The wetsuit is one of the most important pieces of dive gear that should be worn by a diver. Whether you are a pro or a novice diver, the wetsuit is one of the first pieces to grab when you go diving. Therefore, buying a wetsuit is an important investment for anyone who plans to spend time in the water, whether you’re a surfer, a diver, or a swimmer in the ocean. However, with so many different types and styles of wetsuits on the market, it’s important to consider a few key factors such as the material, thickness, fit, and intended use. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the things you should keep in mind when buying a wetsuit to help you make the right choice for your needs.
Why Do You Need a Scuba Diving Wetsuit?
The main purpose of a wetsuit is to preserve your body temperature. Those who engage in aquatic activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling require wetsuits as they keep their bodies dipped in cold water for a considerable period of time. Wetsuits are designed to provide thermal protection by trapping a thin layer of water between your skin and the suit, which is then warmed by your body heat. This layer of water acts as an insulator, keeping you warm even in cold water temperatures. In addition to thermal protection, wetsuits also provide buoyancy and protection from the sun and abrasions, making them an important investment for anyone who wants to stay safe and comfortable in the water.
What Is a Scuba Wetsuit Made Of?
Typically, wetsuits are made of a material called neoprene, which is a synthetic rubber with excellent insulating properties. This material contains thousands of tiny bubbles in it. Throughout history, the properties of neoprene have become much more suitable to be utilized in wetsuit designing, and at present, it comes in various types. Neoprene wetsuits are designed to trap a thin layer of water between the suit and the diver’s skin, which then warms up and acts as an additional layer of insulation. The thicker the wetsuit, the more warmth it provides. Other materials, such as nylon and Lycra, are also used in the construction of wetsuits to enhance their durability, stretch, and comfort.
Different Types of Wetsuits
If you walk into a dive shop or browse through a wetsuit catalog of a reputed dive gear website, you may find various types of wetsuits. Even though the ultimate purpose of a wetsuit is to keep you warm during the dive, different types of wetsuits are used on different occasions according to the diver’s gender, diving preferences, environmental conditions, and other such factors.
For instance, certain brands offer wetsuits under the same name, that have similar features and properties but different structures according to the gender of the user. In that case, women’s wetsuits are designed to fit the curves of a woman’s body, with a narrower waist, broader hips, and more room in the chest area whereas men’s wetsuits are designed with a straighter cut and a wider chest and shoulders.
1. The Full Suit
The full suit or full-body wetsuit is a type of wetsuit that covers the entire body from the neck down to the ankles and wrists. Often made of neoprene, it keeps the whole body of the diver warm and comfortable during the dive. This type of wetsuit is a popular choice for scuba divers and surfers who spend extended periods of time in the water, as it provides full body protection from the elements and helps to regulate body temperature. Scuba full suits are manufactured by a number of leading brands such as Scubapro, Cressi, Mares Reef, and Waterproof, and they come in a wide range of colors and sizes.
2. The Shorty
A shorty provides coverage for the torso and upper arms, but has short sleeves and legs, typically ending mid-thigh and mid-bicep. The shortened design allows for greater flexibility and mobility, making it a popular choice for water sports like surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. However, some even wear it for snorkeling and scuba diving in shallow and warm waters. Shorty wetsuits are typically made of neoprene or a combination of neoprene and other materials, providing insulation and protection from the elements without restricting movement. They are ideal for warm water, but not the best choice when the water is cold. Scuba shorties come in both men’s and women’s designs, and they have a wide range of sizes to fit every type of body.
3. Scuba Tops and Bottoms
Scuba tops and bottoms are specialized pieces of clothing worn by scuba divers as an alternative to full-body wetsuits. Scuba tops are typically made of neoprene and cover the upper body, including the torso and arms, but leave the lower body exposed. They provide insulation and protection from the elements while allowing for greater mobility and flexibility in the legs. Scuba bottoms, on the other hand, cover the lower body, including the legs, but leave the upper body exposed. They are designed to be worn with a separate scuba top, providing divers with the flexibility to mix and match different pieces of gear for optimal comfort and performance.
What to Consider When Buying a Wetsuit?
When buying a wetsuit, there are several important factors to consider to ensure that you choose the right one for your needs. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Size and Fit: It is essential to choose a wetsuit that fits snugly but comfortably. A wetsuit that is too loose or too tight can compromise your comfort and mobility, and even affect its insulating ability.
- Type: There are several types of wetsuits to choose from, including full-body wetsuits, shorty wetsuits, scuba tops, and bottoms. Consider the type that suits your water activity and temperature.
- Thickness: The thickness of a wetsuit is determined by the water temperature and the duration of the activity. Consider the thickness that provides the right amount of insulation without sacrificing comfort and flexibility.
- Material: Wetsuits are made from a variety of materials, with neoprene being the most popular. Consider the thickness, stretch, and durability of the material based on your water temperature, activity level, and frequency of use.
- Zipper: Wetsuits can have either a front or back zipper or no zipper at all. The type of zipper can affect the ease of putting on and taking off the wetsuit, as well as its ability to seal out water.
- Seams: Seams can affect the durability, flexibility, and waterproofness of a wetsuit. Consider welded, glued, and blind-stitched seams for improved performance and longevity.
Where to Buy a Quality Wetsuit in Singapore?
If you’re looking for the perfect wetsuit in Singapore, Scuba Warehouse is the best place to start your search. With a wide variety of wetsuits to choose from, including full-body, shorty, and scuba tops and bottoms, Scuba Warehouse offers options to suit every aquatic activity and water temperature. Click here to browse through the extensive selection of wetsuits at Scuba Warehouse Singapore and make your choice today!