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Buying a wetsuit

3 watchers
Sep 2014
10:45am, 30 Sep 2014
11493 posts
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Time to pick your brains, dear water loving fetchies.

I'm considering buying a wetsuit for sea/open water swimming and suchlike. I don't want to spend a great deal, second hand would suit me fine.

Where should I buy one?
What is sizing like?
How should it fit/feel if I get the correct size?
Is it best to go for full length rather than short?
What is the difference between a wetsuit and tri suit, should I ever join the dark side?

Any other advice?
Sep 2014
10:52am, 30 Sep 2014
3271 posts
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Lurking, I live a km from a river and fancy some cold water swims in the next few months. The river is 12c at the moment
Sep 2014
10:52am, 30 Sep 2014
16114 posts
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Second hand?

You *do* know how people keep warm in a wetsuit, don't you?
Sep 2014
12:36pm, 30 Sep 2014
11494 posts
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I'm assuming that given the state of much open water that will be the least of my worries!
Sep 2014
12:42pm, 30 Sep 2014
10395 posts
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If there are any open water swim groups near you, they will probably have ex-hire suits for sale. They do round here anyway.
Sep 2014
12:45pm, 30 Sep 2014
4683 posts
  • 0
Little Nemo - Shut up knee!
As it's the end of the season you might be able to get hold of some bargain new ones that are end of line.

It's supposed to feel tight when you first put it on otherwise it won't keep you warm in the water. You can get them from websites but it will cost a bit in postage if you need to send it back. Do you have a shop near you where you could try different ones on? I think a wetsuit will keep you warmer than a tri suit.

Otherwise I suppose your best bet will be to find someone who's a similar size and is looking to upgrade :-)
Sep 2014
12:48pm, 30 Sep 2014
3976 posts
  • 0
Ex hire is a good idea. Definitely go somewhere you can try them on and someone can help you. They feel really weird trying them on, especially for the first time. You should get some good deals about now as the open water season is at an end.

Sizing usually goes off weight & height. I've only ever bought one but I fit into the right size bracket so I think they're OK as long as you're not massively out of the 'average' range.

It will feel quite constrictive when you've got it on. It's designed for you to be more comfortable horizontal doing front crawl so stood upright it feels tight, especially across the chest.

Yes - full length. Open water is cold.

A wetsuit is a thick rubbery thing for open water swimming only. A tri suit is a kind of unitard swimming/cycling costume thingy. It's a lycra onesie that's quick drying for when you swim in it and has a bit of padding for cycling in but not so much it's uncomfortable when you run. You can get by in tri without one but it's easier with one.
Sep 2014
2:45pm, 30 Sep 2014
11495 posts
  • 0
Thank you all!

So now that dilemma of wait till the post pregnancy weight gain has completely gone before shopping!

I'll look into hiring one to try out first and take it from there.

And the season's over? Wusses! (She says, having never swim ow in winter)
Sep 2014
3:22pm, 30 Sep 2014
3998 posts
  • 0
2 Flat Feet
Cape Wrath Ruth?

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Maintained by RuthB2
Time to pick your brains, dear water loving fetchies.

I'm considering buying a wetsuit for sea/...

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