SUITS AND SHORTIE SUITS
people think a Shortie with short arms and legs is a summer suit and a suit with
long arms and legs isn't ! However it all depends on water temperature. In the
UK, as a guide, a Shorty suit is for short periods in the water on warmer summer
days. they are ideally suited to taking off and putting back on several times a
day, perfect for younger children. Shorties are nearly always 3/2mm and if any
thinner virtually useless in the UK.
suits in the UK are 3/2mm usually long legged and sleeves but sometimes have
short or detachable sleeves. If you go for the short sleeve option then you will
be colder on cooler less sunny days even with the detachable sleeves on whist in
the water. Summer suits have either Flatlocked or sealed seams. Sealed seam
suits are usually glued & blind stitched ( sometimes called cup stitching).
The more expensive better quality suits are also liquid taped for added strength
and longevity. Flatlocked seams are very strong but will let water
is a suit with sealed seams, usually achieved by cup or blind stitching.
This stops the majority of cold water from entering the suit once your
body has initially heated it up. Ladies
Winter wetsuits are steamers with a 5mm body,
legs for warmth and 3mm arms for manoeuvrability. These are usually described
5mm or 5/3mm or 5/4/3mm.
Winter suits should really be described as
Four Season Suits, as they are essential
in the UK and northern Europe from September through Winter to May.
should last for many years if some simple guidelines are followed
well in fresh water after every use
- Do not
leave for lengthy periods in direct sunlight
- Turn the
right way out
flat and un-creased or on wide shouldered
leave tightly packed, especially if sandy and wet
put in the washing machine or tumble dryer
wash with detergent or bleach.
- Use a
mild solution of Miltons or a specific wetsuit shampoo
But only occasionally.
- Super stretch suits are best kept flat and
folded behind the knees and then in half. Only use a hanger for
short periods of time and use as wide a hanger as possible.
Mesh or Single lined
the term for neoprene without the usual external nylon coating. It
is very flexible and thus more comfortable than double lined
neoprene and also warmer in strong winds.
Mesh should only
be used in carefully chosen areas of the suit as it is more prone to
damage from sharp objects.
Also known as "X"
Stretch Neoprene. Developed for excellent stretch and memory. Hard wearing stretch
nylon on the outside with softer super stretch nylon on the inside provides excellent
comfort and fit.
& Taped Seams
Also known as S or
Super Seal. A type of rubber applied to the inside
or outside seams in liquid form to achieve
a 100% watertight seal and add to the overall strength of the seam. Liquid Taping
can 'snap' as the suit is stretched
whilst dressing so narrow neoprene tape is being used by some manufactures
instead If you're paying
£150 or more
for a suit that doesn't have any taped
seams , you're being ripped off!
A double lined suit is quite simply
a suit that has a lining on the inside and a similar covering on the outside of the suit.
Flatlock stitching is a strongly stitched seam that leaves a flat seam on the inside of the suit
as well as the outside.
or cup stitching is stitching that does not go through the suit to the other
side and so does not let water through. This is what makes a steamer warmer than
a summer suit as well as the thicker neoprene. It also makes it more expensive
as the seams are glued by hand before the stitching. If the suit is then liquid
taped you get extra strength and water tightness on the seams, well worth the
stops any water from entering the suit through the zip and means the water has
to come up and over the collar to enter the suit. So it keeps you much warmer in
the winter months.