The infamous wetsuit… This blog will hopefully answer all the questions and concerns you have about wetsuits. Let’s start with the how to’s. How to put on a wetsuit. Many people, surfers especially, will tell you that putting on and taking off a wetsuit is the hardest part about surfing. I would agree. First things first, make sure your wetsuit is the right size. If you hold it up to your back it should be about your same height. When you put it on if you can’t breathe, take it off. Next, zipper goes in the back! You would be surprised how many surf lessons we give to people that assume the zipper is in the front like a pair of pants! Not to discredit chest zip wetsuits. Those, clearly, zip on your chest. But I am referring to the common back zip wetsuit. Next put one foot in at a time. Something that you will want to pay close attention to is the knee pad. Each leg will have a knee pad usually in a different material that you will want to make sure is directly on/above your knee. This way you are able to pull the rest of the wetsuit to the designated areas. Once you have pulled the wetsuit all the way on and zipped it up, you should do the wetsuit dance. Yes you read that correctly, move around, swing your arms, kick out your legs, and do a little giggle. If you can’t do the wetsuit dance, your suit is too small. You also want to move around a bit in it so that it can form to your body. Stretching! Stretching is also a good idea once you have put on your wetsuit.
Now that you know how to put them on, let’s go over the how to’s of taking wetsuits off. First and foremost find something to stand on that wont rip or scuff your wetsuit. This could be a towel, a yoga mat, a surfboard that’s in the sand, or anything that isn’t the street, gravel, or a rocky surface. When you take off your wetsuit start one arm at a time. It is okay to take it off inside out. Because when you go to rinse it, you will want to rinse both sides. And if your plan on surfing again soon after you would want the inside that is touching your skin to be dryer than the outside. Sometimes you may need assistance from a fellow surfer or friend to help get it off over your ankles. That’s okay too. Pull the wetsuit down as far as you can, reach to your ankle and try and pull your foot through. Yes, you may look silly. Yes, you may fall over. Yes, that has happened to me before. And no, people are not judging you because all surfers know the struggle.
After you have taken off your wetsuit it is a good idea to wash it out with clean running water. A hose or something with pressure is probably your best bet. There are soaps as well that you can buy but if you don’t have access to those stick with the fresh water pressure.