A GUIDE TO BUYING YOUR SAILING WETSUIT
Sailing is one of the water sports which you can do throughout the year unless the water is frozen. It is not a summer sport only but in many countries, spring and fall are the best times for sailing even if winds blow more during this time. While enjoying sailing in a small boat at any temperature of water you must have correct clothing to wear. A wetsuit can be the safest and the best thing to wear while sailing in cold water. The information provided in this guide will help you to buy the most suitable sailing wetsuit for you.
Introduction to Wetsuit
Before buying a wetsuit for sailing you must know what this suit is and what is it made from?
A wetsuit is a skin-tight bodysuit made to keep the temperature of your body stable even while sailing in the cold water. It is made from neoprene. Neoprene acts as insulation in combination with the layer of water trapped by the wetsuit next to your body. The flow of outer cold water into the internal heated layer of water has to be minimized to keep you warm while sailing in cold water. For this reason, you must wear a wetsuit with tight-fitting so that its neoprene can remain in touch with your skin to reduce the layer of water close to your body.
For wearing a wetsuit in different water conditions neoprene of different thickness is used. In water with colder temperatures wetsuit made of thicker neoprene is used. In some wetsuits, thicker neoprene is used in the torso and chest while thinner in legs and arms.
Cost of Wetsuits
The cost of a wetsuit can vary from $50 to $800 depending upon their quality and grade of neoprene used in them. Low-grade neoprene and cheaper seams are used to make cheaper wetsuits. For wetsuits made with waterproof and comfortable seams and flexible materials, you will have to pay more money. But while buying expensive wetsuits you cannot ensure that you are buying high-quality products as there is no direct relation between the price and quality of wetsuits.
An entry-level wetsuit will be the right choice for you if you do not swim for competitions. These wetsuits will last longer than high-end wetsuits made from softer and lighter materials as thicker materials are used in entry-level wetsuits. Expensive wetsuits may look better to first-time buyers but they may not be right for your first experience in the water.
Pros and Cons of a Wetsuit
- More relaxing on mild days
- Protection of body at lower cost
- Allows you to pee in the water
- Can be sewed and repaired if damaged with holes and cuts
- You can move freely in thin wetsuits
- You may feel like wearing spring working against your full body when you wear a thicker wetsuit.
- When you first enter into the wetsuit you might feel cold unless its warms up.
- It might be very difficult to take off and on a thick wetsuit.
- A wetsuit works only for a small range of temperatures for which it has been designed.
Things to Consider While Buying a Sailing Wetsuit
While buying a sailing wetsuit for the first time you will have to consider a few factors discussed here under.
Size of the Wetsuit
A wetsuit can keep you warm effectively if the insulation of neoprene fits close to your body. It will minimize the flow in and out of the water inside the wetsuit and trap it to maintain the temperature of your body. This water can cause irritation to your skin and keep your body cool if the suit is not fit close to your body as it will allow the cold water to flush into its lose portions. So the wetsuit you buy should be a tight fit to your body as much as possible along with keeping it comfortable. So you should measure your body carefully to get a wetsuit of the right size. It should neither be too big nor too small.
Seaming and Stitching of Wetsuit
You can know about the caliber of your wetsuit by taking a closer look at its seams and finer details. Overlock stitching at the bottom of the seams on the wetsuit can be the most inexpensive but uncomfortable method to create a ridge inside the wetsuit which can allow water to get into the wetsuit and it will dig into your skin to make you feel more uncomfortable.
The penetration of water can be controlled substantially by using the flatlock stitching in the basic wetsuits used in summers. On the other hand, blind stitching is considered a more sophisticated, more comfortable, and a bit more expensive method to construct wetsuits and for that reason, this stitching is normally used in a high-class range of wetsuits. In this type of stitching pieces of neoprene are glued together before stitching them with shallow stitches to make a watertight seam. So, this type of stitching is used in making summer wetsuits of better quality as well as most of the wetsuits used while sailing in the winter season.
In this way, the waterproofing of the wetsuits can be improved with the help of gluing, taping, and stitching. The panels of the wetsuit are glued together before stitching them to get glued seams. In the critical areas of the wetsuit, the tape is glued inside the seam to get spot-taped seams. A neoprene tape is glued inside of every seam to get a wetsuit with fully taped seams. To seal the seams ultimately liquid-taped seams are used in which seams are made waterproof by applying a special rubber inside them.
Different Types of Wetsuits for Different Usage
All wetsuits may look alike with some variation in their color and thickness when you are new to water sports and buying a wetsuit for the first time. But it is not right as every wetsuit is designed in a different way as per its use.
For triathlons, wetsuits are designed purposely to help you in improving your performance while swimming by preventing the water from leaving the suit.
On the contrary, the wetsuits designed for boating help in keeping you warm while sailing in icy waters as they take water in and heat it. Moreover, these suits are made from heavier materials as you are not expected to wear them for swimming.
So, while buying a wetsuit for the first time, you must know in which discipline you are going to participate so that you can buy the right wetsuit.
The Thickness of the Wetsuit
While buying a wetsuit you should also consider where and when you are going to wear it so that you can buy one with the right thickness. You should consider the weather conditions of the place where you are going to use it. If you are wearing it at places with freezing cold weather in winters then you should buy a wetsuit with higher thickness than the wetsuits used in warmer months as it has to keep your body warm even when the temperature is dropping enormously. So, the wetsuit you buy should keep you warm and comfortable.
Handy Accessories with a Wetsuit
Various types of accessories are provided in most of modern wetsuits to keep you safe and comfortable in the water. Some of the wetsuits have the built-in hoods to protect your head whereas some include cap style rim over the eyes to deflect sun rays, but if your wetsuit does not have these accessories then you can buy them separately for the protection of your head and eyes while sailing in the water. For protecting your feet and hands you should consider both warmth and grip while buying accessories for them. To improve the warmth of your boots on colder days you must buy neoprene socks. To increase the versatility and comfort of the suit in warm and cold conditions you can buy tops made from composite fabric or neoprene thermal and rash vests.
Other Features to Focus On
It is not easy for the human body to manage in cold water for a long time. When you are wet your body can lose temperature 25 times faster. So to keep your body warm you will have to choose the most suitable wetsuit for you. For this reason, you must focus on some more features while buying a wetsuit.
Some wetsuits include a substantial amount of rubber on the chest panel and the back to help you to face chill wind as evaporation will considerably reduce the loss of heat along with maintaining serviceable temperatures at your vital organs.
A wet suit can be the right choice for you if you are planning to spend a lot of time at speed on the surface but if you are not comfortable in it then you can either change your clothes or allow the wetsuit to dry.
These days, some wetsuits are made from a special fabric with the technology of heat-reflection.
The instructions provided in this guide can help you to buy the most suitable sailing wetsuit for you even if you are new to water sports and buying one for the first time.