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There are so many wetsuit companies out there, we are certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to searching for the ultimate essential for a session in cold waters. So, how do we know which brand to go for, and how to know if we have the right fit?
This blog aims to be a comprehensive guide to help you find your ideal suit. So, when searching for a new wetsuit, there are a few things you’ll want to be looking for.
1. Firstly and probably most importantly, is the quality of neoprene. It is very easy to tell the difference between good quality neoprene and poor quality. Good quality neoprene should flex and stretch without limitation. It should feel like a part of your body and work with you, rather than causing discomfort or irritation. A sign post of poor neoprene is usually its stiffness and lack of malleability, it also has a seriously reduced durability. The price is a BIG giveaway and at the end of the day you get what you pay for.
2.One of the next important factors in the search for a good wetsuit is the seams. The best suits have stitched and glued seams, this creates an integral bond between the neoprene, preventing splits and unwanted holes.
3.The zip is also pretty important. When trying to pull on a wetsuit by yourself, the last thing you want to be doing is fiddling with a dodgy zip. You want something chunky and easy to pull.
4.The environmental credentials of wetsuits is also something important to consider. The production of neoprene can have a significantly detrimental impact on the environment, so if you can find a suit that has been manufactured in a planet positive way this is a major plus.
When trying on suits, you want a good fit. Bagginess anywhere on the body will cause cold water to flush through and make you chiller a lot faster. At Boylos we always say a suit should feel like a second skin to be its most effective. This means that your body will be able to effectively heat up any water that does sneak into your suit. You don’t however want the suit to be too restrictive and feel as if it’s strangling you.A good test is to see if you can move your arms above your head and also be able to touch your toes…obviously not at the same time. Remember that your suit will also loosen a bit in the water.
Last but not least, its good to know what thickness of suit you will want. For spring/summer sessions, we always recommend a 3.2mm suit. This provides warmth whilst allowing you to maintain flexibility. They’re ideal for swimming and paddle boarding and allow for a slightly longer session than if you were just in your swimwear. For autumn/winter sessions a 5.4mm suit will serve you well. The thicker neoprene will keep you much warmer for longer, ideal for times when you want to be in the water as long as possible. There are also 4.3mm suits on the market which are an in-between.
We have found all these qualities in suits by C-Skins. C-skins is designed by surfers for surfers with over 45 years of experience and innovation under their belts. C-skins are also one of the most affordable environmentally friendly suits on the market. Their wetsuits are made from limestone, replacing petrochemicals in the neoprene and causing a 24% reduction of Co2 per suit. Scrap rubber tyres are also used in the manufacturing of the neoprene, significantly reducing energy consumption and again cutting 200g of Co2 per suit. Their factories are powered by renewables, helping keep production greener. This is just a small extract of some of the measures C-skins are taking to be more environmentally friendly. For a complete list visit the Eco Development section of their website.
With all these boxes ticked, i’ll share a little about the C-Skins suits we are stocking this year. Our 3.2mm option is the mens/womens/kids Element Suit. This suit has a number of great features as shown below.
So when it comes to finding yourself a good suit, don’t forget the essentials! For more information, or if you would some advice don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help.