How Wetsuits Work
Why Wear a Wetsuit?
A Wetsuit is a Wetsuit is a Wetsuit!
Your first Wetsuit
How to put on a Wetsuit
About our suppliers
Alder Sportswear
Postage & Packing Costs + Delivery Times
How to order
Guarantee of satisfaction

How Wetsuits Work

Wetsuits are made of a flexible and soft material called neoprene , which allows a very thin layer of water between your skin and the suit . This water quickly warms up and the insulation provided by the neoprene keeps you warm . Of course, it is important that as little water as possible enters the suit and is not being constantly replaced by cold water flushing through i.e. the ingress of new water and loss of the warmed water. This is why wetsuits are tailored to fit so tightly all over the body - a loose wetsuit simply won't work .

Why wear a wetsuit ?

The main advantage of a wetsuit is of course warmth. You can remain in the water longer and be more comfortable whilst there. Surface sports such as sailing and canoeing, which don't necessarily involve long spells of immersion, can also be enjoyed more fully by the use of a suit as you are afforded protection from wind and splashing. Another advantage is physical protection from sharp rocks and equipment. The neoprene in wetsuits also gives them buoyancy , making swimming and treading water much less exhausting. This feature gives children in particular more confidence in the water.


A Wetsuit is a Wetsuit is a Wetsuit !

Not any more. Over the last few years there has been a large influx of suits using what can only be described as an inferior grade of neoprene. These suits are mainly for the holiday trade, mainly shortys and mainly sold in ' beach shops ' and supermarkets. The problem with them is the neoprene has a  high a proportion of rubber within it, close to 30% , this rubber does not have the nitrogen bubbles in it to give the insulation . The suits often have no warranty and are poorly constructed. The suits are usually less than 3mm thick giving an equivalent warmth of about 1mm or less of 100% neoprene . Not warm enough for any where other than the tropics or perhaps UK during a heat wave. The EEC say, suits that have a rubber content of 30% or more should be labeled as such..... So beware of imitation Wetsuits !

Your First Wetsuit

When you first try on your wetsuit it may feel uncomfortable and restrictive out of the water, particularly under the arms. This is normal as there is extra material to allow for movement and lifting of the arms when windsurfing, sailing and water skiing. If you are unused to wearing a collar and tie then the neck of the suit may also feel tight. Again this is normal - the neck has to be reasonably tight to prevent excessive water entering the suit. The suit may feel generally tight and uncomfortable but remember ordinary clothes only touch our bodies here and there, a wetsuit needs to touch everywhere in order to work (see above How Wetsuits Work). Any feeling of discomfort soon goes unnoticed as you use and enjoy the suit in the water.

How to put on a Wetsuit

Sometimes people encounter difficulties whilst putting a wetsuit on. To understand why this happens, we need to look at the differences in the way a wetsuit and clothing varies. Our clothing hangs on our bodies and touches at certain points making casual contact at others. Shirts, blouses, and jackets hang from our neck and shoulders and usually hang away from our bodies in most other areas. Pants and skirts are drawn about our waist and often hang loose around our legs. There are a few exceptions and some people do wear tight clothing. Lycra is much like a very thin wetsuit. Wetsuits differ greatly from this loose hanging concept. A properly fitting wetsuit will make contact over most of the area it covers, leaving as little space as possible between it and your skin. The less space, the less room there is for water to enter and carry away your body heat. Water will find spaces where the wetsuit does not follow the contours of your body and this will cause the body to cool. You will then use energy warming these areas which will leave less energy to do your activity. Not every one can be a perfect "off the shelf" fit and children in particular will have a suit that may be a little loose here and there. These spaces can be filled in with clothing such as T or sweat shirts. Whilst not ideal, it is a solution. Water cannot enter a space that has already been filled. 

The closer fit and stretchiness of neoprene, makes it more resistant to sliding on your arms and legs. This often results in people getting their suits on but not pulled up in vital areas. This throws off the fit for the rest of the body. This is the usual reason that most people believe their suit does not fit. This problem is often worse for women as their different proportions makes it harder for them to get comfortable unless the suit is worn properly.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to make sure your suit fits properly but you cannot grab hold of the suit and expect your foot to slide through like a pair of trousers. All you have to do is pull it up at various times as you put it on. 
1) Once over the ankles pull the legs up to the thighs, then remove any folds by pulling on the shins to move the ankle into position. 
2) Then pull on the knee to move the shin area and then pull on the thigh to put the knee pads in position. 
3) As you pull it up over your thighs, make sure it is pulled up snugly into the crotch. If your crotch area is sagging, the suit will feel too tight at the shoulders and chest and you are going to be uncomfortable. 
4) At this point many people will insist the suit is too small but it probably isn't. As you pull the sleeves on, be sure to pull them up, once over the wrists and  on your lower arms, the same way you did with the leg. 
5) Once on, make sure the armpit area is pulled up snug, similar to the crotch. If not, your chest area is likely to feel cramped from the bunching of the excess material along your arms and from the pull on top of your shoulders and across the back. Having said that wetsuits are made with extra material under the arms to allow for free movement when doing your sport, be it surfing, windsurfing, sailing etc. This extra material can sometimes feel a little uncomfortable when you lower the arm and notice the fold of the neoprene, but don't worry, you won't notice it when using the suit.
6) Pull the zip up and secure any Velcro fastenings.
7) Get wet.
8) It goes without saying a poor quality, cheap suit will not fit like a wetsuit should.


About our Suppliers

We at North Wales Wetsuits do our very best to provide the best possible equipment for the aqueous environment at the lowest possible price . We are very pleased to be retailing Alder wetsuits and equipment . Alder have been involved in the surfing business for many years , always producing high quality products but never partaking in the hype that can surround other brands. 

We apply the same philosophy to all our products and continue to increase our range. Our new motto is " Sail ~ Wind ~ Surf ~ Ski - Not Just Suits " so if you can't see what you want, drop us a line -

Alder Sportswear

Alder Wetsuits was a dream , originating from one mans passion for surfing . Over 35 years ago , Bob Westlake began to surf around the west coast of England . He soon discovered a niche in the surfing market, with a lack of Californian style surfing wear being available in the 60's. This prompted Bob's wife, Annie Westlake, to make some of the first board shorts in the UK . With growing sales and increased demand for surfing products, the opportunity arose for a business development in to wetsuits that is today ‘‘ Alder Sportswear ''. Alder now has an established track record and moves it's business forward with innovative technology and design, combined with a competitive strategy. Product developers have years of experience within the surfing industry which leads Alder to boast a very exciting and advanced wetsuit and accessories range. This is what Alder say about global warming. "While the exact effects of climate change are uncertain at present, it is thought by many of the world's top scientists that it is likely to result in an increase in rainfall in some regions and a global increase in extreme weather events such as storms and floods. Unfortunately, global warming is unlikely to mean that we will all be surfing in boardies throughout the summer months! So your suit will still be an essential part of your kit. Alder obviously has a strong association with the ocean and we believe that we have a duty to try and reduce the affects of climate change in any way we can. Alder for a long time now have made proactive steps to recycle all plastic and cardboard waste triggered by our import activities.

Alder have moved towards limestone based neoprene and now a large percentage of our wetsuits and neoprene accessories contain limestone based neoprene. This does not by any means make our products 100% green but it is helping with the reliance on oil based products within our industry. Future plans in the pipeline included the use of recycled resources in the construction of our boots, along side with suppliers we are working on a new sole unit for our boots that will contain at least 20% recycled materials whilst having no effect on the performance of our products."

Guarantee of Satisfaction

At North Wales Wetsuits we take great pride in our level of customer satisfaction and undertake to replace or refund the price of your purchase if you are not entirely satisfied with the product and our service. All our wetsuits have a years warranty against the seams splitting or the zips breaking !
If you have to return or exchange goods under warranty or for a different size you can do so within 14 days. You should obtain proof of posting and insurance to at least the value of the goods as they are your responsibility until we receive them and include your name, address, phone number and reason for return or exchange.

Postage & Packing Costs + Delivery Times

Postage and Packing costs for sending goods out. It is now 12.for next day, 16 for Saturday morning, 6.50 for winter suits, 5.50 for summer suits and shorties  2.50 for wetsuit accessories. unless FREE UK POSTAGE is stated for that product.  If the cost can be reduced then we will do so. Multiple items may have reduced costs. Other items are charged at cost.  Nearly everything we send out arrives within one or two days so  our service offers good value for money. We can quote for a guaranteed next day delivery if required. It is becoming increasingly common for couriers to charge for failed delivery and place a surcharge on domestic addresses, so a work address could be useful.

Where FREE UK POSTAGE is offered,  2nd or parcel post is usually used. If a faster or guaranteed service is required then the customer must pay all or part of it i.e. FREE POSTAGE will not apply.

When an item needs to be exchanged the customer is responsible for the cost of returning the item and for the cost of postage for the second and any subsequent items until the order has been fulfilled. standard delivery costs apply.

Many websites offer FREE postage but use a 4 - 5 working day service with an extra cost for 1 or 2 day service. So unless you upgrade and pay it could be 7 days before you receive your order.

Postage & packing to other Countries is 15 per suit up to and including Men's XL 5mm.  Wetsuit Accessories is 10. This will take from 5  - 7 days

How to Order

Before you start ordering online, get all details necessary, including size from the main site as leaving the online ordering system mid order could adversely affect the ordering process.
If you need any help or advice in choosing a product  please call  -  07799 406758 - or email:

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