Wetsuit is one of the most important pieces of equipment when you’re on the spots with cold water or low air temperature. They enable us to have long kitesurfing sessions without chattering teeth. There are different types of wetsuits: short or long sleeves, thinner or thicker, fastened at the front or back, each of them suitable for different spots and different conditions. You should also remember that there are wetsuits for men and women. In order for the wetsuit to work properly, it must be like your second skin so as women have a different body structure than men (for example wider hips and narrower shoulders), they need wetsuits dedicated for them.
The length of the wetsuit
There are wetsuits with short sleeves, long sleeves, short legs and long legs and depending on weather conditions that you’ll be riding in you have to choose the right length.
The way of fastening the wetsuit
There are three basic ways to fasten a wetsuit:
front zip – a short, horizontal zip across the front of the wetsuit, attaching a panel which goes over your head; it gives you more flex in the shoulders and less flushing due to the length and positioning of the zip; the downside of it, however, is that it is more difficult to put on and it’s a more time-consuming process
zipless – the minimal amount of flushing and the maximal amount of stretch, but putting it on is not an easy thing
back zip – the traditional style of zip that goes straight down the back of the suit, with a long tag on the zip so you can zip it up and unzip it without needing a mate there; back zip wetsuit is the easiest to put on and off
Types of wetsuit seam seals
The wetsuits also differ in their seams:
flatlock wetsuit stitches – this is a basic stitch, pieces of neoprene have been sewn inside and out, this stitch looks the same on both sides, it lies flat against your body, causing no discomfort
sealed wetsuit seams (glued and blindstitched) – these stitch panels are glued and then blind stitched; blindstitching does not go all the way through the neoprene; instead, the stitch comes out the same side it went in, making it watertight; this seam style will let in very little water
sealed and taped wetsuit seams (glued, blindstitched and 100% taped) – this stitch is glued and then blindstitched but it also contains interior seam taping; the interior taping will add durability, reinforce the seam, and prevent any water from seeping through
The thickness of the wetsuit
The thickness of the wetsuit is usually represented by two figures separated by a slash. These are millimeters, which means that in some places the wetsuit is thicker and in some thinner. It is usually thicker on the core and slightly thinner on the limbs. The thicker the wetsuit, the warmer it will be, of course. The thickness of the neoprene in kitesurfing wetsuits is usually between 1 and 6 millimeters.
Choosing the right thickness of the wetsuit depends on how long sessions are planned, on how cold the spots are and, of course, also on how sensitive we are.
Single/double lined neoprene
Single lined (SL) wetsuits – this type of neoprene is also known as glideskin, smooth skin, mesh and textured rubber skin material; these types of wetsuits have heat-sealed skin surface; neoprene foam is durable and water-resistant as well; but if you go for mesh neoprene then, you should know that it is less flexible and also has a matt textured finish; but if you choose glide skin and smooth skin then, you will get the shinier, smoother and flexible surface
Double lined (DL) wetsuits – it is one kind of durable, stronger and flexible wetsuits; you should know the fact that double-lined wetsuits are one of the most durable versions of wetsuits; manufacturers add both sidelining in this type of wetsuit
In addition to the standard sizes – XS, S, M, L, XL, some manufacturers also have additional sizes marked with the letter ‘S’ – short, for short people and ‘T’, for tall people, so you can find the MT size – so it’s medium for tall people.