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How to Buy a Wakeboarding and Waterskiing Wetsuit

   January 27th, 2016   Posted In: How-To  

How to Buy a Wakeboarding and Waterskiing Wetsuit

A wakeboarding and waterskiing wetsuit with a good fit and the right mix of features will allow you to hit the water year round (or at least comfortably extend your season.)

For your reference, wetsuits will not keep you completely dry. The idea is to allow a small amount of water inside, your body heat will take care of the rest.

We will attempt to take a step back from the technical stuff and present you with the four most important aspects of wakeboarding and waterskiing wetsuit construction.

#1: Wetsuit Thickness

You’ll see 2mm, 3/2mm, 4/3mm, etc. in front of a product name on our website. That mm is the wetsuit thickness measured in millimeters and it impacts the warmth of the wetsuit. Less neoprene is used in the extremities to increase flexibility. Basically, thickness increases warmth and decreases flexibility.

Check out this Water Temperature Guide:

#2: Neoprene Type

Neoprene types impact flexibility and there are two types for windsurfing and kiteboarding wetsuits: Standard and Super stretch.

Manufacturers use varying degrees of these neoprene types, so for windsurfing/kiteboarding, you need at least 30% super stretch neoprene in your wetsuit. Seasoned surfers and boarders prefer wetsuits with 60% to 100% super stretch neoprene for the ultimate in flexibility and fit.

30% stretch = the back, shoulders, and arms have 30% super stretch neoprene while the other 70% of the suit is made with standard neoprene.

100% stretch = entire suit is made with super stretch neoprene for the ultimate in fit and flexibility.

The video below talks more about neoprene types:

#3: Seam Construction

What holds the suit together? Seams! Seam construction impacts the warmth and comfort of the wetsuit and can be broken down into three types.

Flatlock:

Great for warmer water temps (62F & up), flatlock seams look like railroad tracks and the interior and exterior look the same. The interior is flat and is comfortable against the skin. Some water seeps in through this type of seam.

Sealed (Glued & Blindstitched):

This type of seam works well in cold water (55F & up). The seam is constructed by being glued first and then stitched. The exterior is similar to flatlock seams, but the interior is glued. Very little water will seep through this type.

Sealed & Taped (Glued Blindstitched & 100% Taped):

These seams work well for really cold water (55F & below). It has the same construction as Sealed, but has taping on the interior and exterior. This tape reinforces seams for added durability and prevents any water from seeping in.

Watch the video below for more information on seam types!

#4: Extras

Extra internal and external features will enhance the performance of your wakeboarding and waterskiing wetsuit.

Poly Fleece

Poly fleece and quick dry poly fleece are internal linings that provide a quick drying time and keep you warmer, longer.

Zippers

Surfing wetsuits can come in a variety of zipper types and are offered as a back zip, front zip (or chest zip), or zip free.

Full-zipper provides your standard entry. A short-zipper increases flexibility and limits water entry though the zipper. A chest zipper increases your flexibility and is becoming more popular and prominent in the surfing wetsuit industry. Zipper barriers are great for flushing water out of the zipper area!

Learn more about zippers with the videos below.

 

Smoothskin/Wind Resistant Neoprene

Smoothskin neoprene a.k.a smoothy is a rubberized coating applied to the outside of neoprene that helps block wind, and resists water absorbtion into the wetsuit. Smoothy is typically found on the chest of a wetsuit. Specialized windsports wetsuits feature more smoothy for better windblock.

Pros: wind resistance, better “cling” to a surfboard, blocks some water from entering the suit. Cons: adds a little extra weight to the suit, smoothy is delicate and shows nicks/cuts easily.

Below is a quick video on smoothskin:

Key Pockets

Key pockets or key loops are added as a convenience to most wetsuits. See the brief video below to learn more!

 

Shop our entire selection of wakeboarding and waterskiing wetsuits!

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Lauren Belt

Contributor at Wetsuit Wearhouse
Lauren (LoLo) has been turning words into blog posts for Wetsuit Wearhouse since 2014. She learned to surf for the first time ever in Costa Rica but she gravitates more towards SUP. When she's not scouring the web for travel deals, you can find her either hiking, running, gardening, tending to her animals, or reading a good book outside on a beautiful day.
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9 Comments

  • Avatar Karen says:

    Is there a difference between ladies surf and water ski wetsuit? I do notice surf suits have padded knees, will that affect water skiing? Thank you

    • Elizabeth Werdnik Elizabeth Werdnik says:

      Hi Karen! More than likely, women’s surf and water ski wetsuits are going to have very similar tech! Padded knees are a great feature for all watersports since our knees often take a lot of wear and tear and this makes the suit more durable. Shopping in either category will find you a great wetsuit for water skiing! You can conveniently shop water skiing wetsuits at Wetsuit Wearhouse here. Hope this helps!

  • Avatar laurie says:

    hi do you ship to canada? I want to buy a wet suit for my husband. If it doesnt fit can we return

    • Elizabeth Werdnik Elizabeth Werdnik says:

      Hi Laurie! Thanks for reaching out. We ship worldwide, including Canada! Check out our general shipping info here. He can try on the wetsuit and return it should it not fit, as long as it doesn’t hit the water. As a tip for finding the best size for him, have him take current measurements and reference the individual size charts on each product page! If you need professional assistance in finding a great wetsuit, also feel free to reach out to our customer service team either via email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or call 866-906-7848. Hope this helps!

  • Avatar G says:

    Can you recommend a suite for my son who is 6’1 and wakeboards. We are in northern Ontario Canada where the temperature goes from one extreme to other. He doesn’t let it stop him and never wore a wetsuit before, just a rash guard.

    • Elizabeth Werdnik Elizabeth Werdnik says:

      Thanks for reaching out! I recommend checking out our new blogpost on 2021’s Best Wakeboarding Wetsuits here which features lots of great options for wakeboarding wetsuits that could work for your son to keep him warm and comfortable during his sessions throughout the season. Hope that helps, cheers!

  • Avatar Judie says:

    Hi
    I”m looking to replace my husbands buoyancy suit, i can’t seem to find any in Canada, only Australia! Unfortunately he did have one and we have no idea what happened to it, anyway, if you could let me know if you have an idea of how I could get a hold of one that would be amazing!

  • Avatar Lino says:

    Hello, I want to ask if there is a difference in wakeboarding or surfboard wetsuits?

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