Wetsuit vs Drysuit
Whether it be surfers, wake boarders, divers or paddle boarders, people are commonly confused with wet suits and dry suits. Both are intended to keep you warm and protected from the elements. The each have their place when it comes to playing water cooler than your body temperature. And for good measure, we threw in a quick break down on rash guards.
By far the most popular form of thermal protection, wet suits are made from neoprene, a synthetic rubber foam filled with thousands of tiny gas bubbles. Wetsuits work on the principle that your body is the best source of heat. It allows thin layer of water between a person’s body and wet suit. The body then heats the water, which allows the heat to be retained, keeping you warm. There are different thicknesses of wetsuits depending on how cold the water is going to be and how what for of versatility you are looking for in a wetsuit. The styles usually range from 2mm of thickness to 9 mm. Industry has made great break throughs with wetsuit technology and materials. Thick wet suits are a thing of the past. Here are the most common styles of wetsuits…
- Full Body Suit – jump suit or one piece wet suit
- Two Part Suits – includes top and bottom
- Shorties – short sleeve arms and legs for warm water
Dry suit is just what is says. It keeps you dry underneath the suit while you are in cold water. Dry suits can be made out of foam neoprene, crushed neoprene, vulcanized rubber or heavy-duty nylon. It’s a close fitting double layered suit that keeps a warm layer of air between you and the suit. It has a waterproof seal on the neck, wrists and face. This keeps you very dry and very warm. Air is introduced to the suit via the front power inflator. It has a pressure release valve to let air out. When dry suits first came out they were very bulky, hard to weigh down and difficult to use. Today they are made of much better synthetic material and are very to use.
A rash guard is an athletic shirt intended to get wet that’s typically made of spandex and nylon or polyester. Rash guards are most commonly used by surfers to protect their chest and stomach from incessant rubbing over the sticky wax used for traction on the deck of a surfboard. It also adds a good measure of sun protection on the upper body. Some are even long sleeve and insulated perfect to take the chill off an early morning surf. Rash guards are also common for babies, kids and anyone else looking to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Honestly, everyone who plans to spend more than an hour or so near water should have a rash guard on hand.