorene

Air Insulated Neoprene

Air insulated neoprene has many different names depending on the manufacturer. The key feature is that it has air chambers to trap heat for better insulation. See the texture in this wetsuits paneling. It looks like bubbles are under the surface. This is a lighter neoprene made with more air cells so it is warmer and lighter. The more of this neoprene that is used in a wetsuit the more stretchy, light and expensive it is.

Glide/Smooth Skin Neoprene

Glide/Smooth Skin Neoprene

Glide Skin neoprene is composed differently by each manufacturer. These neoprenes do not have a laminent on at least one side. It is more delicated that two sided laminated neoprene which has a nylon or nylon blended material laminated to it. In swimming wetsuits the exposed rubber is usually coated with a special material that is hydrophobic which means “water fearing”. The surface of these materials repel water and thus should move through the water faster. This glide skin in also used in multi-sport wetsuits on the chest, neck seals and other key areas.

Extra

It is up to you which wetsuit zipper you choose. Back Zip, Chest Zip, and even No Zipper.

Glide Skin Neck Seal

Glide Skin Neck Seal

A glide skin wetsuit neck seal is a smooth unlaminated neoprene that creates a watertight seal between your skin and the glide skin material. This helps reduce water flushing into your wetsuit so that you stay warmer.

Knee Pads

Knee Pads

Integrated knee pads or laminated knee pads provide extra protection to high wear areas.  Some knee pads are integrated (sewn in) and some laminated (glued on the neoprene or glued and sewn on to the neoprene).  Abrasion resistant knee pads usually mean the material used for the knee pads do not pile when rubbed.  

Wrists Seals

Wrists Seals

Donut seals construction keeps water out and forms a snug, comfortable seal at the wrist and ankles. There are also wetsuit tha have a thin band of liquid neoprene in the inner wrists and/or ankles, these types of seals form an excellent seal, helps minimize flushing and keep you warmer.

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