• This topic has 48 replies, 24 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by john_l.
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  • Swim Wetsuits
  • oikeith
    Full Member

    I’m looking to start sea swimming and looking at buying a wetsuit, but I cant find a suit online that fits, ones which match my height and weight have too big a chest, ones that are my height and chest dont cover my weight!

    Is 2-3 inches too big in the chest too much? I’m 6’1 (186cm), 82-85kg and 38-40 chest.

    oikeith
    Full Member

    .

    bazzer
    Free Member

    Swimming wetsuits really do want to be tried on. If its not the right fit then it won’t be ideal.

    Might be worth finding you local Triathlon shop and paying them a visit. They will also know the right fit and show you how to put it on properly.

    Apologies if this is teaching grandma how to suck eggs :0

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    What he said.

    Fwiw your almost the same build as me but ever so slightly smaller -im 6ft 3-40″ chest and 87kg

    I have a zone 3 azure. In size large

    I have to pay attention to how I put it on and be sure all the slacks in my shoulders other wise my strokes restricted but other than that it’s been good for me being slightly smaller I would think it would be a good fit. (When I bought it I was 80kg and it fit much better)

    Ymmvbut if I bought off sizing charts back then I’d have been in a medium long and it was too small when tried on.

    ads678
    Full Member

    Try being 100kgs and having a 45″ chest, they all just assume you must be a giant not 5’9″. Nobody makes a wetsuit for short well built* lads!

    *ok fat….

    tonyd
    Full Member

    As above, definitely go to a shop and look for advice. If the suit is too small you’ll be restricted, too big and it’ll feel loose and hold too much water.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    they all just assume you must be a giant not 5’9″. Nobody makes a wetsuit for short well built* lads!

    Dunno someone must …I see enough of them at the swim loch.

    I’ll see if I can’t grab a brand next time I see em

    StuF
    Full Member

    You’re about the same size as me (6’1″ / 80kg), and I’m usually a medium tall in wetsuits – not that’s any help to you. Agree that trying one on is the best option as the same size varies between manufacturer and one can ‘feel’ better than the other

    breninbeener
    Free Member

    Have a look at Orca wetsuits.

    They did a v comprehensive range of suits that were listed by numbers. So not just S,M and L.

    Different pricepoints seem to use different grades of neoprene. My Orca Sonar has some lovely Yamamoto neoorene that is really stretchy.

    As ever with a wetsuit, fit is king.

    ads678
    Full Member

    Dunno someone must …I see enough of them at the swim loch.

    I’ll see if I can’t grab a brand next time I see em

    I did email Lomo, and asked if it was possible to cut theirs down a bit. They said that it cold be done and recommended a holding sticth on the seam first, but obvs it woud void the warranty.

    tuboflard
    Full Member

    I’ve bought a couple of very decent Speedo open water suits from Decathlon in the past. Not sure if they still stock them but at least you can try them on and there are plenty of stores about.

    Edukator
    Free Member

    Nobody makes a wetsuit for short well built* lads!

    Snug do, and any other shape too.

    midlifecrashes
    Full Member

    I bought a Mistral shorty from Lidl last week, £30 I think. Size L, it’s a good fit on me(ie no gaps, very snug to put on but not restrictive on my neck), 6’2 14st 7lb, 44″ chest. Haven’t used it yet, but used to Scuba and have had both wetsuits and drysuits before.

    oikeith
    Full Member

    Thank you for the info guys, will check Orca’s offerings out for size.

    My nearest tri store in the south west is Tri UK I think, looking at their site, whats in my budget isnt in either of the two sizes I could be, might call them and ask when stock might come in.

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    Snugg do, and any other shape too.

    you’ll be waiting a while…

    apedoctor
    Free Member

    I spent a few years fitting people into wetsuits, before working on and developing swimming wetsuits.

    For your given measurements, you are defiantly a MT or a LT. 40″chest might just push you into the LT depending on your belly.

    I’d start with the MT, then if that is too tight, the LT. Remember swimming wetsuits need to be tight. They SHOULD feel slightly uncomfortably tight when on land, as your position change, buoyance and the water loosen them up slightly when swimming.

    I would recommend the Orca TRN or Orca Openwater wetsuits for you, probably the latter. They’re cheap, have reasonable quality neoprene in all the right thicknesses and perfect for people new to open water swimming.

    Lastly, don’t draw the line at wetsuit. Make sure you get some lube for your neck, or it’ll rub. especially if you’re not used to it. I’d strongly recommend the brand Ocean Lube over stuff like Body Glide, it just works better and lasts longer. Also, if you haven’t already, get some open water goggles. Pool googles dont cut the mustard in open water visbility wise. Zoggs Predators, or Aqua Sphere Vistas are both good starting points.

    Oh, and if you’re going on your own, get a tow float. Not only do they hold yoyr car keys etc, but they stop you being run over by jetskis.

    tuboflard
    Full Member

    As per @apedoctor in terms of a tow float, but also a bright swim cap also is essential. I tend to wear pink or yellow as can’t be mistaken and our local open water clubs specifically stop you wearing mute coloured caps.

    Edukator
    Free Member

    you’ll be waiting a while…

    But it’ll be worth it. Madame is still using her still perfectly servicable Snugg from the mid 90s. I’ve been through 3 Aquaman suits in the same time. If you’re a standard proportions Aquaman are excellent if a little fragile in transitions. Standard cheepo Decathlon goggles are big enough for good vission, seal well and resist other people’s efforst to knock them off.

    karnali
    Free Member

    Huub do a short and stocky size in some of their suits

    oikeith
    Full Member

    I’d start with the MT, then if that is too tight, the LT. Remember swimming wetsuits need to be tight. They SHOULD feel slightly uncomfortably tight when on land, as your position change, buoyance and the water loosen them up slightly when swimming.

    I would recommend the Orca TRN or Orca Openwater wetsuits for you, probably the latter. They’re cheap, have reasonable quality neoprene in all the right thicknesses and perfect for people new to open water swimming.

    Lastly, don’t draw the line at wetsuit. Make sure you get some lube for your neck, or it’ll rub. especially if you’re not used to it. I’d strongly recommend the brand Ocean Lube over stuff like Body Glide, it just works better and lasts longer. Also, if you haven’t already, get some open water goggles. Pool googles dont cut the mustard in open water visbility wise. Zoggs Predators, or Aqua Sphere Vistas are both good starting points.

    Thank you for the info @apedoctor will check those suits and wont forget the lube too!

    Oddly I already own the Zoggs Predators, picked them up when my previous pair of pool goggles didn’t fit around eyes and would dig into the softer tissue around my eyes.

    oikeith
    Full Member

    @apedoctor thank you again for the information and suit recommendations, after delaying ordering a suit online as I wasn’t sure on size and stock issues, was told of a local store I didn’t know existed which had both the Core and TRN in stock.

    Went and tried some on, the MT felt really tight across the neck and shoulders, like being squashed, the 7 fitted much better. The Core bunched under the arm when windmilling, the TRN didn’t bunch due to diff materials it was made up, so picked it up with a tow float, waterproof key thing and some goggles.

    Wasn’t able to pick up a swim cap though as they only had thermal caps for the depths of winter in, am I right in thinking any latex cap will be fine for the summer months?

    Have ordered some Ocean Lube too.

    tonyd
    Full Member

    Swim cap, yep, any will do. After years of using free ones (from races) I recently bought one of these and find it very comfy:

    Might try some of that Ocean Lube myself. Always used Body Glide but got sick of the exorbitant price so currently trying this, which seems OK:

    Reviews are mostly from large Americans who have trouble with chafing thighs in the Florida heat!

    DezB
    Free Member

    Why do you need a cap in the summer? Protecting a nice perm?

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I’m a bit shorter than you and have a bigger chest, and I have a Zone 3 XL one that is a touch long in the arm/leg and a little snug on the chest. You might be fine with it.

    I use a neoprene hat sometimes in the summer because the sea can be cold still and I’m quite bald so the water really hurts my head. And I’m not cold blooded either, aside from swimming where I wanted the buoyancy and practice in the swimming suit, I didn’t wear my surfing suit at all on this year’s holiday where everyone else was, cos I was too hot.

    Spud
    Full Member

    Extra visibility for me from a swim hat. Do folks still have perms? On a lube note, I tried the Huub one and definitely better (IMO) to Body Glide.

    DezB
    Free Member

    Extra visibility for me from a swim hat

    Ah, gotcha 🙂

    john_l
    Full Member

    Anyone tried any of the Alpkit or DHB wetsuits?

    Surviving in my Speedos at the moment, but surprised at how easily swimming is coming back to me after about a 35yr absence! Would quite like to swim for longer and longer into the year.

    oikeith
    Full Member

    Why do you need a cap in the summer? Protecting a nice perm?

    I dont mind the sea water in my hair, gives it a nice look when it dries. I dont wanna be run over by other users of the sea, mainly people with new inflatable SUP’s they got from a cheap store!

    sprootlet
    Free Member

    Long hair or a just longer fringe = swimcap needed so you have a chance of seeing where you are going.

    Not all of us are men. I don’t have a perm.

    Don’t wear white or blue caps in open water – always go for a brightly coloured one – garish = better visibility

    Spud
    Full Member

    Exactly! Far too many folks on the water without a clue or any safety equipment.

    tonyd
    Full Member

    Why do you need a cap in the summer? Protecting a nice perm?

    I’d bet most on here would love to be able to sport a nice perm, me included, but unfortunately it’s all a bit thin up top these days! As above, cap is for visibility, local lakes round these parts won’t let you swim without a bright cap so the safety team can see you. One of them insists on a tow float.

    grahamt1980
    Full Member

    I have an alpkit terrapin and it is really good.
    Rarely wear it though as i get far too warm, i prefer a shorty or no wetsuit for all open water swimming including in the winter now.

    As mentioned above a bright swim hat is well worth it as it makes you more visible, ditto the tow float too. Can recommend ulu dry bags, particularly the explorer as it has a camera mount which is cool for timelapse photos

    nwgiles
    Free Member

    Try being 100kgs and having a 45″ chest, they all just assume you must be a giant not 5’9″. Nobody makes a wetsuit for short well built* lads!

    5ft 10, 110kgs, 47″ chest and I always cskins wetsuits

    DezB
    Free Member

    Yes, I need lots of people to explain the same thing to me or I won’t understand 😆

    Far too many folks on the water without a clue or any safety equipment

    I swim in the sea, and like the danger, so yeah, I’m one a them. (I always take my clue though) 😀

    apedoctor
    Free Member

    @DezB “Why do you need a cap in the summer? Protecting a nice perm?”

    As well as visibility mentioned above, its all about drag my friend, efficient swimming is all about reducing drag. Hair creates lots of drag. (It’s why swimmers shave legs and chests).


    @John_l
    “Anyone tried any of the Alpkit or DHB wetsuits?”

    I worked on the original dhb wetsuit which was made by blueseventy, so was top notch quality wise. I’m not to sure about the newer ones they have now though and where they are made, but I expect they are good for the price.

    My SwimRun wetsuit is the DHB Aeron 2.0 and its pretty good. Fits well, good features and nice to wear.

    If you’re looking for something a bit warmer than just speedos, the typical progression is to add a Rashvest, a nice tight fitting one (see drag above!). You may have heard of them as Swim Skins too.

    A Swim Run Wetsuit is also a good option too. I actually like swimming in mine so much that I don’t have a full length suit anymore. I add arm sleeves and Calf sleeves when it gets too cold, and a layer under the suit. They’re way easier to get on and off, dry quicker and have pockets which is excellent for stashing keys etc in mini dry pockets.


    @tonyd

    That is actually the origin of body glide and similar stuff, overweight people with flabs that rub together. It was adapted for sports use!

    The Ocean Lube is great, nice big tub, goes on easy,

    DezB
    Free Member

    I have considered swimming in a dress and heavy makeup, but decided it’s not really me.
    Sorry, I’ll go now

    mogrim
    Full Member

    Anyone tried any of the Alpkit or DHB wetsuits?

    I’ve been using a DHB wetsuit for the past couple of years for triathlons, and I’m pretty happy with it. I do get a bit of envy when I see mates with the latest 500GBP wetsuit, but I really don’t race enough to be able to justify getting one. If/when it breaks I’d quite happily get another one.

    john_l
    Full Member

    @grahamt1980 – what made you go for the Terrapin over the Loic? Looking at both and was leaning towards the Terrapin too, but not sure why!

    grahamt1980
    Full Member

    @john_l
    I went for that one because it was thinner and has a more natural swimming position. It works amazingly well but most of the time i find that i get too hot in it.
    Honestly i rarely wear it now, only use a shorty (aquaskin) when it gets cold in the winter so i can stay in a long as the others.

    Stainypants
    Full Member

    I have two Huub wetsuits, they are great to swim in and run in for the swim run one but they are both pretty trashed after not much use particularly the swim run one which only used less than 5 times, though that did included a full length race.

    I don’t think I’ll buy Hubb again when I come to get a new suit.

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