Updated: Oct 6, 2017
Wetsuit Reviews:BodyGlove makes some of the best wetsuits on the market. They carry different lines of wetsuits for diving, scuba, surfing and wakeboarding. The mens fullsuits for wake - the Triad Triathlon Wetsuit sells for $165, while the mens springsuit is less expensive at $59.95. The surfing wetsuits are more expensive since they need to keep you dryer for a longer period of time and in colder water. The Vapor Fullsuit is the top of the line wetsuit and sells for $349. The Matrix Fullsuit goes a little less at $299. The BodyGlove line of wetsuits for women cost around $165 for a quality, thick product. The dive wetsuit for men that we prefer is the Excursion Fullsuit for $299. Oneill has been making wetsuits for decades and their name is well respected in the surfing community for quality products and wetsuits. They list their wetsuits by water category (Frigid, Cold, Tropical).
How to Choose a Wet Suit:The most important thing to look for in a wetsuit is the fit. Try on different sizes to compare how different companies products fit. Neoprene seems to be the best type of wetsuit material these days - they stretch better and are warmer. Wetsuits cost from $100-$400 so there should be a huge variety of styles and types in between those price ranges. You want a thick suit that has good flexibility. It shouldn't fit too tight since over time the suit will shrink and stiffen a bit. Zipper free suits are the best in terms of keeping out water, but they are very hard to get into and out of, plus they tend to be the most expensive on the market. Try them out and see if it's worth the extra hassle of getting them on and off. There are even companies that make custom made wetsuits in upwards of $600. The only issue with these is that if you gain a little gain here or there, they won't fit anymore. The thicker the wetsuit, the colder the water you can go into. Also there are wetsuits made for scuba diving versus surfing, ask the salesperson at the store as to which is better for your needs. You can browse the top selling wetsuits for men, women, and kids online here.
Shorty Wetsuit:RECOMMENDED - When it comes to the short sleeve wetsuits, US Divers has the top billing on consumer websites like Amazon.com. The U.S. Divers Mercury Shorty Adult Wetsuit is a top seller that is available in 6 sizes and features 3 mm chest panels and 2 mm side panels. The titanium blend chest panels keep heat in towards your body for the ultimate in warmth. The shorty wetsuit also have Neoskin seals on the legs, neck, and wrists to keep out water. Most owner reviews mention that you "can't beat this wetsuit for the price".
Wetsuit Care and Maintenance:
- Keep the suit out of direct sunlight when you are not wearing it, as the heat and UV rays will cause cracking and stiffening
- Never put a wetsuit in a dryer, and avoid exposing it to excessive heat, i.e. from a room heater or from draping it over a radiator
- Rinse your suit out well after each use. Dissolved minerals in the seawater accelerate the degradation of neoprene
- Keep your suit clean. If dirt or salt (see above) gets into the inner lining of the suit, it can interfere with the suits ability to trap an insulating layer of water near your skin. Some surfers use shampoo, Armor-All, or even purple bubble bath to clean their suits
- Get some neoprene glue and take some time to fix up leaks and holes before they become too large to repair
- Cheap wetsuits are typically fashioned with overlock stitching, minimal paneling, and are usually poor suits to wear when surfing
- You can usually get a good deal on a winter wetsuit towards the end of the summer
- Used wetsuits can also be a good buy
- Be sure to check for cracks and tears
- Only buy a wetsuit that fits properly - since that is the most important feature