Neoprene Navigation


When looking to buy a wetsuit the choices can be overwhelming.

Here are some questions and a handy printable that will guide you through the purchasing process.

Neoprene Navigation Printable

Environment and Swim Details
What body of water will you be swimming in most often?
What water temperature will you be swimming in most often?
What distance will you be swimming most often and how long does that take you?
How often do you anticipate using a wetsuit?

Personal Details
What are your personal body temperature guidelines – tend to be cold? Get hot?
Will you wear the wetsuit for warmth or comfort from buoyancy, or both?
Will you be wearing the wetsuit to provide coverage from marine life such as stinging jellyfish?
Do you have a body shape that may need allowances? Broad shoulders, muscular arms, long torso etc
Do you get a feeling of claustrophobia easily and is it severe enough to cause breathing difficulty?
Take your measurements and have a look at the size charts for some wetsuit companies – do you fit comfortably within a size? Or are you on the edge of sizing in a particular brand?

Budget and Buying Considerations
What is your budget?
Do you need to have the latest model or could you be happy with a closeout on an older model?
Do you need to have a brand new wetsuit or could you be happy with a used wetsuit?
Can you rent a wetsuit or borrow one from a friend?
Does the wetsuit comply with regulations for your races?
Do you have a local store to try on any brands and models?
Will you be ordering online? What is the return policy of the online store? How is their customer service rated?
Look at the quality of the neoprene and the features of the suit relative to the price (type and quality of neoprene, one piece panels or smaller sections of neoprene, distributions of neoprene throughout the suit, seam construction, zip features, neck line etc) – what is the best choice for you?
Could you use other means to retain body heat – earplugs, neoprene cap, gloves, booties, neoprene sleeves?

Once you have a wetsuit, the next step is heading to the Discovery Aquatics studio for a comprehensive swim technique review to see how to get the most out of your wetsuit swim!