You might think when it comes to how to put on a wetsuit it’s pretty cut and dry but even an experienced surfer can have a hard time putting on a new wetsyit. If you don’t put on your wetsuit correctly, it could rip or tear, which is an issue you really don’t want to deal with if you can avoid it.
Wetsuits fit snuggly, so they are not always easy to get on and particularly when you are first using them (they tend to stretch and give a little more after a few sessions). Wetsuits are supposed to be like a second type of skin. Here’s a quick and simple guide to help you with how to put on a wetsuit.
Step #1 – Zipper type – back? Chest? or Zip free.
If you’ve never put on a wetsuit before, it’s important to note, that wetsuits typically come in different variations now – back zip and chest zip. There are some zipperless wetsuits, too. Just make sure to check before you start to put on the wetsuit.
Step #2 – Start with Feet, Ankles, & Legs
You will want to put it on like you do regular pants, one leg at a time. However, you want to pull it over your foot and ankle first, and then start to work it up your calf and thigh.
Make sure you line up the knee pads and don’t leave large wrinkles in the fabric behind your knees.
Step #3 – Continue Past the Hips & Torso
Be gentle with the fabric as you pull it over your hips and check for twisting in the fabric around your legs. You don’t want to have any twists or wrinkles in the fabric around your legs.
Next, pull the wetsuit over your torso and make sure it fits tightly against your skin. One of the keys to how to put on a wetsuit is picking the right size. If the wetsuit isn’t tight around your torso, it’s probably not the right size for you.
Make sure there’s no extra fabric along your torso before moving onto the next step. A loose or baggy wetsuit will not keep you warm in the water.
Step #4 – Your Arms
After you’ve put the wetsuit on past your torso, it’s time to put the sleeves on. Be careful of your fingernails, as this is one of the most common ways you can rip or puncture the wetsuit.
Again, watch for twisting as you put it on along your arms. You want the wetsuit to reach up to your wrists, but you also want to make sure there isn’t much room between the suit and your armpits.
Step #5 – Your Neck and Shoulder
At this point you’ll either need to pull over the head a neck entry piece (for a chest zip wetsuit) and ensure the piece and suit is sitting in place over the shoulders and neck. Then, zip the suit carefully while avoiding snags. Once the suit has been zipped up, you want to close any other fastenings.
Make sure your wetsuit is tight against your skin on your neck so there’s a seal to keep water out. If you have an attached hood, you can pull it over your head at this point.
Once you have the wetsuit on, you want to double-check the fit. Make sure it fits well and make sure it’s tight on your skin before you enter the water.
If you follow this guide for how to put on a wetsuit, you should be able to easily put your suit on. If it doesn’t go on right, your wetsuit might not be the right size. Always remember to take your time and be careful. This is the most important advice when it comes to how to put on a wetsuit.
You might be interested in some of our other wetsuit guides: