July 09, 2021 6 min read

Taking on a new water sport can sometimes be a bit overwhelming especially when you don’t quite know everything there is to know about the gear and what is needed to be comfortable and encourage optimal performance.

If you have decided to take on surfing, snorkeling, diving or anything which requires a wet suit, then we encourage you to read on as we dive into what do women wear under wetsuits and why as well as what the best options are for different preferences and personal styles.

Such questions are not often asked when it comes to wetsuits for guys, but we must answer this topic in more detail related to ladies.


No matter what your personal preference or style might be, comfort will always be key in deciding what to wear and how to select the best apparel for your water sporting adventures.

There will always be a few things you need to look at when deciding not only what to wear underneath your wetsuits, but in choosing the right wetsuits or water sporting gear and apparel:

women in swimming underwear
  • Comfortability
  • Flexibility
  • Durability
  • Accurate size and type
  • Climate and Season
  • Design Specifications (Zipper, Seams, Thickness)

Let’s take a look at each of the above points briefly, just to highlight what is important in choosing a wetsuitfirst, before we take a look at exactly what to wear under wetsuit surfing, snorkelling, swimming, diving or any other form of water sports which require or prefer a wetsuit to be worn.


Ensuring your optimal comfort when exploring and engaging in any sport is vital. There is nothing more hindering to anyone’s performance or experience if they are constantly trying to readjust, realign or simply do not feel comfortable in the wetsuit. This certainly will impact your skills and performance as well as whether or not the water sport is fun or not. Always make sure you focus on comfortability when shopping for your new wetsuit and water sport apparel.


Easily linked with the point mentioned above, flexibility is another incredibly important feature to take into consideration when selecting your wetsuit, second skin or even swimming trunks and costume. Whether you are surfing, body boarding, taking part in a triathlon and swimming or even snorkelling and diving, you need to be able to move your whole body with ease and flexibility. If you are not able to move around freely and easily, you will find yourself in situations where you are not able to enjoy yourself, engage and explore various techniques or perhaps have optimal swimming performance or strength always needed out in the water. Your apparel and wetsuit should fit comfortably with room to move and stretch without restriction.


What would the point be in shopping around for optimal and high performance gear, apparel or wetsuits if you are only going to need to buy again in a couple of months? Always make sure you ask the right questions and do research on what the most reliable brands, materials and designs are for your chosen water sport. You want to ensure your wetsuit and water sporting apparel becomes an investment instead of an unnecessary recurring expense. Cutting back on the pennies spent is not always in your favour and you should ensure that durability and quality is at the forefront of your mind when buying a wetsuit.


For those just starting out, be careful not to use a family member’s wet suit or a second hand suit as this might not provide you the optimal comfort and experience you need to experience when out on the water.

Essentially, you want to make sure that the suit you wear in the water or engaging in any water sport is comfortable and one of the important factors to consider is the size of the wetsuit and how it fits your body type, your height, your waist as well as the length of your arms and legs.


This certainly goes without saying that deciding on what wetsuit or water sporting gear and apparel to get, you need to consider the environmental factors such as which season or seasons are you planning to get out into the water as well as whether or not your location produces colder climates and lower temperature waters. In addition, you may very well be someone who can stand the colder climates and water temperatures. Understanding your threshold will ultimately aid in what thickness your wetsuit should be as well as whether it should be a summer short sleeve suit or a long full body coverage. Take a look at all the various designs and styles of wetsuits to understand what you may consider to be the best option for you or your loved ones.


Last but not least, the design specifications essentially relies on your own personal preferences and personal style. Perhaps you are looking for a wetsuit which hosts a few more features than the next such as additional zippers or storage pockets for convenience. Then of course the fun part is choosing which colors, designs, patterns and brands you like and find not only your perfect fit but something which stands out uniquely as your own.

rash guard with zipper

Now that you know exactly what to look for and consider when shopping around for your next or first wetsuit, let’s dive into the big question we actually want to answer: What should I wear under a wetsuit?

For those women who prefer not to wear wetsuits without anything underneath, especially if your skin is sensitive to rashes or discomfort; we have a few options for different preferences on how to ensure maximum comfort while out on the water, waves or anywhere where your water sport adventures take you.

Depending on what water sports or activities you plan on enjoying, you will be able to find the right apparel and comfort to suit you and your performance. If you are a water sportswomen who perhaps takes part in competitive water sports, you might be asking the question of what to wear under a triathlon wetsuit. As you need to transition from the water into a land activities or sports, many triathletes opt for one-piece swimsuits and cycling tight shorts to make the water to land transition a lot quicker, saving time on the clock when it matters most.

Below are some other options for women who are deciding what would be best in terms of what to wear under wetsuit female:

1. One Piece Swimming Costume:

Wearing the one piece often tends to be a preference amongst females as the one piece fits and snugs all the right places and of course sits well against the body to ensure no shifting around or bundling up occurs while you are out on the water

2. Bikinis:

Although this is a common choice for women in the water, especially surfers, there are a few things to look out for when opting for the bikini or two piece to be worn underneath your wetsuit. Some bikinis are made with accessories and fashionable designs such as sequins, tassels, knots or even jewellery such as beads and stones. This will particularly risk discomfort as the wetsuit sits tight against your body and will press any of these accessories or design elements against the skin. Imagine spending hours in the water with so much of your time paddling out, chest to the board. You will more than likely end up with some form of sensitive or bruised chest plate from the constant pressure.

3. Sports Bra:

Many women who do prefer to wear something underneath their wetsuit but do not want to be held back by any discomfort or unpleasant experiences have opted for wearing sports bra’s underneath their wetsuits for various reasons such as extra padding, quick-drying convenience as well as chest support when required.

4. Skin Rash or Rash Guard:

surfing in swim suit

For many women or surfers, wearing a rash guard is usually worn during the summer months or warmer waters however; for those colder climates and waters, try wearing the rash guard underneath your wetsuit to ensure an extra layer for protection and comfort.

One final question to be addressed in this article is one which may pop up for many women or water sports enthusiasts and that is whether or not you should or should not go completely naked underneath the wetsuit. Well, the short answer is yes! The comfort of not wearing anything underneath your wetsuit provides a bit more flexibility without having to worry about readjusting any under garments as well as allowing the wetsuit to fit even snugger and insulate against your body and skin.

However, it is usually recommended to try out one of the above mentioned options to test out what would be more comfortable and encourage better and longer performance in and out of the water.


Author - Olivia Poglianich
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the surf, watersports and outdoor adventure space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.

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