How snug should a wetsuit fit?

wet suit fit
You won’t be hiding anything in your wet suit.

The whole world will know what your made of.

Sounds right…
That wetsuit sounds fine. You want it to be snug, but not restrictive and uncomfortable. If you were saying it was loose or that it bothered you because of the tightness we’d have a problem.

There are many different types of wetsuits and they work a bit differently. I surf in the North Pacific in winter and I’ve never had a wetsuit that didn’t let a bit of water in. If you want to stay dry than you need a drysuit which is a completely different beast.

safe paddling,


I’ve tried it, it works
This is my first season paddling in cold weather. Have a Farmer John, boots, and drytop.

Yesterday I was paddling on water that was about 50 degrees, air temp 40 degrees. When I put in I decided to put the outfit to the test. I waded out to chest depth and just stood there for several minutes. I felt cold and wet pretty quick, but nothing serious. After a short while I actually did feel warmer – a bit chilled, nothing more.

A couple of guys passed me in a fishing boat and looked at me like I was nuts standing there in five feet of cold water, just enjoying the scenery :slight_smile:

You were suckered by the temperature
sensors in your skin. They don’t measure absolute temperature and they don’t measure the rate of heat loss. They measure the discrepancy between the temp just inside the skin, and the surface of the skin.

So when you first hit the water, the water inside the wetsuit was cool. Once it warmed up to be close to the temperature of your skin near the surface, your receptors made you feel “warm.” But heat was moving out through your skin, through the water, and through the wetsuit. You would have lost less heat with air in that space rather than water.

Water is a better heat conductor than air, so you want air under your wetsuit, not water. It’s a matter of physics, and you can’t trust your senses.

ROTFL I know exactly what you mean!
My favorate spot for cold water gear testing is in view of a bridge that goes from Narrowsburg, NY to Atco, PA. Loads of traffic go by. NPS just lets me go now.