There is a world of difference when you put on a wetsuit that is just the right amount of tightness. Whether you are a triathlete, surfer, or scuba diver a wetsuit should not fit so tight that it is restricting movement.
Modern technology has enabled wetsuit manufacturers to produce stretchy and high-performance wetsuits. Since modern materials are stretchy, many people solve issues of fit by sizing down. Sizing down brings down the insulating properties of a wetsuit and shortens the life of the wetsuit. This myth of downsizing is not the correct way of wearing a wetsuit and in fact it lowers your overall performance.
To understand how tight a wetsuit should really be, look for these three things:1. The feeling and sensation of correct wetsuit tightness
1. The Right Tight SensationA wetsuit should not hinder your movement or restrict breathing. It should feel like a good pair of shoes. Snug, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation.
The wetsuit acts as a second skin. It should be as close as possible to your skin with the slightest squeeze.
When you're putting on the wetsuit, does it feel challenging to get your arms through the armholes and wrists? If you're struggling to put your limbs through the wetsuit, it's a clear indication that your wetsuit is too tight for you.
The neoprene gives you more buoyancy and the layer of neoprene acts as a protective barrier from other swimmers. A wetsuit should never feel uncomfortable and a person should not get used to being uncomfortable. If you are wearing a wetsuit that feels uncomfortable it's not the right wetsuit for you no matter what activity you are doing in a wetsuit.
2. The Right Level of Tightness: Signs and Symptoms
Try on your wetsuit and observe the area right above your buttocks where your tailbone is. If the wetsuit lifts off your lower back and forms a little trampoline like area, it means the length of the torso is too short. This causes the material to stretch and lift off your body, instead of resting on your skin. The wetsuit should be flush against your skin for maximum contact. This also applies to your entire body, so make sure there aren't any areas of your body that are causing the wetsuit to lift off your body.
ARMSZip up your wetsuit and move your arms in a slow paddling motion. A wetsuit that fits correctly should have the tiniest bit of restriction, but your arm movement should not be hindered. A tight chest, shoulders, and arms can attribute to this. Sometimes your breathing can also be altered if the wetsuit is too tight. Make sure you're not having trouble breathing and if it is we highly advise you not to use it as it could become dangerous.
The lower half of the wetsuit is an area that is often overlooked. When you have your wetsuit on, lift your knee up. If you feel a pulling sensation around your hips and thighs, the circumference around your thighs and hips is too tight. Each time you move your leg in the water, that added tension is slowly drawing more energy from you. Each movement will add up and your performance will drop.