Wetsuits – GearGuide
In colder climates or weather conditions it is necessary to wear a wetsuit whether you are on a kiteboard, surfboard, a SUP or on a dive. A wetsuit is made of neoprene, which makes it elastic and makes it easy to pull on and off.
Wetsuits are available in different thicknesses. The thicker the wetsuit, the more heat it gives. Moving, however, becomes more difficult, since a thick wet out is rather stiff. On the other hand, although you can move more easily in a suit that is less thick, this will give you less thermal protection compared to a thicker suit. What you choose depends mainly on the conditions under which you will use a wetsuit (wave surfing, SUPs, kite surfing, windsurfing, wakeboarding or diving).
Image: O’Neill Men’s Wetsuit Psychofreak 4.5/3.5mm Fullsuit
In addition to the thickness, wetsuits can also differ in terms of the model. A ‘shorty’ covers only your upper legs and upper body, while a ‘long john’ covers you from just under your shoulders to your ankles. If you go diving you can go over it – when diving in cold water – wear a long neoprene jacket with a zipper. This acts as a second layer for your upper body.
Here are some tips to prepare for the purchase.
- How a wetsuit works
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How a wetsuit works
The basics, where is your wetsuit actually made and how does it work? In principle, surfers are not eco-friendly because until now all suits are made of neoprene. Neoprene is a synthetic rubber made from petroleum and super elastic and adhesive. Ideal for lying in the water. Because the suit is tight around your body, there is only a thin layer of water between your skin and the wetsuit. Your body can easily and quickly heat up this layer of water and this insulates perfectly so that you stay warm. This is also the reason why a wetsuit should be as tight as possible.
A pioneer in the development of sustainable wetsuits is Patagonia. In 2009 they started to manufacture wetsuits that are less damaging to the environment. They use Merino wool for excellent warmth.
Recently Patagonia, together with the Yulex Corporation developed a wetsuit from guayule. Guayule is a sustainable bio-rubber and the first alternative to traditional, fossil neoprene. The new wetsuits consist of 60 percent of the plant materials. Patagonia has set itself the goal of ensuring that the suits are 100 percent vegetable in the long run.