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July 29, 2020 4 min read

If you're someone interested in the different water activities that exist around the world, then maybe you heard about special suits that were made to maintain a warm sensation when the person is under the water. This particular suit is called wetsuit, and is very unique gear used for divers and surfers to improve the performance of their bodies during the activity. Everything sounds good, doesn't it? But, how do these suits actually work? Will a wetsuit keep you warm at all? Does it work in cold weather? To obtain the answer to every question, stay tuned to the next couple of explanations, let's begin.

 

How do a Wetsuit Work and Keep You Warm?

The secret behind wetsuits’ reliability and functionality is in the material called neoprene, a synthetic rubber that gives great flexibility as well as providing insulation against cold temperatures and water, making it a piece of useful garment for divers and surfers who like to do their things in cold aquatic environments. So in simple words, it could be said that the reason why these suits are so famous is thanks to that wonderful rubber. Neoprene is something against cold waters and temperatures.

 

 Neoprene Wetsuits

 

However, that isn't the only thing that needs to be considered when someone asks for the reason why these suits can keep you warm since there are other measures like the thickness, which comes from 2mm to 7mm and while it can be obvious, the thicker the suit is, the more insulation against cold temperatures you will receive. But that doesn't end just like that because thicker suits will reduce gradually the flexibility and mobility of your body. Keep that in mind, if you're willing to sacrifice some flexibility for insulation, then go for thick wetsuits, otherwise, aim for the regular measures.

 

Also, let's not forget the other layers of materials that are used in combination with neoprene, since they offer some other features among the insulation, so, let's begin with the first layer which is the comfort layer, made up with some nylon or similar material to give smooth experiences in your body, making it perfect to reduce the risk of getting post-dive or surf rash in different parts of your skin. The next one is the heat-reflecting layer which is made of some form of heat-reflecting material to retain the body heat and stay warm as ever. Then, in the last position here is the outer layer which will be made of a solid material to protect your suit against hard rocks or coral reefs that could destroy your suit and cause lesions to your skin.


Finally, the reason why a wetsuit is capable on maintaining your heat is because the suit will fit in your body as close as ever. In simple words, it could be said that when the suit is more fit or attached to your skin, less water will be flushing inside the suit, which means that some gaps will be created and the cold water will come inside. This can be a problem for most people because the more fit the suit, the more difficult it will be to put it on and taking it off, so choose something that is workable.


Wetsuit Thickness & Temperature Guide:

There are some measures and conditions that you should take in mind before selecting a type of wetsuit and the thickness of it, and every of these can be decided by looking at the Water Temperature Range in Fahrenheit to get a better idea on your decision. Let's begin with the major number today which will be 72 Fahrenheit or more than that, and for this particular temperature range you should wear something like a rashguard, 1.5mm shorty wetsuit or dive skin. You won't need a wetsuit that is too thick since your body will be much likely warm in these conditions.

 

Next, we have the range between 71 to 62 Fahrenheit, in which you will need a thickness of 2mm to 3mm in a type of spring or full-body suit to counter these conditions in which most people start to feel cold water if he/she stays too long on the water. Also, between 61 to 52 Fahrenheit, the scale will go up a little bit, meaning that your body will need at least 3mm or 4 mm to hold against cold temperatures in aquatic environments, and also consider about using a full suit with boots to resist more and maintain proper balance during the activities.


Finally, from 52 to 42 and below Fahrenheit a good and strong suit will be pretty much needed if you don't want to quit after minutes. We're talking about 5mm-7mm when it comes to the suit thickness and everything that you can use with the wetsuit will be pretty much useful, so consider using boots, hood and a pair of gloves to resist these cold waters. Also, you need to take into consideration the fact that the wind will have a strong importance in these conditions, and that most peoples tend to resist or notice cold water more easily than others, so everything will depend in your wetsuit measures and body qualities. With the proper gear you will hold like a champ, so good luck.

 

Liz H.
Liz H.


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