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How does a wetsuit work, really?
Wetsuits and swimsuits differ primarily based on the sole purpose of functionality, as wetsuits are used mostly for the purpose of warmth, in playing water sports, and other specific water conditions, made to fit snug – not too tight, not too lose, much like a bodysuit. They’re mostly made of neoprene technology, a synthetic alternative to natural rubber, so you can imagine how durable they must be!

It must be noted, however, that there are other wetsuits that are made without using neoprene too, semi-dry suits and so on, and while these are more suited for the experienced athletes that can bear the harsh cold waters, they are just as functional and durable too.

These are the same suits you see the guys at surfing contests wearing, windsurfers, divers, canoeists, and other water sportsmen. The best part is, these were invented by a seaman himself. O’Neill womans wetsuits are rather the perfect example of these.

What makes a wetsuit … a wetsuit?

Now the main thing here like I’ve mentioned a few times before is the fact that these are worn for long periods of time for competitive reasons generally. Trying to swim up tide is a hassle in itself, imagine competing while doing that if one had to. Absolute mad lads! But the biggest reason here is the fact that a wetsuit will insulate the body of the athlete, helping them retain more of their body heat.

Why is this important?

Because this insulation is what’s going to help you guard yourself against hypothermia, a horribly dangerous drop in your body temperature.

See, how it happens is, these wetsuits are made using this particular polymer with elastic tendencies called neoprene. This is a commercially available alternative to rubber that is resistant to oil and a plethora of other forces of the world, making it a very suited choice in being used to manufacture these said wetsuits. Now what this Neoprene does exactly is that it manages to trap a thin layer of water between the Neoprene of the suit and the wearer’s body. This essentially clarifies that the wearer will always then be wet – hence the name ‘wetsuit’.

Our body heat warms this layer of water which in turn will then keep the wearer warm. But like I mentioned earlier, the wetsuit needs to fit snugly; not too tight you can’t move, not too big so there’s space for the water to go in and out. Or else, the layer of water trapped will be too wide to actually ensure the wearer is kept warm.

When it comes to types, there are so many different thicknesses and styles so as to suit different kinds of water conditions depending on the necessary function. Thicker the wetsuit, you guessed it, the warmer the sportsman. However, this does come with a catch (as all things do sadly!) and that is that it will make it more difficult for the individual to move in.

Wetsuits are generally between 3mm and 5mm thick usually.

So make sure you look for the right fit all things considered!

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