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September 03, 2020 3 min read

While planning for water sports the first thing that comes to your mind is to buy a wetsuit to protect you in the water from cold water, scratches, jellyfish stings, etc. You can find a wide variety of wetsuits in a range of prices in the market, but finding the suitable one depends on two main factors - your budget and thickness of the wetsuit. The price of a wetsuit is still a secondary thing to consider while making your selection. The primary thing to consider is the thickness of the wetsuit. Do you know what thickness wetsuit you need? In this write-up, we are going to discuss the importance of the thickness of the wetsuit and how to choose an ideally thick wetsuit for you.


Importance of Wetsuit Thickness

The thickness of a wetsuit influences two properties - flexibility and thermal insulation, as they can help in deciding the fatigue factor of your body apart from its physical condition.


 3mm Wetsuits


Your body losses heat during water. In this condition, a wetsuit of suitable thickness is necessary as with the help of its thermal insulation it can slow down the decline of body temperature. So while buying a wetsuit you should ensure that it must have a correct balance of flexibility and thickness.


Wetsuits will keep you warm even if you have to struggle a bit to move within as you may lose some flexibility. But if you are using a thinner wetsuit in a hot climate then it can cool you down easily once you are wet. However, keeping you warm is more important when you are in the middle of the session. Otherwise, in colder water temperature, your body will start trembling and you will have to come out of water.


Moreover, the thickness of your wetsuit also protects you from the risk of injuries. It protects your more flexible body parts including ligaments, tendons, and muscles as they get heated fast as can easily catch cold abruptly.


Determining the Thickness of the Wetsuit

To determine the thickness of your wetsuit you will first have to consider the temperature of the sea in which you are going to swim or surf. You should see whether it is warm or cold. You should also keep in mind that the temperature suitability of your wetsuit can differ by 5-10 degrees Celsius depending upon various factors including your level of activity, external temperature, and the weight of your body. Along with these factors, you should also check the wetsuit temperature chart provided here under.


  • If in deep winter the temperature of the sea is below 10 degrees Celsius then the thickness wetsuit must be 7mm semi-dry or drysuit.
  • If in cold weather temperature is 10-17 degrees Celsius then the thickness can be 5-7mm. Wear a hooded fullsuit with gloves and boots. 
  • If the temperature is 18-21 degrees Celsius then thickness can be 3-5mm. Go for a fullsuit with or without hood. 
  • If the temperature is 22-25 degrees Celsius then the thickness of wetsuit can be 2-3mm. You can choose either a shorty suit or a fullsuit depending on your tolerance level.
  • If in summer the temperature is above 25 degrees Celsius then a Lycra dive skin suit will be enough. But of course you can also go for a 1-2mm shorty wetsuit, springsuit or short John/Jane wetsuit. 


5MM Wetsuits


A spring shorty wetsuit of 1 or 2mm thickness will protect your body as it is equally thin to your wetsuit. It will neither overheat you nor exhaust excessively. You can also try for a wetsuit top and broad shorts in the summer season.


You can wear a 3mm thick wetsuit while going for surfing in the early months of winter depending upon how early you go for it. in some colder regions like Ireland and the UK you can also wear it in summers. In some European countries you can also wear a 3mm suit in winters. But while wearing it you should consider the temperature of the water.


You can wear a 4mm thick wetsuit while surfing in cold water. You can also wear gloves and booties with this wetsuit if required.


A 5mm thick wetsuit can be suitable for surfing in cold water in the deep winter season. You should wear gloves and booties with it however it is optional if you want to wear hoods also.


A wetsuit with 7mm thickness can be suitable for surfing in an extremely cold environment. Regular surfers who surf in extreme winter should also wear gloves, booties, and hoods with their wetsuit.


Thus, by following the tips provided n this write-up you can choose the thickness of wetsuit you need.


Liz H.
Liz H.

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