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Your first wetsuit

wetsuits

Alright – if you managed to perform the steps in the last blog entry, you’re probably surfing for 2-3 seasons by now. So the time is coming where a lot of people you started surfing with will get a board. I also really thought about buying one back then, but I decided against it for several reasons, which are connected to my first wetsuit.

First, I didn’t know back then which kind of board exactly I should buy – only after three years at Atlantik Surf I can say with confidence that I know which shape, length, volume etc. I want. Second, I watched most of the people who did buy a board getting scratches and dings within the first week because of beginners mistakes I was also likely to do back then (and sometimes still do today…).

Therefore I decided to first buy a wetsuit instead of a board and I must say that this has proven to be the absolutely right decision for the last couple of seasons. Back then, I got a really good offer for a Bodyglove Vapor and I still love the thing. However, despite being really satisfied, I’ll probably get an XCEL wetsuit the next time I buy one – they frequently win awards for their wetsuits for a reason!

No matter which wetsuit you buy, to have fun with it for more than one season you really have to take care of it. Otherwise its flexibility will quickly decrease, it will get cracks, suck up water etc. This is due to the fact that wetsuits in general try to combine the impossible: At the same time, they are supposed to give you maximum flexibility AND maximal insulation and protection. Accordingly you should not plan on keeping a wetsuit for more than 3-4 seasons, depending of course on how much you surf and how much you care about it. Here comes a list of do’s and don’ts:

  1. Don’t pee in your wetsuit – no matter how urgent it is, no matter how cold the water is. It destroys the neoprene at a spot, which you want to keep as warm as possible also in the future.
  2. When you’re lying at the beach after an exhausting session, try getting out of the wetsuit without covering it with sand entirely. Sound impossible? Try this changing mat and/or this Poncho.
  3. Rinse your wetsuit with cold fresh water after every session, turn it inside out and dry it in the shade. Salt water and sun are the quickest ways to make your wetsuit inflexible and brittle.
  4. At the end of the season, wash your wetsuit thoroughly with cold fresh water and use PissOff or similar products if necessary (fabric softener is supposed to do the job I heard).

If you follow this advice, you’ll be able to enjoy your wetsuit for a much longer time and hence save cash. This all depends on whether you bought a fitting wetsuit in the first place of course, which is a tricky task especially for girls. Most brands have special wetsuits for girls by now, but it’s really important to get informed, to take your time trying several wetsuits on, and get some good advice from your trusted surfshop. In the end, a wetsuit is supposed to feel like a second skin and there are few things more annoying than missing a wave because your wetsuit is full of water… Need to travel? You can Get flight ticket on CheapOair online. Book now and go!

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