If you’ve taken a few classes at SPE Dive School, chances are you’ve learned to love scuba diving. Perhaps you love it so much you’re thinking of purchasing your own wetsuit! Your wetsuit is your first line of defense against the elements, so it pays to know a few facts before purchasing your first wetsuit.
Make sure your wetsuit is the right fit
Your wetsuit should fit tightly, but not so tightly that it’s hard to put on or restricts circulation. Make sure you’re able to bend at the waist and touch your toes with the zipper fully engaged. This movement shouldn’t cause any constriction at the neck. If it does, your suit is too tight.
When buying a wetsuit, choose the stitch for you
Many “bargain” wetsuits use a type of stitching called overlock stitching, which can be uncomfortable against the skin and can sometimes let water seep through. The blind stitch is the best-quality construction, but can be expensive. If you’re on a budget, try something in between these two extremes. For example, flatlock stitching is quite comfortable and is reasonably good at keeping out water, especially when the suit’s seams are taped.
Consider where you’ll scuba dive before buying a wetsuit
If you’re planning on diving primarily in warm waters, a “shorty” wetsuit (one where the arms and legs end at the elbows and knees) may work for you. If you’re diving in colder climates or are particularly cold-sensitive, a longer and/or thicker suit will be better for you.
Want to learn more about diving? Try a class at SPE Dive School. We’ve been teaching people the art of diving in the DC metro area since 1972. Join us for the adventure of a lifetime!