Wetsuit Sizing and Fit

As the water temperatures begin to drop, it is essential to wear a wetsuit that fits you properly. On the one hand, it should feel snug to keep you as warm as possible, but on the other hand, it should allow enough movement and mobility for paddling. And be sure, you’ll paddle a lot in this summer swell 😉

So if there’s one thing you want to get right when selecting a wetsuit, it’s the fit. Wetsuit sizing can vary a lot from brand to brand, so referring to the size chart for the brand you are looking at will be a good starting point, but it doesn’t end there, as our bodies can’t always be put into standard sizing.

The two most important factors are, for sure, height and weight. But as said already, we all don’t have the same stature; some people have longer arms, longer legs or wider chests than other standard adults. Especially having a wider chest will restrict movement in your wetsuit.

So to take measurements and think a certain brand and size will for sure fit is not always the case.


So how should a wetsuit fit ? 

In general, it should feel like a second skin, but not so tight that your range of motion is limited.

Make sure the sleeves are fully extended when trying it on, so they fall at the wrist bone and the legs just above the ankle bone.

We often get customers in our shop who try on a wetsuit and think that it fits way too snug, so they feel a little uncomfortable at first. But it is important to understand that once the wetsuit gets wet, it will also stretch and over time will develop memory and conform to your body even better.


What happens when you have a poorly fitted wetsuit ?

If your wetsuit is super snug, it will definitely keep you much warmer, but your range of motion will be restricted and you might not feel very comfortable. In some cases, it could result in irritation where the seams rub against your skin.

Also, a fit that is too tight will put a lot of stress on the wetsuit, causing the neoprene to thin out and the seams to leak and break down faster. The lifespan of the average wetsuit depends a lot on your wearing and cleaning behavior anyway, so you want it to last as long as possible.

If the suit is too big, it might be easy to get into (be sure it get’s much easier after a while anyway), but in the water it’s not going to function properly. All the gaps and extra material will allow more water into the suit, making your body work much harder to stay warm.


What if you don´t know your size or you think you´re in between sizes ?

You then should for sure try on both sizes and see which one you feel more comfortable in. People have different preferences for how snug it should fit. Again, remember it will loosen up, once wet. 

If you order online on our website and you’re unsure which size to choose, you a very welcome to pop us a message on [email protected] or give us a call so we can discuss what size might fit you best. But height and weight are normally good first indicators for choosing the right size and fit.


To summarize, there are 3 main factors, that a poorly fitted wetsuit will affect. 

WARMTH – If your wetsuit fits properly, you will have very minimal flushing (water coming in) and stay warm much longer. A loose wetsuit will allow water in at the ankles, wrist, and around your neck, which could easily make you cold and force you to end your session early.

FLEXIBILITY – a too tight fit will restrict your movement while paddling

DURABILITY – If a wetsuit is too snug, you will wear it out sooner. Technically, you could get into a wetsuit two sizes too small, but it would bust at the seams pretty quickly due to the extra stress.


So find a good middle !


We at Sunset Surf always let our customers try on wetsuits of different brands, because they all have  different cuts. So looking at a size “medium”, doesn’t mean that suits of different manufacturers always fit true to sizing.


We offer a very large range of wetsuits for all sizes, new and second hand. Just pop in and we’ll find the right fit for you !


If you have old wetsuits, that don’t fit any more, you’re welcome to bring them in and we’re happy depending on the condition to trade or buy them in.



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