Four men on the beach sporting various styles of 80s wetsuit

How should a wetsuit fit?

Posted on: BY: Saga Svensson
Tags: sizing | wetsuit rash | wetsuits

That farmer john that Aunt Jody has had in her basement since the 90s? The neon kite-surfing shorty you found at a garage sale? If, like me you’ve ever tried swimming in a wetsuit that didn’t fit you, you’ll already know that a bad fitting wetsuit is nearly always a huge disaster. You can get chafed, frostbitten, constricted, filled up with water, or just look like the biggest tool at the race.

Once you find the holy grail of a sweet fit, you will likely own that suit until it literally falls off you, so spending a few extra bucks and hours getting it right will pay you back 100-fold in the long run.

Here’s how a wetsuit should feel:

Tight But Not Constricting

A wetsuit should feel tight against your skin but not so tight that it restricts your movement or causes discomfort. It should conform to your body’s shape without excessive wrinkling or bunching.

Full Coverage

The wetsuit should cover your entire body, from your neck to your wrists and ankles. It should leave no exposed skin to ensure that it provides adequate thermal insulation.

No Gaps

Make sure there are no gaps or openings where water can easily enter. A wetsuit should seal around your neck, wrists, and ankles to prevent water from flushing in.

Range of Motion

You should have a full range of motion in your arms and legs. You should be able to move freely without feeling restricted by the wetsuit.

Comfortable Neck Seal

The wetsuit’s neck seal should be snug but not too tight to avoid chafing. It should also prevent excessive water entry.

Proper Length

The arms and legs of the wetsuit should be the right length. They should cover your wrists and ankles completely without being excessively long.

Zipper Fit

If your wetsuit has a zipper, it should be easy to zip up without excessive force. It should also have a flap or seal to prevent water from entering through the zipper.


A good wetsuit should be made from flexible neoprene material, allowing for easy movement in the water.

Body Contouring

Look for a wetsuit with anatomical shaping to fit your body’s contours, which enhances comfort and performance.

Snug but Not Squeezing

While the wetsuit should be snug, it should not be so tight that it squeezes your body uncomfortably. You should be able to breathe easily.

Remember that different brands and models of wetsuits may have slightly different sizing and fits, so it’s a good idea to try on wetsuits in-store or refer to the manufacturer’s size chart to find the right fit for your specific body shape and size. Proper fitting ensures that the wetsuit functions as intended, providing warmth and buoyancy while allowing you to swim comfortably.

Read as many real reviews from customers as possible so you can gauge if the manufacturer’s fit is true to size or not.

Disclaimer: Our swimming adventure content is not intended to take the place of specific, current, local advice from qualified experts. We strongly recommend that you consult with professional safety experts and take all necessary precautions should you undertake any adventure activity, especially in open water. Swimming is a HAZARDOUS activity. Never swim alone or beyond your ability. There is the possibility of physical injury, emotional distress and/or death, and you assume the risk and responsibility for any such results.

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