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Wet suit advice


New Member
I am investigating purchasing a wet suit. Anyone who wears one have any thoughts on sizing? Specifically, since I don’t sit still on my sunfish, is there a need to get a perhaps larger size than I measure for due to having to move around while sailing? I have asked surfers and divers and was told they did not make any allowance. Since I neither surf nor dive I don’t know if there is a difference in activity level. And I realize I may be overthinking the whole thing. But better ask than wish I had. Thanks.


New Member
I don't wear a wetsuit when I sail, but I do when I dive (in warmer water, in cold I use a drysuit) or when I used to surf. The way a wetsuit works is that it lets in water that your body will then heat. This warm water keeps you warm. That is why they are called wetsuits. So you don't want a wetsuit that is loose, you want a wetsuit that easily stretches to match your movements and doesn't bind.

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Yes, you need to have one that fits pretty close. It’ll keep you pretty warm when sailing, but the real benefit is if you capsize. A properly fitted wetsuit will keep you warm then. I would get short sleeves or maybe sleeveless. The sleeves will bind up your arms and wear you out faster.


I have a shorty wetsuit, and it is by far the tightest article of clothing I've ever worn.
I'd also look at some of the neoprene water socks - they do wonders for keeping your feet/toes warm.


Active Member
I’ll echo what others have mentioned, you want the wetsuit to be snug. Water will slowly fill the suit when in the water, this water becomes trapped and is heated by your body. A loose fitting suit will let cold water flush out the heated water making the wetsuit less effective.
If you don’t get wet the neoprene works as excellent insulation, but doesn’t breath.
I haven’t sailed in it yet but I have a triathlon wetsuit that I think will fit the bill, the neoprene is thinner around the shoulders and arms then the rest of the suit, this allows for freer movement while swimming. I’d imagine this would also be helpful while sailing. Maybe I give it a shot this week. I’ll report back if I do.


Well-Known Member
I have a full 3mil wetsuit..it fits good but is fairly restrictive....not so much for swimming. Wish I had sleeveless or shortys


Well-Known Member
There are wetsuits that are made specifically for windsurfing that allow for much more movement around the arms and shoulders area than a standard wetsuit. Wetsuits that are made specifically for surfing are similar. However, they still fit close to the skin so you get that very thin film of water between your skin and the wetsuit.

Get online and look for large businesses that sell windsufing gear like, "The House". Here's a link to their windsurfing gear. You want to find a large business because you can then actually call them and talk to a real person. A person who windsurfs or surfs and who knows all about their line of wetsuits and how to pick out the best size for you. I always order my wetsuits this way. Through a live person.

It's also a good idea to order 2 or even 3 sizes of the same wetsuit that the real person you talk to recommends. That way you can try each of them on at home, keep one and ship the other ones back. Often the size that the real person you talked to recommended will be one size too small or too large. Hence why you want to order several in different sizes.

When you get your several wetsuits to try on, be very careful putting them on. That's because these days, with the new, thinner materials, if you pull too hard on the softer material in the areas that allow for more movement and you dig in your fingers too much, you can tear the material along where it's stitched or glued. And if you do that you won't be able to return the wetsuit. Ask me how I know! :(

And make sure to order a "rash guard" (a lycra top), either short sleeved or long sleeved. This will make it easier to put on the torso and arms portion of your wetsuit but mostly will keep you from getting a rash in your arm pit area from a full day of the motion of your wet skin against the neoprene.

Unless you are going to be sailing in fairly cold conditions, a 3/2 mil wetsuit should suffice. That's 3 mil neoprene around your core area and 2 mil neoprene for your arms and legs.


- Andy
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New Member
It should be a good fit, but not a very tight one as it will restrict the movement very much and may even irritate frequently!


Active Member
I get the impression that some of you have never sailed in the same wetsuit you surf with. A snug fitting suit is great for surfing , especially if it's made from super-stretch material because it prevents neck flushing in the break area. I find that tight fit tends to choke me when I move around the deck when sailing. Also all my wet suits seem to shrink a lot over time, especially if you hang them in the sun to dry. For sailing I have had the best luck with a shorty that was bought one size too big. It blocks the cool breezes and keeps me warm even when I have to walk out from the beach a lot to launch into the wind. I sometimes wear the shorty backwards and unzip the front to prevent over heating and I still don't get much flushing in a capsize.
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