X-Mas Shopping: The wetsuit rules

surf wetsuitsThinking about buying a new wetty for Christmas? Here are the rules:

  1. Always, always try your wetsuit on before you buy it. Always.
  2. Buy fat, surf warm:
    1. A wetsuit that is slightly on the big side will last longer and keep you warmer. Wetsuits are fragile, and stretching the shit out of it will bust the seams. A tight wetsuit will leak much faster from stress. And getting in and out of it will be like crawling back into the womb.
    2. Ideally a wetsuit should fit relaxed. A small bit of extra space around the arms and shoulders will make paddling a 1000000 times easier. Seriously.
  3. Stitching is not enough, you must have glued seams. The more glue the better.
  4. Bright colors means it’s OK to drop in on you.
  5. Your feet will freeze first. Buy the thickest booties you can find.
  6. If you must buy second hand here’s what to look for:
    1. Turn it inside out. Bend the seams and look for splits. Key areas are lower legs, armpits and waist.
    2. If it is a neck entry suit (no back zip) look at the material around the neck hole. Is it frayed and split? This is indicative of heavy use and poor care.
  7. If the hood is not built in, don’t bother.
  8. Ignore the brand name. Too many people will only buy one brand of suit because it’s ‘the best’. Load of crap. Almost every wetsuit manufacturer makes a good suit. An open mind will lead to a fuller wallet: Confucius.
  9. Backzip wetsuits aren’t warm enough. Yet.
  10. Putting your wetsuit in the drier is illegal, and immoral. You will be caught.
  11. Your booties stink. Wash them.
  12. It is OK to pee in your suit, just like it is OK to take a dump in your jeans.


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