Common Misconceptions about Wetsuits

Despite being some of the most popular pieces of swim equipment in colder waters, there are a large number of misconceptions and false information out there surrounding wetsuits! That’s why we’ve put together the following article cutting through those misconceptions and setting the record straight on wetsuit facts. Read on to know the truth about wetsuits for both men and women!

Wetsuits Keep You Dry

Untrue! We actually have an article discussing this in great detail, but the short version is that a wetsuit actually traps a small amount of water between your skin and the suit itself. Your body heat then heats the water which helps to keep you warm.

Suffice to say, you won’t be staying dry in a wetsuit! After all, it has “wet” in its name!

Wetsuits are all the Same

A surprising number of people think this, but it’s just not true. Wetsuits are all designed for different conditions and temperatures of water. If you wear a wetsuit too thick for the water you’re swimming in, you’ll run the risk of overheating. If you wear one too thin, you’ll be too cold! For this reason alone, wetsuits can vary greatly, but there are also different zippers and seams to consider. We break down these details here so you can understand the differences and make the best choice for your needs.

Wetsuits Cause Rashes

It was true long ago that wetsuits could give you rashes, but with improvements to wetsuit technology, design, and fit, that is really no longer the case, provided your wetsuit fits properly. They are made of gentler materials now like neoprene which helps prevent rashes as well. And, if you do find yourself getting a rash, a rashguard will prevent that problem.

Internal Taping Makes a Wetsuit Warmer

This one is less of a misconception and more of a half-truth. When you buy a new wetsuit, adding internal tape won’t make much difference since the seals are new and sealed up tight. A few years into your wetsuit’s life, however, you may find yourself needing tape to keep water from leaking. When this happens, yes, internal taping will keep your wetsuit warmer. But that is because it prevents leaks, not because the tape somehow makes the suit that much warmer.

Back Zip Wetsuits are Better than Chest Zip Wetsuits and Vice Versa

This one comes down to personal preference, and may be true for some and not for others. It’s true that back zippers tend to be easier to get in and out of, but chest zippers do not hinder movement as much and may be more comfortable on the back. This comes down to personal preference.

You Can Dry Your Wetsuit in a Dryer

No, you cannot! This violates the warranty on your wetsuit and can do real damage to the material! In fact, you shouldn’t even dry your wetsuit in the sun, as the sun’s rays can damage the material too.

Instead, dry your wetsuit in the shade, letting it drip dry.

Wetsuits Stink

Well, they will if you don’t take good care of them! A good way to keep your wetsuit from smelling like your old socks is to clean it with fresh water after each use and letting it hang out to dry in a shady spot. If you do this regularly, or at best, after every use, your wetsuit will smell fine.

One Wetsuit will Last a Lifetime

We wish this one were true! But unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, and wetsuits are no exception. While the actual length of time the suit lasts will vary by person and amount of use the suit gets, no wetsuit will last indefinitely.

Wetsuit Sizing is the Same as Clothing Sizing

Untrue. Wetsuits use their own kind of sizing that varies by brand. Look at the sizing chart on the brand of wetsuit you are looking at to determine which suit will fit you the best.

Get Out There!

Now that the record’s been set straight on a number of wetsuit misconceptions, you’re ready to get your own wetsuit and swim!


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