If you’re hoping to do some watersports over the summer you might want to invest in a wetsuit, but with the range of options on the market - and the varying price tags - it can be hard to know where to begin.

One of the best places to start is to think about how cold you get. If you’re the kind of person who’s got numb fingers and toes after ten minutes in the water, you’ll want to invest in a thicker suit than someone who is comfortable wearing shorts in the depths of winter.

Most wetsuits will have thicker neoprene on the body than on the arms and legs. You’ll see suits labelled as 5/4 or 3/2, for example. This means that the body has 5mm or 3mm-thick neoprene, while the arms and legs have 4mm or 2mm-thick neoprene.

As a general rule, the thicker the neoprene, the warmer the suit. Advances in wetsuit technology in recent years mean that even suits with thick neoprene are still incredibly comfortable to wear.

You should also think about what watersports you’ll be doing when you’re buying a wetsuit. Any sport that involves you spending a lot of time in the water, such as surfing, windsurfing or kitesurfing, will require a thicker suit.

Don’t underestimate the importance of having the correct thickness of wetsuit. Just look at Matthew Bryce, the surfer rescued recently after 32 hours in the water. The coastguard told the BBC that one of the reasons he survived for so long was because he was wearing a thick wetsuit.

If you’re planning to do activities like kayaking, where you’re on the water, you can probably get away with a thinner wetsuit without getting cold.

Need more advice? Come and speak to us about our range of wetsuits. We’ve got men’s winter wetsuits, as well as summer suits, and both winter and summer suits for ladies too.

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