How to Put on a Wetsuit
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Wetsuits are meant to fit snuggly, but not too tight. Your wetsuit should feel like a second skin. Here are directions and tips to make getting your wetsuit on and off easier and last longer.
Putting on a Wetsuit
- Yo! - Zipper goes in the back, bro! (On most wetsuits the zipper goes in the back of the suit.)
- Feet, Ankles and Legs – One leg at a time pull your wetsuit over your foot and ankle and then work it up over your thigh. Make sure the knees or knee pads are lined up over your knees. There should not be large fabric wrinkles behind your knees.
- Hips, Crotch and Torso - Gently pull the fabric up and over your hips until the wetsuit is at your crotch. Make sure that the fabric around your legs is not twisted. Now pull the suit up over your torso, making sure it fits very tightly against the skin and that there is no extra fabric left along your torso before you put the arms on. If it is loose or baggy water will flush around and the wetsuit and it will not keep you warm.
- Arms and Armpits – Once the wetsuit is all the way up your torso, put one sleeve on at a time, being careful not to use your fingernails, and adjust fabric to ensure there is no twisting along your arm. The arm of the wetsuit should reach to right above where a wristwatch would go on your wrist. Make sure that there isn’t too much space between your armpit and the armpit of the suit. This will restrict your arm movement and cause tightness and discomfort in your shoulders and across your back.
- Shoulder and Neck - Pull the neoprene up until there is a bunching of fabric at the top of the shoulders. Carefully zip up the suit, trying to avoid snags. After your suit is completely zipped up close any of the Velcro fastenings. Make sure that the neck of the wetsuit is directly against your skin, this will create a seal against too much water entering the wetsuit. If there is an attached hood, pull it over your head.
- Double Check the Fit - After you have your wetsuit on, perform a double check of the fit. Double everything is nice and snug. Squat and walk around to make sure that you have no leg movement restriction. Double check your underarm fit, making sure there are no major gaps between your wetsuit and your underarm. Swing your arms around and make sure you have no arm movement restriction.
Tips for Putting on a Wetsuit
- Put on or take off the wetsuit on a clean surface. Rocks or rough surfaces can damage wetsuits. A plastic bin, tarp, or board bag works well for this if you are changing in a parking lot or similar area.
- Make sure your wetsuit is not turned inside out and is completely unzipped before putting it on.
- Use only your fingertips, not your fingernails, to put your wetsuit on.
- Wet wetstuit? - You can wear plastic bags or socks over your hands and feet. The bags/socks will help your hands and feet slide into the wetsuit much more easily.
- Be careful with watches and jewelry as they can tear or nick wetsuit material.
- It's best if you can have a partner or buddy zip and unzip your wetsuit for you. This will put less stress on your zipper and help reduce the risk of snagging the zipper on the neoprene of your suit.
- Use controlled motions and avoid yanking as it can easily damage the neoprene or the rubber seams on your suit.
How to Wear Wetsuit Boots
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- Roll up the ankles of your wetsuit. Put on your booties then roll your wetsuit over the tops of the booties. By wearing your booties underneath your wetsuit, the water will be able to flush out of the wetsuit and not into your booties. Look right, this is what happens if you wear your booties over the top of your wetsuit.
- When you take off your booties prepare for warm and gross water, known as booty juice, to pour out. Take them off away from anything you don’t want to get wet.
When to Put on the Wetsuit Gloves
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- Gloves should be the last thing you put on after your wetsuit and booties. It will be easier to put on everything else while you are still barehanded.
Taking Off a Wetsuit
- Neck and Shoulders - If there is a hood, pull the hood up and over your head. Unzip your wetsuit make sure your wetsuit is fully unzipped. With your thumb gently peel off the shoulders one by one.
- Arms - Slowly peel the arms of your wetsuit to your elbows one at a time. Then pull each arm down to the wrist and fully out of the sleeve making sure to leave it inside out. Use only your fingertips, not your fingernails.
- Torso, Hips, and Legs – Peel and roll the suit down your torso. Now pull it down your hips and legs in one fluid motion. Gently roll the suit down off your calves.
- Ankles and Feet - Put your fingers on the inside of the part of your wetsuit that is still around your ankle and slowly slip one foot out of the leg. Trying not to stand on your wetsuit slowly use your fingers to slip the suit off the remaining foot.
- Towel Method - If you have to take off a wetsuit in public, the best method is to wrap a towel around yourself and shimmy out of your suit beneath the towel. If you have a car you can open the doors and stand behind in between them for more privacy. evo takes no responsibility for accidental acts of public indecency while changing. Good luck.
- During the car ride home leave your wetsuit inside of a closed plastic tub or sealed wetbag. This will help with keeping your car clean and free of funky wet wetsuit smells.
- When you get home always rinse your wetsuit in cold, fresh water.
- Hang dry and never ever put your wetsuit in the dryer.