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Sticky Note

How do I get my wetsuit on?!

Well, there is no denying it, putting a wetsuit on is not a pleasant experience. At least not a well fitting wetsuit. Unless you are in to 70's glam rock (or even the 80's climbing scene) then a wetsuit will probably be the most close fitting item you will ever wear. But do not despair! We have all tried one on and it is possible! Just trust us.

Top tips:

  • It is worth bearing in mind that the glideskin neoprene is incredibly delicate. This may seem like a bit of a conundrum for something that is so difficult to get on. 
  • Fingernails are hazardous to neoprene. It is imperative that you do your upmost not to impair the material with your nails; you may need to exchange it for a different size! Also, make sure to wear swimwear under your wetsuit for the same reason.
  • It is advisable to trim and file your nails before attempting to try on your wetsuit. If you are still concerned, you can use gloves to help protect your wetsuit. 
  • When pulling the wetsuit up, try to pull from inside the suit- if this is not possible, ensure to use the pads of your finger tips- not the ends.
  • The girls in Customer Service have found that working the wetsuit over your hips can be a bit of mission. So girls, be prepared for this when you put your suit on and just stick with it! You will be rewarded with glorious open water swimming.
  • Try your wetsuit on when you are cool and remain calm! If you get hot and sweaty, it will be much harder to put on!

Step by step:

  1. Get the wetsuit as high up your legs as possible before attempting to pull it up your torso. The ankle cuffs should be a couple of inches up your leg before you pull the suit up the length of your legs.
  2. With one leg in, pull up from the bottom of the suit leg, gradually moving the neoprene up the leg using the inside of the suit to pull the suit up (similar to putting on a pair of tights). Do the same with the other leg. Get the suit as high into the crotch as possible.
  3. Pull the wetsuit up over the torso and fit the arms in the same way that you just fit the legs: pull the wrist cuff to a couple of inches up from the wrist bone and then work the neoprene up into the arm pit as much as possible. 
  4. Flex your shoulders backwards as you pull the zip up.
  5. If necessary, bend forwards and gently pull the neoprene up from your stomach. Use the pads of your fingers!
  6. The wetsuit should feel 'comfortably compressing' when dry and may feel tight around the collar. In the water you want the wetsuit to fit as closely as possible to prevent water from collecting in the crotch and waist.
  7. The wetsuit needs to fit along the torso length and at the waist. If you can grab a few inches of neoprene from the zip when you are wearing it, then it may be too big.
  8. Getting a wetsuit off is easier when it is wet. When trying to get your wetsuit off whilst dry, we found it far easier to pull the wetsuit inside out.

 

Further reading/ watching:

Outdoor Swimming Society Top Tips

Head to the Hills wetsuit fitting guidelines

Huub Design wetsuit fitting video

Created: Jul 24, 2015

Similarly tagged stickies:  Chilkoot softshell trousers, Filoment Hoody, Phantac hydrophobic RDS jacket, Pulsar waterproof top, Where does it come from? Alpkit gear sourcing,

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