How do I choose the right size wetsuit?

In general, they say a wetsuit should fit like a second skin. Not too tight, not too loose. An easy measurement is that the wetsuit should fall around the ankle bone with your legs and around the wrist bone at your arms.  The rest of the suit should not have rolls or gaps.

How do you know if a wetsuit is too big?
It is important that your wetsuit is not too big, otherwise, the wetsuit is not keeping you warm properly. But how do you know if your wetsuit is too big?
Check if there are rolls and gaps in your wetsuit. You can see the rolls mostly around your legs or waist. The gaps mostly appear around the armpit, they call them batwings and you don’t need them.
Check if you can grab a handful of neoprene at your back or shoulder. If you can grab a lot of material at your back or around your shoulder your wetsuit is definitely too big.


How do you know if a wetsuit is too small?
Lifting your arms up gives too much pressure. If you are putting your arms in the air you feel too much pressure on your arms.
Also, there is more pressure on your shoulder, which is a sign your wetsuit is too small.
The sleeves and legs are too short if they end before the ankle and wrist bone. The wetsuit height is one of the most important measurements for your suit. So if the arms and legs are not around the or over the ankle and wrist bone the wetsuit is too small. Check the lower back if there is a hole. At the back of the wetsuit, there should not be a hole between your back and the wetsuit. Especially for women, it is important to find a tight wetsuit for that part of the body since women have more of a curved lower back.

Should wetsuits be tight?
Yes, a wetsuit should be tight but not too tight. If all the situations above are not happening, it is probably the right fit for you. 

Julia Aimers
CSEP Clinical Exercise Physiologist
CSEP High-Performance Specialist

Certified Triathlon, Cycling, Yoga and Swimming Coach
USA Cycling Level 2 Coach
Training Peaks Accredited Coach

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