How to Put on Any Wetsuit: A Detailed Guide.

Swimming in the Sea.

Welcome to our Seashell blog posts where we dive into the stories of the Seashell people.

 We hope to use this space and platform to inspire others and to start important conversations.

Today we are going to be talking about how you can get into a wetsuit like a pro!

Wetsuits are a crucial part of any water enthusiast’s gear, whether you're a swimmer, diver, surfer, or simply someone who loves spending time in the water. However, putting on a wetsuit can be a tricky task, especially if it's your first time. Fear not! With the right technique and a little practice, you can easily slip into your wetsuit like a pro.

The Basics.

First things first, let's discuss the general approach to putting on a wetsuit. The process is quite similar for both delicate swimming wetsuits and more robust surf wetsuits. It's all about taking it step by step, just as if you were putting on tights.

The "Crab Claw" Technique.

The key to a smooth wetsuit application is what I call the "crab claw." It involves using your fingers without the risk of damaging the suit with your nails. The method is simple but effective: you’ll start at the bottom of the legs and gradually work your way up.

  1. Prepare the Wetsuit: Ensure the wetsuit is clean and properly oriented, with the right side out. This makes the process easier and quicker. Make sure you know which is the front and the back. Sometimes the zips are at the front and sometimes at the back. 
  2. Start at the Ankles: Begin by putting your foot into the wetsuit and gently pulling the material up and around the ankles. Using the "crab claw" technique, inch the suit up little by little. Adjust the neoprene material to fit comfortably around at least the ankles before moving on.
  3. Gradually Move Up: Slowly work your way up the legs, taking the material higher than the calf. It's essential to take it up as high as possible at the beginning. Adjust and straighten the neoprene as you go to prevent any uncomfortable bunching or twisting. It may feel weird but get the bottom of the wetsuit up as high up the leg as possible (probably the bottom of the calf but it depends on the person and the wetsuit).
  4. Arms and Torso: Once the legs are up as high as they can be into the crotch, make sure the wetsuit is over your bum and then gradually move the torso of the suit up until it feels like the first half of the wetsuit is on completely. 

    If your wetsuit has long sleeves, apply the same "crab claw" technique to slide your arms in, pull the arms up as far as you can just like the legs. A great way to think of it is to pull the start of the arms up past where your watch would sit on your wrist.

    Once you have slowly and surely pulled the arms up past the forearms, carefully pull the suit over your shoulders, ensuring it fits snugly but comfortably around the torso.

     You want to make sure the wetsuit is right into your armpits. You want the suit to go up and over the shoulders so it doesn't feel like it's pulling you down. Like with the legs, don't worry about it going up too high, you can move it down once you are in the suit and will also settle when you are in the water.

  5. Final Adjustments: You may need to head back down to the legs or crotch to take some more neoprene up the body. Remember that this process shouldn't be quick.

    Once you feel like you have the shoulders and back as close as they can be, then it should be safe to zip up the back. Then it is time to make any necessary adjustments to ensure it fits well and provides the necessary flexibility for movement. You can then add any wetsuit lube to your wrists, neck and ankles to help with getting the suit off fast if you are doing triathlons or if you would like to avoid any chaffing (especially around the neck) from doing long distance swimming or surfing.

Shores of loch Ness
Girl smiling

Delicate Swimming Wetsuits vs. Hardy Surf Wetsuits.

While the technique remains the same, it's important to note that delicate swimming wetsuits might require a bit more care due to their thinner material. Take your time and handle them gently, using the "crab claw" method to avoid damaging the neoprene.

Surf wetsuits, known for their durability, are more forgiving. However, it's still crucial to avoid using your nails during the application process to prevent accidental tearing or damage.

Additional Tips:

  • Use a Plastic Bag: Some people find it helpful to slip a plastic bag over their feet and hands before putting on the wetsuit. The slippery surface helps the neoprene glide on more smoothly.
  • Use gloves: Often when you buy a swimming-specific wetsuit, it will come with a pair of gloves. Even though it may seem silly, they are actually fantastic and will really help avoid getting holes in your suit. The more you can use them, the better. You want to keep your suit as healthy for as long as you can.
  • Use lube: This is more for getting the suit off after being in the water but it is a great way of helping avoid chaffing. The best places to apply are the neck, ankles and wrists.
  • Patience is Key: Don't rush the process. Take your time and be patient, ensuring that the wetsuit fits comfortably without any twists or folds.
  • Proper Fit: A well-fitted wetsuit is snug but not constricting. Ensure it provides enough mobility without being too loose. They say that getting the perfect wetsuit on (more specifically for swimming) can take up to 25 mins! You want the suit to feel like a second skin, as if you are not even wearing one.

In conclusion.

By using the "crab claw" technique to avoid getting any holes from your nails and following these steps, you can easily put on any wetsuit, from delicate swimming ones to hardy surf wetsuits, without hassle.

Remember, practice will really help you but you have to be patient.  The more you put on your wetsuit, the more efficient and quicker the process will become. Enjoy your time in the water with the confidence that you can effortlessly suit up for your aquatic adventures!

Come and join us!

Join us every Saturday at 10am at the Fittie end of Aberdeen beach for invigorating dips in the sea. The refreshing waters will not only revitalize your body but also uplift your spirits, offering a perfect blend of mental clarity and physical well-being.

We also put on other events during the year so head over to our facebook page and follow our events page to keep up to date with what is coming up near you. 

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