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wetsuits selection guide

Wetsuits are special diving suits worn to reduce heat loss while a diver is underwater. Since the human body loses heat up to 20 times faster underwater than above the water, these suits are very important to keep the body warm. Wetsuits also provide warmth while snorkeling in cold water and they offer protection against the harsh rays of the sun. A spongy material called neoprene is usually used to make most modern wetsuits. This material contains air bubbles which absorb heat from the body, retain it, and use it to keep the body warm. Here are some of the things to pay attention to when selecting a wetsuit.

Take Accurate Measurements
Since a wetsuit must fit perfectly in order to be keep you warm under water, you must take precise measurements before you pick any suit. This is particularly important when you are buying your wetsuit online. Choosing the right size of wetsuit will enhance the overall insulating effects of the suit. So you should ensure that you get accurate measurements of the waist, chest and height of the suit. The torso is the most vital portion of your body that must be kept warm, so you must pay more attention to its measurements.

Choose a Suitable Style
Wetsuits come in a variety of styles to suit the purpose for their use. Three major styles of wetsuits are available: the shorties, one-piece, and two-piece suits. Shorty wetsuits cover the torso, half of the arms (mid-biceps), and half of the thighs. Shorties are good for hot summer days or for spending a brief time in the water. One-piece suits are referred to as full suits or steamers. They usually have long arms and long legs.

One-piece suits are ideal for staying longer in water and they can be used at any time from spring to autumn. But they permit water to come in at the wrist and ankles. That is why semi-dry one-piece suits were designed with inner seals around the ankles and wrists to prevent water from entering the suit. The two-piece suit is best suited for cold-water divers who need more insulation around their trunk. The tops cover the trunk and arms while the bottom also covers part of the trunk to the ankles.

Consider the Wetsuit Thickness
Wetsuits are produced with various thicknesses of neoprene. Thicker amounts of neoprene will keep you warm. But thick wetsuits will restrict your flexibility. You should note that because the neoprene suit traps air bubbles, as you descend further into the water, the suit will have less air. Thus, you may start feeling cold if the suit is not thick enough. For snorkeling and warm water diving, a wetsuit of about 2 to 3mm is sufficient. Warm water divers who have a tendency to get cold easily, should use a 5mm neoprene suit. Diving in very cold water may however require a 7mm thick wetsuit.

Make Sure it Fits Perfectly
Wetsuits must have a snug fit because their operation depends on extracting heat from your body. If the suit is too loose, your body's heat will not be properly utilized and air will eventually escape from the suit. However, the suit should be so tight that it makes your hands or feet tingle or you cannot move freely within it. When you try on your wetsuit for the first time, take a look at yourself in a mirror and confirm that it does not bulge anywhere.

Conclusion
Choosing the right size of wetsuit is the best way to ensure that you enjoy its full insulation benefits. Always use accurate measurements when selecting your suit and expect the wetsuit to stretch over your body so it can fit properly.

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