Wetsuit sizing hack #2

Nothing sucks more than feeling like your thick winter wetsuit is holding back your surfing and cutting your sessions short. I already gave you my biggest secret for making sure your winter wetsuit paddles almost like your 3/2 (if you haven’t read it, make sure to check it out here [https://www.surfbasis.com/blogs/training-blog/wetsuit-sizing-hack-1]). But here are my other tips (and no, it won’t cost you a ton of money) that can make a really big difference. These also apply to any size wetsuit (not just 5/4s).
  1. Every wetsuit manufacturer has a different fit, just like every clothing brand has a different fit. Some will fit lanky people better, while some will fit stockier people better. When you buy your next wetsuit, go to the shop and try on a bunch of different ones and then see which ones fit the best. If you’re ordering online, order a bunch and return the ones you didn’t like. It’s incredible how different each of them will feel, and I guarantee this will have a much bigger impact on flexibility than the fanciest new liner or whatever feature they are trying to convince you to shell out big bucks for. Personally, the aspect I prioritize above all else is a loose fit in the shoulders because tight shoulders will inhibit your paddling. I also have relatively wide shoulders, and I’ve personally found Xcels to fit me the best. Your build may be different and you may find other manufacturers better for you.
  2. Warmth vs flexibility? A lot of high end featured wetsuits offer a lot of bells and whistles and fancy liners that will make the suit warmer, but often this is at the sacrifice of flexibility. I remember a certain brand of wetsuits a few years ago that had a ton of features that would made them super warm (and expensive), but they were extremely stiff. I always prioritize flexibility over warmth, because usually there are other (cheap) ways to augment flexibility in my wetsuits. So I typically get Xcel Comp wetsuits which are cheap but also the most flexible of their entire range. 
  3. How to add additional warmth to your suit? If you’re in that in between zone between wetsuit thickness (say the end of 4/3 season but not quite 5/4 season, I’ll add a neoprene sleeveless vest under the suit if I’m concerned about warmth. Because it’s sleeveless it doesn’t restrict arm movement, but it definitely bumps up the warmth a notch.
  4. Make sure to go chest zip over back zip because that zipper in the back zip reduces flexibility in the shoulders. 
  5. Last thing to mention is that I’ve never had an issue with a wetsuit being too loose for me. I’ve only ever had issues with wetsuits being too tight. Although wetsuits will eventually break in and loosen up a little bit, if it feels too tight and you get tired waving your arms around in them off the rack, I can guarantee you will regret your decision. 

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions.

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