Picture Miami and you usually picture bright sunny days, sandy beaches, and not a whole lotta neoprene. But it does get cold out here, and even colder in other parts of the world. It’s important to take proper precaution if you wish to indulge in colder water during winter months. Wetsuits can be used for a variety of watersports activity, we’ve prepared a guide to help you decide which one is right for you!
Consider the Temperature
Check the water temperature before choosing a wetsuit. Each suit is designed to be used in a specific range. Pick the wrong on, and you could end up being too hot or cold to have fun. When the water is more than 72° F or 22° C, we recommend a stylish rashguard.
A rashguard or top like the 2023 Ho Sports Syndicate top is usually good enough for temperatures over 65° F, but those who easily get cold may want to opt for a shorty or a long sleeved rashguard (consider this O’Neill Reactor 0.55 neoprene top). Once temperatures dip below 65°, it’s time to consider a full suit. For water ranging between 62° and 68° F (16° – 20°C), aim for 1.5 mm to 2 mm in thickness like this Camaro Blacktec Overall wetsuit.
Colder temperatures ranging from 58° to 63° F (14° – 17°C) require a full suit ranging from 1.3 to 1.5 mm with boots. At this temperature, the suit should be sealed to help retain body heat. Add gloves and a hood for temperatures ranging from 52° to 58° F, and make sure the suit is sealed and taped.
Along with the water temperature consider air temperatures, winds, and the nature of the activity on the water. High winds can make it harder to retain heat, so in this case, a thicker suit might be a better choice.
Pick the Right Type of Suit for the Activity
Although the same suit works for waterskiing, wakeboarding, surfing, paddle boarding, and snorkeling in theory, each activity has different mobility requirements. A sealed, full body suit that’s thick enough to withstand dropping temperatures would work for scuba diving. Conversely, a 0.5 mm wetsuit that cuts off above the knee (like the Camaro Titanium Pro Mono) would likely make it easier to maneuver waterskis and other sports equipment.
For activities like waterskiing and surfing, look for a wetsuit made with neoprene or other materials that improve flexibility. Choose one with a lightweight feel to maintain balance and maneuverability on skis or the surfboard. Thicker wetsuits are less stretchy.
Know Your Size
To be effective, a good wetsuit needs to properly fit. However, sizing isn’t always consistent. Refer to a sizing guide when ordering online, and check the return policy before buying in case the suit doesn’t fit. Consider your height and weight, and then take your measurements. Since these suits need to be tight, hold the measuring tape close to your body. Measure your chest, waist, and neck. These numbers will help you navigate various size charts to find the suit that fits the best.
Know the Difference Between Sealed and Unsealed
When a wetsuit is described as having sealed seams, like this Camaro Junior Blacktec Longsleeve wetsuit, it means that the stitches in the suit’s seams have been sealed with glue, tape, liquid, or another material. Sealing the seams keeps wind and water from getting into the suit and making you cold.
Sealed seams are great for windy days or for waterskiing or wakeboarding when you experience a lot of wind while you’re on the water. They are also a must for scuba diving and water activities in cold water.
Consider the Closures
Most wetsuits zip up in the back, but some models offer front closures. Back closures make it easier to control waterskis and wakeboards without worrying about catching the zipper. It’s also easy to wear a life vest over these types of wetsuits.
But front closures are easier to put on and take off. If you’re riding solo, consider opting for a front-closing wetsuit.
Choose Your Accessories
In cold water, accessories like booties, a hood, and gloves keep you warm. In Miami, the water usually doesn’t get cold enough to warrant these accessories, but they keep some people more comfortable. We recommend at least using booties on rocky terrain or when snorkeling to protect your feet.
Miami Nautique Has You Covered
Choosing the right wetsuit doesn’t have to be a chore. If you need a new wetsuit for your waterski or wakeboard habit, we offer a variety of styles for people of all ages. Whether you need a long-sleeve top just to keep the morning chill off your skin or you’re looking for a full suit for those windy days, we carry a style for you.
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