This wetsuit size guide is meant for beginners, people that are buying or trying on their first wetsuit. Deciding on the right wetsuit size can be a challenge for beginners and they usually end up with wetsuit that is too big for them. When you are putting on a wetsuit for the first time a bigger one will of feel more comfortable. But that is not the point here. You want a snug wetsuit that will be tight around your body which won’t leave a lot of place for cold water.You want a wetsuit that at first you thought it is too small for you.
How to choose the right wetsuit size?
First I suggest you read our short how to put on your wetsuit guide. You want to make sure that you are wearing your wetsuit the right way – meaning – that everything is in place. Make sure that you don’t have excess neoprene in places like under your knees or under your crotch. If everything seem OK then the right sized wetsuit for you will be one that feels snug and tight all over. Wetsuit needs to be a bit tight so cold water can not come in so easily and there is less room for the water to accumulate in your wetsuit. You do not want to swim inside your wettie.
A few points to keep in mind
- New and dry wetsuit feels tighter that a wet wetsuit
- Wetsuit will expand in time and will feel looser
- Make sure that wetsuit is snug, tight
- Wetsuit is to tight if wearing it forces you to bend forward, bends your shoulders inward, if you have trouble expanding your chest while breathing or if it causes you pain anywhere on your body
- Wetsuit is to big if you have excess neoprene under your arms, on your back, under your knees, on your stomach
- Make sure that the arms nad legs are long enough. You do not want a warm wetsuit that has ends 10 inches above your ankles. If you will be wearing wetsuit booties they will slip from under your wetsuit (where to put wetsuit booties) and you will be cold.
If the wetsuit forces you to bend over then the body part of the wetsuit is to small. Get a bigger one or maybe a tall version of the same size.
Which wetsuit sizes can you choose from?
These wetsuit sizes are the most common (some wetsuit models that are made out of the super stretchy neoprene have less sizes):
XXS, XS, S, MS (medium small), M, MT (medium tall), ML (medium large), LS (large small), L, LT (large tall), XL, XXL
Since medium and large size are the most common and most of the people fall into these two categories there are a few additional sizes here:
- MS – medium small usually means you need shorter sleeves
- MT and ML – sometimes these two mean the same thing, but basically MT (medium tall) is for someone that is tall for his weight and M size wetsuit fits him well, just arms and legs are to short and ML (medium large) is for someone that is a bit heavier and needs more room in the wetsuit, but is not also taller.
- LS – large small usually means you need shorter sleeves
- LT – large tall is for someone that is tall for his weight and L size wetsuit fits him well, just arms and legs are to short.
After you have put on your wetsuit try crouching, bending over, jumping, moving your arms to see if there are any restrictions of movement and if the sleeves are long enough.
Wetsuit size test
How to test if the wetsuit is the right size? Pull the neoprene on your back just above your backside away from our body. There should not be to big of a gap between your body and the wetsuit. Because of the curve of your back this is the first place where you can see if the wetsuit is to big. Then again, we are all built different so it is hard to find a perfect fit.