There are many different types of water sports that require a wetsuit in which to participate. Ultimately owning the right wetsuit for the sporting activity being undertaken will not only enhance performance, but also offer protection whilst participating.
There are many different points to take into consideration when purchasing a wetsuit, and this guide will offer 8 basic dos and don'ts to abide by when buying the perfect wetsuit.
Whilst there are many different specialist shops that stock all types of wetsuits on the local high street, one of the best places to shop is eBay. eBay offer hundreds of wetsuits at any given time and it is possible to shop from the comfort of your own home.
What Is a Wetsuit?
A wetsuit is an all in one suit that is worn when in water. The fabric used, generally neoprene, is insulated, which helps to keep a user's body heat in. Its main function is to keep the body warm, but can also offer protection.
Neoprene works by the thermal qualities of the neoprene fabric trapping a series of fibers in the thin layer of water that are trapped between the body and the wetsuit. The snugger the fit of the wetsuit, the less water that gets trapped, and the easier it is to keep the water layer warm.
Different Types of Wetsuits
There are different types of wetsuits available on the market. Generally speaking, different wetsuit designs can be divided into the different temperatures of the water. The main designs are:
Essentially a rash vest is not a wetsuit but it is used in a similar way. The vest is used to protect the body from the sun, wind, water and rashes. It can be worn underneath a wetsuit or by itself.
A wetsuit top is a top, often with long sleeves, that is made out of wetsuit material. Generally speaking, the type of neoprene used is very thin, making it a lightweight garment. The protection qualities are the same as a wetsuit and it can be worn underneath another wetsuit for additional warmth and protection.
A spring suit is a wetsuit with short legs accompanied by either short or long sleeves, depending on the design. As its name suggests, this wetsuit is great for warmer weather.
Short John/Tube Suit
A Short John or tube suit is a wetsuit with short legs and no sleeves at all.
The steamer wetsuit covers the entire body from the ankles, to the neck, to the wrists. This is a wetsuit suitable for the winter months and great in cold weather.
Why Wear a Wetsuit?
A wetsuit will provide a number of different advantages when in the water.
- Warmth: A wetsuit will keep a body warm, allowing the swimmer longer time in the water. It will also slow down hypothermia in extreme circumstances.
- Energy Conservation : The heat retention of a wetsuit will help preserve energy.
- Speed: Wearing a wetsuit will create swimmers a streamline body that can move through the water with less effort.
- Buoyancy: A wetsuit provides a safer swimming experience, as it reduces buoyancy. This can be great to increase confidence in water sports, but should not be relied upon as life saving device.
8 Dos and Don'ts When Buying a Wetsuit
To ensure that the wetsuit fits the sporting activity, it is important to take into consideration a few factors. This can be done by looking at the below points.
1) Do research. As above, there are a number of different types of wetsuits to choose from. Each will offer different advantages and have particular strengths. By taking the time to looking into the advised wetsuit for the activity being undertaken will mean the correct choice is made first time round.
2) Do address the quality of the neoprene fabric. There will be different strengths and mix fabrics available on the market. This is often reflected in the price of the wetsuit. Generally speaking the following points should be addressed:
a. Look at the quality and insulating capabilities of the neoprene material.
b. Look to see if how stretchy the neoprene is.
c. Look to see if there is any additional insulation provided within the wetsuit. Some wetsuits are double lined with neoprene, whilst others only have one layer. This will have a direct impact on the sport it is required for.
3) Don't buy the cheapest wetsuit available. If at all possible, be realistic with your budget. The quality of the product is directly related to the cost. In the long run a wetsuit that may be a little more expensive will last longer then a cheaper alternative.
4) Do measure yourself before purchase. By measuring yourself, you will help identify the best size for you. An ill fitted wetsuit will not be as affective when in the water for long periods of time.
5) Don't buy a wetsuit because it ‘looks good'. Whilst the aesthetic of a wetsuit will play a role in the final decision-making, it is important to choose a wetsuit based off the need. Different styles will be suitable for different activities and are not designed purely to keep up with fashion trends.
6) Do look at the temperature of the water where the wetsuit will be worn. Most wetsuits will come with a guide with the appropriate style required to handle the water temperature. This is an excellent way of assuring the wetsuit is the best choice.
7) Do look at the zippers on the wetsuit. Different styles will have different types of zippers in different locations. The type of zip is very much a personal preference.
8) Do take time fitting the wetsuit. It is possible to fit a wetsuit without trying it on. This is sometimes a better alternative, as it forces the buyer to really pay attention to the measurements. Make sure to use a fitting chart in the case of purchasing a wetsuit with no fitting. A wetsuit fitting properly should:
a. Be snug, but not too tight. This is particularly true of the arms and leg holes. Excess water may leak into this area causing water to pool. This results in additional weight pulling the swimmer down.
b. Not have any folds in the fabric.
c. Allow for free movement. You should be able to move easily while wearing a wetsuit.
How to Buy a Wetsuit On eBay
Purchasing a wetsuit on eBay has never been more straightforward. The easy to use site is safe, secure and practical. Not only that, it also offers literally hundreds of different wetsuits and accessories.
There are a few different ways to search on eBay:
1) Use the Search Key-Word Bar: This allows the user to input a key-word or broad search term. eBay will then pull up all items that relate to this key-word/search term onto one page. These products will then be ready for the user to browse at their own leisure. The ‘search word' bar is found at the top of every page of the site.
2) Advanced Search: If the exact product is known, there is an advanced search option located to the right of the key-word search bar. This will provide a series of check boxes that will locate the exact products being sold on eBay at that given time.
3) Categories: eBay house all their products in pre prescribed categories. It is possible to browse these categories and sub categories.
When an item has been chosen it is advisable to address how it is being sold. The seller will determine this and will either be:Bid, Buy It Now or Best Offer. Each will have a different process to follow. However, before completing the sale, it is worth looking at the description and also photograph provided by the seller.
This will offer information about the product and help to give an overview of the condition. If there is something you would like to know about the product, but it isn't mentioned in the description, ask the seller for more information, using the eBay email system.
Exchanging money for a product on eBay is exactly the same as in a shop. It can be done via credit or debit card. It is also possible to use PayPal, a third party company that will facilitate a safe exchange on your behalf.
If more information about the site is required, go to Buying Tips.
There are many different types of wetsuits available on the market. eBay's choice means that there is something for every need and budget. To ensure that the correct product is bought first time, it is advisable to take note of and follow the above ‘dos and don'ts'. By following these simple suggestions, it will not only make the process easier, but also more effective.
eBay is a safe and secure site that can be accessed from the comfort of your own home. There is no need to contend with busy high streets and crowded stores when the product can be purchased and shipped directly to your own dwelling.