June 21, 2023 9 min read

Choose a Wetsuit Material That Suits Your Needs 

Wetsuits are special suits made of rubber that help divers, surfers, and swimmers stay warm in cold water, unless you live in the tropics where the water is always warm. It's important to choose the right wetsuit that fits well and is comfortable to wear, whether you're surfing, diving, or swimming for fun. This can improve your experience in the water significantly.

How do you choose the right wetsuit to prevent shivering and jaw fatigue on a chilly hour-long dive? We have some tips to share with you

Neoprene is a synthetic rubber used to make wetsuits because of its ability to trap water in air pockets within the material, keeping the wearer warm by insulating against heat loss. The thickness of the neoprene affects how much water it can trap, with thicker neoprene being used for colder water and thinner neoprene for warmer temperatures. It is typically petrochemical-based.

Think About the Thickness and Tit of the Wetsuit 

Wetsuits may have varying thickness of neoprene throughout. Typically, the chest, abdomen and back areas have thicker neoprene than the arms and legs to allow for better movement. An example of this is a 2/3mm wetsuit which has 3mm thickness in the core areas and 2mm thickness in the arms and legs.

Regarding your question, you can use a surfing wetsuit for diving. However, keep in mind that swimming and surfing wetsuits are not made to withstand pressure in the same way that diving wetsuits are. The thickness of neoprene may be the same, but the material is not as dense. Developers invest a lot of money in the development of new materials for the convenience of athletes and 1xBet 1xCorp N.V. separately funds athletes who participate in world championships and promote their brand.

Look for Features Like Zippers, Pockets, and Seals 

Diving wetsuits differ from other suits by the density of the neoprene material. They are designed to withstand the increased water pressure at depths, which compresses the gas bubbles in the neoprene and makes the suit thinner and less insulating. Surfing wetsuits, on the other hand, have flexible neoprene panels that allow for a greater range of movement.

Diving wetsuits are made with denser material that compresses less as you go deeper. Surfing wetsuits, on the other hand, compress more which causes them to become thinner. Moreover, diving wetsuits usually have reinforced panels to prevent abrasion from dive equipment like weight belts, BCDs, and tanks.

Make Sure to Try on Several Different Sizes Before Buying One  

How to choose the right thickness of a surfing wetsuit based on water temperature? The temperature of the water around you is the deciding factor. However, there are no fixed rules as everyone has their own level of sensitivity to cold. The best wetsuit for you is the one that makes you feel comfortable. Here are some general guidelines on how much thermal protection you might need.

Here are some recommendations for what wetsuit or rashguard to wear based on the water temperature:

  • 85°F / 30°C & above: Wear a rashguard and board shorts to protect your skin from the sun and potential scraping. If you get cold easily, wear a 1mm vest with short sleeves to keep your core warm. Avoid wearing a full wetsuit as it will be too hot.
  • 80-85°F / 27-29°C: Wear a 3mm short wetsuit or a 2/3 mm full wetsuit.
  • 73-79°F / 23-26°C: Wear a 3mm to 5mm full wetsuit.
  • 66-72°F / 19-22°C: Wear a 5mm to 7mm full wetsuit.
  • 50-65°F / 10-18°C: Wear a 7mm, 9mm, semi-dry suit or full dry suit.
  • 50°F / 10°C and below: Wear a full dry suit to stay warm in these extremely cold temperatures.

Please note that there is no set standard for everyone when it comes to tolerating the cold. Factors such as your personal cold tolerance, accustomed temperature range, body temperature, and physiological factors can all play a role. It's worth noting that fat is a great insulator!

Check Out Reviews From Other Customers Who Have Purchased Similar Wetsuits 

I often get laughed at for wearing only boardies and a rashguard while diving in 85°F / 30°C water, but I switch to a 3mm full suit when the water temperature drops to 78°F / 25°C during the "cold" monsoon currents. 

I believe that acclimatizing to the temperature is important, and in colder water, a wetsuit may not provide enough warmth. I prefer to use a semi-dry suit when the water temperature falls below 72°F/22°C to avoid experiencing brain freeze while underwater.

2023 wetsuits

A wetsuit works by trapping a layer of water against your skin which your body heat warms up and keeps inside 

On the other hand, a dry suit is designed for extremely cold water and needs special training to use. It works by creating a layer of air between the suit and your skin, so you stay completely dry. This is particularly useful when you come up to the surface and encounter cold air temperatures. The air in between the suit and your skin stays warm and comfortable, so you don't have to remove the suit immediately and can stay protected from the wind chill.

The semi-dry suit offers the benefits of both worlds, but is restricted to specific temperatures. The extremities of the arms and legs are made of 7mm neoprene which allow water to seep in, while the core panels have a thermal lining that remain dry. This keeps you warm, but taking it on and off can be inconvenient. 

We have various scuba suits available for rent. One of the essential features to consider while selecting a wetsuit is thickness, as explained earlier.

Some wetsuits feature neoprene panels that vary in thickness. The chest, abdomen, and back panels may be thicker than the panels on the arms and legs. This helps provide more thermal protection in your core area while allowing for greater mobility in the limbs, where full thermal protection is not necessary.

Consider the type of seams and neoprene when choosing a wetsuit. Seams can be flat or glued and blind stitched, with flat seams being more comfortable and glued and blind stitched seams being more durable. Neoprene comes in open-cell, closed-cell, and hybrid forms. Closed-cell neoprene is more waterproof but less flexible than open-cell neoprene, while hybrids offer a balance between the two. Keep in mind that glued and blind stitched seams may leave marks on your body but they are only temporary.

A thinner wetsuit made of open-cell neoprene is suitable for diving in warm water. It is worth noting that most wetsuits are back zip wetsuits, although some also have chest zips which are easier to zip up but have a smaller opening and can be more challenging to put on.

Moreover, wetsuits with chest zips tend to be snug around the shoulders. On the other hand, back zip wetsuits are the preferred choice for divers since they come with a lengthy pull cord that allows you to zip yourself up. However, many divers are happy to assist you in zipping up.

Woman Fitting in a Wetsuit

When shopping for a wetsuit, it's important to try it on because everyone's body is different. A wetsuit needs to fit well in order to trap water and keep you warm. If it's loose or ill-fitting, it will let warm water out and let cold water in, making you chilly.

When trying on a wetsuit, remember to wear a swimsuit or underwear underneath for proper fitting. Fitting rooms can usually be found at dive shops and sports stores.

Pro Tip: To make it easier to put on and remove your wetsuit, try placing a plastic bag over each foot. Remember, your wetsuit should fit snugly but not be too tight, and allow for comfortable movement of your arms and legs. Test the fit by doing some squats or fin movements to ensure you aren't restricted.

Get advice From Experienced Divers or Surfers When Making Your Purchase Decision

If you're unsure about which wetsuit size to pick, don't hesitate to ask the store employees or other divers for advice. They are knowledgeable about how each brand fits and may be able to suggest a size that's suitable for your body type. Keep in mind that different brands have varying characteristics, such as wider hips or shoulders. However, it's important to note that personal preference also plays a role in choosing the right wetsuit. Aside from functionality and comfort, you should also like the way it looks.

Investing in a high-quality wetsuit is not always necessary, but keep in mind that a good wetsuit can last for several years

Therefore, don't hesitate to spend a bit more if needed. Additionally, consider purchasing some wetsuit accessories to provide you with extra warmth during your scuba dives.

wetsuit for this season


To prevent losing body heat through your head, it's important to keep it warm while diving.

This can make you feel a lot warmer and cozier, especially in colder water. However, in warmer water, it may not be necessary.

Neoprene Gloves

If you prefer staying warm while diving, gloves are an excellent choice. They can help your hands and fingers stay warm in chilly water, making you feel more comfortable overall.

It to try out the gloves on your equipment before diving to avoid fumbling and constantly taking them on and off. However, if you are diving in warmer water, gloves may not be necessary. If you are planning on doing underwater photography, be aware that operating the camera controls may be trickier with gloves on, so you may want to consider not wearing them.


If you're wearing open-heel fins, it's important to wear booties. But, make sure to choose booties that are the right thickness. 

Cold feet can be uncomfortable, so it's important to keep them warm.

Do You Need A Dry Suit For Cold Water?

It's important to consider your own comfort level when choosing dive gear. Even if others laugh, prioritize staying warm and cozy during the dive. Keep in mind that temperatures lower than 65°F/18°C may require a full dry suit, and anything below 50°F/10°C definitely calls for one to prevent hypothermia. While shivering is uncomfortable, hypothermia can be dangerous.

It is recommended to look for a drysuit with a front zip instead of a back zip. Donning and doffing a drysuit can be quite challenging.

wetsuits 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

Chest Zip or Back Zip?

Choosing between a front closure or a back closure for your wetsuit is a matter of personal preference. Although back zip wetsuits are the most commonly used, chest zip wetsuits are more convenient to access. However, it's important to note that chest zip wetsuits have smaller openings and can be more challenging to put on.

When Do I Need A Wetsuit?

Whether you require a wetsuit is based on your personal preferences and cold tolerance.

In my case, to stay warm and cozy during the dive, I choose to wear a 3mm full suit when the water temperature drops to 80°F / 27°C or below. However, individuals who can withstand the cold better might be able to wear a rashguard and boardshorts under similar conditions.

How Do I Fit A Wetsuit

To ensure a good fit, it's important to try on a wetsuit that is snug but not overly tight. You should be able to move your limbs comfortably. If the suit is too tight, it will limit your mobility and make breathing difficult. Conversely, a suit that is too loose will allow too much water to come in, causing you to get cold. When trying on wetsuits at a dive store, use two plastic bags over your feet to make them slide through the suit more easily. This will make the process of trying on wetsuits much simpler.

How Do You Pick The Thickness Of A Wetsuit?

To choose a scuba diving wet suit, consider the water temperature and your body temperature. For warm water diving, you can opt for a thinner suit than for cold water. As a guideline, temperatures of 85°F / 30°C and higher allow for wearing a rashguard and boardshorts. If you are sensitive to the cold, wearing a 3mm shortie instead of a full suit is an option.

Can I Use A Surfing Wetsuit To Dive?

While it is possible to use a surfing wetsuit for diving, it is important to note that it may not offer the same level of protection as a diving wetsuit. Surfing wetsuits are made with less dense neoprene which compresses more under pressure, resulting in less insulation. Diving wetsuits, on the other hand, are made with denser neoprene which offers better insulation at greater depths.

Author - Nurlana Alasgarli
Nurlana Alasgarli          

Content Specialist

Nurlana Alasgarli is a professional copywriter with more than 6 years of creative writing experience. Having lived and experienced all over the world, there are many writing genres that Nurlana follows, including adventure, outdoor and water sports. Nurlana brings life to content creation, captivating her readers.


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