How Wetsuits Work -
Wetsuits will not keep you completely dry inside. They are designed to allow a small amount of water to enter the wetsuit. Your body heat will warm this thin layer of water, and the insulation of the neoprene will help to keep you warm.
Wetsuit warmth is directly related to the thickness of the neoprene used in the wetsuit. This thickness is measured in millimeters (mm) and usually varies in different areas of the wetsuit. For example, a 4/3mm fullsuit will generally have 4mm thick neoprene in the body for extra warmth and 3mm thick neoprene in the sleeves for extra flexibility.
Wetsuit Materials Explained -
Mose wetsuits today are built with superstretch neoprene. The newer, stretchier materials won’t last as long as a wetsuit from 15-20 years ago, but the increased comfort and flexibility of the wetsuits is worth the sacrifice in durability for most people. The two main types of wetsuit (neoprene) materials are...
Type II - neoprene is laminated with jersey fabric on both sides of the neoprene. The jersey adds durability but can increase wind chill due to evaporative cooling if used in the wrong parts of the body.
For both types I and II, we use only closed-cell neoprene that is completely water-proof.
Type I - neoprene is laminated with a jersey fabric on one side only. Most often the jersey is used on the inside of the wetsuit for comfort and to help the wetsuit slide on more easily. On the outside of the neoprene is a rubberized surface. This rubberized surface sheds water quickly to prevent "evaporative cooling".
Type 1 - Jersey Inside and Rubberized Outside
Type II - Jersey Inside and Jersey Outside
TO SHED WATER
Wetsuit Seams Explained -
Depending on the style and thickness, a number of different seam types can be used. The following seams are most common...
OPTIONAL LIQUID TAPE OR HEAT TAPE
For coldwater wetsuits 3mm and thicker, the neoprene panels are glued end-to-end and then blindstitched (usually on the inside of the wetsuit) to produce a watertight seam. A blindstitch does not go all the way through the neoprene, to keep the seam sealed. For the same reason, blindstitching is not visible on the exterior of smoothskin seams.
The wetsuit seams can also be taped on the inside and/or sealed with a liquid seam weld on the outside for more strength. Taping will limit the stretch of the seam, so it is normally used in high stress areas only.
Wetsuit Flatstitched Seam
For wetsuits and accessories 2mm thick and under, we typically use a flatstitch seam construction. With flatstitching, the neoprene panels are overlapped slightly, and stitched together without gluing. This produces a durable seam with stitching visible on both sides of the material. The flatstitched seams are not nearly as watertight, but this is not usually an issue with thinner wetsuits.
Overlocked seams can be used on 2mm thick and under. These are less common as they have a small seam bump on the inside of the wetsuit that can cause irritation and are not watertight.
Wetsuit Buying Advice by Sport
Wetsuit Extras Explained -
Entry Systems -
With over 30 years of building wetsuits, we have experimented with every type of wetsuit entry system known. For most styles currently in our line we have settled on a version of the traditional vertical back zipper for it’s easy entry.
The modification on our coldwater wetsuits is a neoprene panel called a zipper dam that is added between the zipper panel and your body. This extra layer minimizes flushing of water through the zipper, and is super easy to get into.
Many surf style wetsuits use a top entry or “zipperless” design that requires you to climb into the wetsuit through an enlarged neck opening. This entry method works well for some people, but is a struggle for others and takes additional time getting into.
A lycra rashguard worn under the wetsuit can help it slide on more easily. A polypro rashguard will add some extra insulation as well.
Key Pockets -
These are small key sized pockets for a single car entry key.
Leg Cinch Straps -
Typically for windsport wetsuits. Leg Straps are used to keep water from flushing in through the legs while riding through the water. Leg Cinch Straps work great for sports like windsurfing, kiteboarding, and water skiing.
How to Buy a Wetsuit Online -
In a perfect world, everyone would have a local wetsuit shop that was fully stocked with thousands of wetsuits in a variety of models, sizes, and colors for their favorite water sports. In reality, most local water sport shops only stock a limited number of wetsuits in a narrow range of sizes. At WETSUIT.COM you have access to our huge inventory.
Over the years, we have gotten very good at fitting our online customers. The following helpful tips will make your online wetsuit shopping easier and more successful.
#1. Don't wait until the last minute.
If possible, you should begin shopping and plan to order your new suit at least one month before you expect to need it. This allows time to exchange sizes if necessary without the need for expensive express shipping. Triathletes should allow even more time to practice in their new suit before their first race so they can adjust to the extra buoyancy or fix any hot spots in the suit that may cause chafing.
#2. Submit your measurements to us for sizing advice before you order.
Wetsuits are our only business, so our experienced staff knows the ins and outs of sizing our suits. Our sizing charts are a good guideline, but many people fall between sizes and different models do fit slightly differently. Our wetsuit experts can help you to get the right size the first time.
#3. Be honest and accurate with your measurements.
Unlike other brands, we place a lot of emphasis on the chest measurement when sizing our suits. You should take the time and have a friend measure around the biggest part of your chest for you. This measurement should be taken with a relaxed breath at nipple level, with arms at your sides. If you just go off of your coat size or bra size, you may get the wrong size. You should also resist the urge to buy a smaller size suit because you plan to lose weight before you need it.
#4. Stick to our size recommendations.
Don't be tempted to settle for a different size just because it is available in a sale model or your favorite color. In the long run, the fit of the suit is what is most important.
Where I can buy ProMotion Wetsuits?
Other than our company owned retail store in Hood River, Oregon, ProMotion Wetsuits are not sold through "the shops". We only sell factory direct. Our customers do not pay the added markup that distributors and retail stores add to their prices. Buying direct, we are able to offer personalized, quick, friendly service, with access to our huge inventory, in-house wetsuit alterations, and shipping from Oregon is tax-free.
Either over the phone, online, or in our store, we look forward to getting you in the right wetsuit.
Online or visit our Hood River, Oregon Company Store
How to Put on a Wetsuit -
Use caution when putting on your wetsuit. Never pull on the wetsuit with your fingertips or use fingernails as they can tear the neoprene. Instead, use the pads of your fingers and try to work the wetsuit up by pushing from the bottom rather than pulling from the top.
Step 1: Lower Body
Step into the wetsuit and pull the legs over your feet and ankles. Next work the wetsuit up over the hips and thighs to the waist. It usually takes a second pass up each leg separately to get the wetsuit all the way up in the crotch.
Step 2: Zipper Dam
For our coldwater wetsuits with a zipper dam, it is easiest to reach around from the side and unroll the zipper dam and/or pull it over your head from behind before you put your arms in the wetsuit.
Step 3: Body & Sleeves
Pull the body of the wetsuit up then put your arms in the sleeves one at a time. It is best to get one arm and shoulder all the way into the wetsuit before starting on the other arm. It may take a second pass up each sleeve to get the wetsuit all the way up in the shoulders.
Step 4: Zipper
Make sure the zipper dam or zipper flap is flat against your back before zipping up the wetsuit. You may need to hold the bottom of the zipper with one hand while pulling up on the zipper leash. Close the collar and adjust the Velcro tab for comfort and a good seal.
Step 5: Final Adjustments
Once you are in the wetsuit, you may need some final adjustments to tweak the fit. Most people don’t get the wetsuits all the way up in the crotch or all the way up in the shoulders on their first pass. You can also improve the fit of the wetsuit by redistributing material from areas that are loose towards areas that are tight. Make sure you do not have twists in the legs or sleeves.
ProMotion Wetsuits 416 Cascade Ave. WETSUIT.COM local: 541-386-3278
Hood River, Oregon 97031 USA email@example.com toll free: 800-798-1628
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