Marlin wetsuits

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What is a wetsuit?

A wetsuit is a garment primarily designed for use in water sports and activities like surfing, diving, snorkeling, and swimming. Wetsuits come in various thicknesses, with thicker suits offering more insulation for colder waters and thinner suits providing more flexibility and freedom of movement. They typically cover the torso and limbs, and some designs include additional features such as hoods, gloves, and boots for further protection against the cold.

In addition to providing thermal insulation, wetsuits also offer some protection against abrasions, jellyfish stings, and other hazards encountered in aquatic environments. They are an essential piece of equipment for many water enthusiasts, allowing them to enjoy their chosen activities comfortably and safely in a wide range of conditions.

The correct choice of thickness and type of wetsuit for a certain type of water activity is the key to comfortable and long-term use of the wetsuit.

Wetsuits and additional equipment such as neoprene socks, boots, gloves and hoods allow you to feel comfortable in cool or cold water, so they are used in all types of water activities:

  • scuba diving;
  • spearfishing;
  • apnea;
  • triathlon;
  • snorkeling;
  • swimming;
  • surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, wakeboarding;
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding;
  • kayaking, canoeing, rafting,  etc.

What types of wetsuits are there, what are they made of and what are they intended for. Scuba, apnea, surfing or spearfishing... are the wetsuits the same or completely different?

In this article, we'll tell you everything you need to know about wetsuits, their design features, and what you should look for before purchasing.

Wetsuit, dry suit, semi-dry suit. What types of wetsuits are there?

A "wet" suit is the most common and versatile type of wetsuit. A wetsuit does not insulate the body from water. The principle of operation of this type of wetsuit is very simple: a thin layer of water forms between your body and the suit, which is heated by your body, and neoprene (the material from which the wetsuit is made) acts as an insulator from the surrounding cold water. Therefore, a wetsuit for cold water becomes the best option. The thicker the neoprene, the more effective its thermal insulation.
A wide range of thicknesses for neoprene wetsuits allows them to be used in completely different temperature conditions: from tropical diving to ice freediving in northern regions. The wetsuit is an exceptional choice for spearfishing and freediving.

Due to the wide variety of designs, wetsuits have become widespread in the following water sports:

  • surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, wakeboarding;
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding;
  • kayaking, canoeing, rafting,  etc.

A dry suit provides the user with better insulation than a wet or semi-dry suit because the user remains dry. This effect is achieved thanks to the presence of special sealing cuffs on the arms, legs and neck, as well as a waterproof, “dry” zipper. A dry wetsuit is looser than a wet or semi-dry one, which allows you to wear an insulating layer of thermal underwear under the wetsuit. Therefore, this option can be used as a wetsuit for swimming in cold water.
The main disadvantage of a dry suit is its high cost. It is worth paying attention to the fact that dry wetsuits for diving differ from dry wetsuits for windsurfing, wakeboarding or stand-up surfing not only in design, but also in the materials used. A dry suit for spearfishing and diving can be made of trilaminate, compression neoprene, or cordura. While dry suits for surface sports are made from membrane fabric. As a rule, dry wetsuits are used for activities in conditions of low water and air temperatures.

A semi-dry suit is very similar in appearance to a wet suit, but has a better seal. Sealed cuffs on the arms, legs and neck, as well as a waterproof zipper, minimize water circulation. Semi-dry wetsuits are mainly made of neoprene with a thickness of 5-7 mm. Used in professional scuba diving.

What is a wetsuit made of?

The correct choice of material from which a wetsuit is made directly depends on the type of water activity and temperature conditions in which it will be used. The materials from which wetsuits are made can be divided into four groups:

  • neoprene;
  • trilaminate;
  • compressed neoprene;
  • membrane fabric.

Neoprene is the most common and elastic material for making wet and semi-dry wetsuits. It is a “foamed” rubber with different types of coatings: open cell, smooth skin, various fabric coatings or titanium coating. A wide range of neoprene thicknesses, from 1.5 to 10 mm, allows you to choose a wetsuit for different climatic conditions, with water temperatures from +1 to +30 °C. In addition to wetsuits, additional equipment such as gloves, socks, boots, and helmets are made from neoprene.

Trilaminate is a combined three-layer material, flexible and durable. Compared to neoprene, it does not retain heat as well, so they are used in combination with thermal underwear (underwear). Consists of three layers: nylon - rubber - nylon. Dry suits are made from trilaminate. The trilaminate drysuit is ideal for use in professional diving.

Compressed neoprene is high-density neoprene. Resistant to water pressure, not elastic. This type of material is used to make dry suits for professional diving.

Membrane fabric is a high-tech multilayer material that has excellent water-repellent and windproof properties, but is also breathable. Membrane fabric consists of several layers: an outer wear-resistant layer, a membrane, and an inner soft layer. It is worth paying attention to the fact that wetsuits and dry suits made of membrane fabric are designed for use above water, so they are perfect as a wetsuit for kitesurfing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, windsurfing, sup-surfing and other water sports.

What kind of neoprene coating is there?

As we said earlier, neoprene is foam rubber. There are different types of neoprene coatings, each with their own specific features and disadvantages. Let's look at the most common of them, in the external/internal coating format of a wetsuit.

Nylon/open cell and ultra-stretch nylon/open cell. Classic wetsuits for spearfishing, as well as training wetsuits for freediving, have an outer fabric covering of nylon or ultra-stretch nylon, and inside there is “naked” uncoated neoprene - open cell. Ultra-stretch nylon fabric covering, in comparison with classic nylon, has a higher elongation coefficient and, accordingly, is more elastic. A wetsuit with an open cell inside has better thermal insulation properties compared to a wetsuit with an internal lining of nylon or plush. A wetsuit with an “open cell” inner coating is worn exclusively using a soap solution.

Nylon/nylon and nylon/plush. Wetsuit with double-sided fabric covering - inside and outside. Nylon/nylon is the most common type of covering among wetsuits. Nylon/plush has a softer, “fleece” texture on the inner lining. Such models are used in almost all types of water activities: it is an excellent wetsuit for open water, diving, snorkeling, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, etc. Does not require special conditions or skills for dressing. The presence of a fabric covering on the inside of the wetsuit allows you to put it on a dry body, without using a soap solution.

Smooth skin/open cell. This wetsuit does not have a fabric lining. Sanded smooth neoprene has minimal resistance in the water, making it very popular among professional freedivers. Due to the lack of a protective fabric layer, the material is quite easy to damage. The process of putting on and taking off this type of wetsuit is different from putting on and taking off a fabric lined wetsuit. On this type of wetsuit, it is necessary to additionally apply a soap solution to the outside, not only when putting it on, but also when taking it off, otherwise there is a very high probability of the material tearing.

Smooth skin/nylon, Smooth skin/ultrastretch nylon and Smooth skin/plush. This type of wetsuit has a smooth coating on the outside, but the inner surface is covered with fabric – nylon, ultra-stretch nylon or plush. The presence of a fabric covering on the inside of the wetsuit allows you to put it on a dry body, without using a soap solution. These wetsuits are common among athletes who participate in triathlons and open water swimming.

Hooded Fullsuit or two-piece wetsuit, fullsuit or shorty? Types of wetsuits.

Two-piece wetsuit consists of two parts, the so-called “jacket” with a built-in hood and pants. Full length sleeves and legs. Wetsuit pants come in two styles: Long John or high-waisted pants. Such wetsuits are available of neoprene with a thickness of 1.5 to 10 mm. Used by spearfishers and freedivers.

Hooded Fullsuit is a one-piece wetsuit with a built-in hood, full length sleeves and legs with a zipper located on the chest. Such wetsuits are available of neoprene with a thickness of 5 to 7 mm. An excellent choice for cool water scuba diving.

Fullsuit is a one-piece wetsuit, without a hood, with full length sleeves and legs with a zipper located on the back or chest. Such wetsuits are available from neoprene with a thickness of 1.5 to 7 mm. The most common and versatile type of wetsuits. Ideal for most types of water activities.

Shorty wetsuit is a “summer” version of a fullsuit without a hood, with shortened sleeves (above the elbow) and legs (above the knee). Zipper located on the back or chest.  Available in thickness from 1.5 to 3 mm. Perfect for scuba and snorkeling in warm water, as well as kiting, wakeboarding or surfing.

Long John/Long Jane - a jumpsuit with long legs, but with no sleeves. This version of the wetsuit provides full mobility of the arms. An excellent choice for swimming, triathlon, kayaking and other activities where freedom of arm movement is critical. Available in thickness from 2 to 4 mm.

Short John/Short Jane is a “summer” version of the Long John/Long Jane jumpsuit, with shortened legs (above the knee) and a complete absence of sleeves. Available in thickness from 1.5 to 3 mm.

Design features of wetsuits.

Protection on knees and elbows. When spearfishing, the knees and elbows of the wetsuit are most susceptible to mechanical damage. In many models, these places are reinforced with a more wear-resistant fabric covering - Duratex material or Supratex material. There are also models with polyurethane coating on the knees.

Bib. To make loading a speargun easier, some wetsuit models are equipped with a reinforced chest pad. The bib can be made of Duratex, Supratex or polyurethane.

Waterlock/Waterstop. Special cuffs with a smooth inner coating prevent water from getting inside the wetsuit. Depending on the modification of the wetsuit, they can be located in different places: on the wrist, on the ankle, on the hood, on the neck, or on the biceps and above the knee in “short” wetsuits. On drysuits, the seals are made of latex.

Zipper. For putting on and taking off such modifications as a shorty or fullsuit, a sealed zipper is provided. The location of the zipper can be both on the back and on the chest.

Storage and care of a wetsuit. Helpful tips to help keep your wetsuit as long as possible.

Any equipment has its own rules for proper care, and a wetsuit is no exception.

Drying wetsuit. Before you start drying your wetsuit, you must rinse it well in cool, fresh water. It is recommended to start the drying process from the inside. Be sure to hang dry your wetsuit, away from sunlight and heaters.

Storage wetsuit. After each use, we recommend checking the wetsuit for mechanical damage - cuts, snags, and if any, use a special glue for neoprene to eliminate them. The wetsuit must be stored suspended, on a wide plastic hanger, away from sunlight and heating devices. When storing your wetsuit, make sure it is completely dry, both inside and out, to avoid mold and odors.

Why is it worth buying a wetsuit from us?

Three key reasons to choose us for your wetsuit purchase:

  1. Worldwide delivery: Marlin offers delivery of wetsuits anywhere in Ukraine and the world, guaranteeing wide access to our products.
  2. Best Price Guarantee: Our policy is to reduce the price if we find a similar item at a lower price, ensuring you get the best deal on the market.
  3. Quality guarantee: By purchasing a wetsuit on the official website, you receive a guarantee on seam taping for a period of 1 year, confirming the high quality of our products. Detailed warranty conditions are available on our website.