Getting the right fit for your wetsuit is so important, as it will affect how comfortable you are, how well the suit can do its job, and how long it will last until you need a new one. Wetsuits are a worthwhile investment for anyone having a go at watersports, but we know it can be a little baffling to choose between all the options available. To make the process as easy as possible for you, we’ve put together this guide explaining how to measure yourself properly, so that you’ll be able to easily pick out the perfect size for you, even if you’re shopping online.
When you’re wearing a wetsuit, you want it to fit snugly to your body in order to trap a thin layer of water against your skin, as the water is key in providing insulation. If your suit is too big you’ll just have cold water flushing through the suit, too small and it won’t be comfortable and will restrict your movement.
Below are all of the important measurements you’ll need to get the right size wetsuit, and how to get the most accurate measurements. It’s worth jotting them down on a piece of paper as you go, as it’ll make it much easier to compare them against the sizing charts later on.
Tip: To get the most accurate measurements, measure against your skin where possible, or against whatever you usually wear under your wetsuit.
Grab a set of scales and weigh yourself first. Remember to remove your shoes and any bulky clothing first to get a more accurate figure.
It may be worth getting someone to help you out with this one if you don’t know it already. Again, ditch the shoes ideally.
Take a measuring tape and loop it around the broadest part of your chest, under both arms, to get a figure for this one.
Start at the top of your hip bones, and bring the tape around your body, roughly level with your belly button. Make sure it’s level all the way around, and don’t hold your breath (unless you plan on not breathing for your entire surf). Take the measurement right after you exhale.
Take the measuring tape very loosely around the base of your neck – think about where the collar of your wetsuit will sit – and note down this measurement. Not all brands list neck measurements in their sizing chart, but it’s worth doing if you haven’t chosen which brand to go with yet.
This measurement is taken around the widest part of your hips, so loop the tape around and make sure it’s level at the back as well as the front before noting down the number.
The inseam measurement runs down the inside of your leg, from the top by your crotch down to your ankle. It’s worth getting a friend to help you out with this, as you need to be standing with your legs straight for the measurement to be accurate.
Once you have these figures recorded, you can compare them to the wetsuit sizing charts that you’ll spot on all of the wetsuit products pages on our website. Note that brands don’t all adhere to the same sizing guidelines, so you can compare the sizes from some of our most popular wetsuit brands here.
Our resident neoprene expert Wetsuit Will demonstrates those key measurements in the video below, wearing a Rip Curl E-Bomb.