Every body-type is different when finding the perfect fit for a wetsuit, follow this guide to help you find the right size for you. In this article, our experts at Xcel are here to give you tips on how to properly fit a wetsuit. Follow these key steps to find the right size and fit for you. It will only keep you in the water longer.
When fitting a wetsuit, you want the suit to fit like a second skin, somewhat snug. That is without being too binding that would result in restriction of your range of motion. Wetsuits are designed to compress against the body to maintain the body’s core temperature and insulate it from the outside elements.
Step 1: Measure height and weight first
Measure the height and chest first to get started, then determine waist and weight of the surfer. When buying a wetsuit online, the Xcel sizing chart can help you find what size is best based on these measurements. This is a critical place to start when fitting a wetsuit so make sure to get these measurements first.
Step 2: Should you size up or down in a wetsuit?!
You’re in between wetsuit sizes and not quite sure whether to size up or down? Or, you’re shopping and can’t find the exact size our size chart recommended. In this case, we’d recommend selecting the next largest size. While we don’t want excess material, mobility is important when surfing and we don’t want the size of your wetsuit to limit your motion.
Step 3: Trying on your Wetsuit
Once you get your wetsuit, (woo hoo! We are stoked too) try it on and make sure there is no excess material in the shoulders, under the arms, or legs. The wetsuit should feel like a second skin. You also want to make sure at the ankles is a nice seal so you don’t have water flushing up the leg.
Step 4: Is the wetsuit too big?
If the wetsuit is too loose, it will allow water to displace in the suit which can chill the body and stiffen up. It will make excess materials in areas like the armpits (what we call wing) which will result in chaffing and/or a bulky uncomfortable feeling.
You shouldn’t be able to pull wetsuit material or excess material that is shown through rolls or looseness throughout the fit. To ensure a comfortable fit and to maintain warmth, make sure you’re not seeing these signs.
Another sign of too large of a wetsuit, is under the arm where you raise your arm and have a bit of a ‘bat wing’ effect shown by too much material. If the wetsuit is too big, you can get unwanted friction and possibly get a rash so getting the right size makes it more comfortable when using. You also don’t want your legs filling up with water.
Should you get a larger wetsuit size to grow into? We often get this question from younger surfers who are still growing. If you decide to purchase a suit to grow into, keep in mind all of the other factors in play. The fit is the difference. If the suit is too large, it will hinder the wetsuit's performance.
Step 5: Is the wetsuit too small?
When a wetsuit is too small, it’ll feel constricting and be very difficult to move. The length on the ankle and wrist will also appear too short. In the back, if a wetsuit is too small, it’ll also create an open space as the material is pulled tight, which can actually make you colder in the water. Also, when the wetsuit is stretched to this point, the longevity of the seams and performance will be much shorter. Simply, your wetsuit won’t last as long.
Step 6: Breaking in your wetsuit
It’s important to note that wetsuits have a break in period. What that means, once the wetsuit is submerged in water, it loosens up. Then, after a few surfs, the suit will take the shape of the body. This is important to understand so you make the right size purchase & maximize all the benefits of the product.
It’s important to fit your wetsuit correctly to make the most of your time in the water. One mantra we truly believe here at Xcel is Fit is The Difference. Having a correctly fitted wetsuit really does make all the difference and we hope this guide helped you find your right size.
Make the most of your time in the water with a properly fitting wetsuit. Fit is the difference. At Xcel, we stand by this concept because without the fit, the wetsuit technology isn’t as efficient. Every wetsuit we make has a purpose and with a proper fitting wetsuit, you can simply stay in the water longer, more comfortably. Hope this helped you out and guided you to the right size.