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2017 Wetsuit Buying Guide

Ladies Jade


How Wetsuits Work

Wetsuits are made from a material called neoprene that is manufactured into an insulation suit for protection in the water. The neoprene functions by trapping a thin layer of water between your body and the wetsuit. Your body temperature warms this water, which in turn keeps you from losing too much heat while in the water. Water molecules conduct heat 25-40 times faster than air molecules. 

Wetsuits are not meant to keep you dry. Neoprene is made up of many tiny cells that fill with air and provide insulation against cold water by trapping the heat in. It is this layer of air that provides the warmth. The thicker the neoprene, the warmer the wetsuit, as it has more heat trapping insulation.

It’s very important to research the water temperature where you will be using your wetsuit, including the range across seasons and swells.

Wetsuit Temperature Guide

Water Temperature Range (c) Wetsuit Thickness Wetsuit Type Seal Type
>23 N/A Rash Vest N/A
18 - 24 1mm - 2mm 1mm Thermal N/A
16 - 20 2mm - 3.2mm 2mm Short Arm or 3.2mm Steamer Tape Sealed
14 - 17 3.2mm - 4.3mm 3.2mm Steamer or 4.3mm Steamer Tape Sealed
11 - 14 4.3mm + 4.3mm Steamer Tape Sealed


If the temperatures are cold enough to make your other body parts go numb, think about using boots, gloves and hoods too.

In addition to water temperature consider the following:

  • Air temperature
  • Wind speed
  • Your sensitivity to getting cold
  • Activity

Wetsuit Thickness

One of the first things to consider when buying a wetsuit is the thickness. Wetsuit thickness is measured in millimetres, represented by two numbers separated by a forward slash 4/3mm or with a colon 4:3mm. 

The first number refers to the thickness of neoprene in the torso and the second represents the thickness of neoprene in the arms and legs. The thicker material is used over your torso to maintain core body heat. This is very important to prevent hypothermia. The thinner neoprene is used for your arms and legs. The thicker the material the more warmth provided, but this will also lessen flexibility. This is why the thinner material is placed where you have the most motion, and therefore need the most flexibility – your arms and legs. 

Shop wetsuits by thickness: 1mm, 2mm, 3:2mm, 4:3mm

How should your wetsuit fit?

Fit is a very important aspect to consider when buying your wetsuit.

If your wetsuit doesn’t fit correctly, it won’t keep you warm as well as allow you the mobility you need for your activity. A wetsuit should fit like a second skin with no excess sagging or bunching over the body or arms or legs. It should fit tightly to keep only a thin layer of water between your body and the suit. If it is too lose there will be too much water flowing through and you risk losing your body heat.

Fit Checklist

  • After you have your wetsuit on there should be no excess room, including the torso, crotch, shoulders, and knees. A proper fitting wetsuit will be hard to put on when dry.
  • Lift your arms over your head and stretch out your shoulders. This move should only be slightly restricting. If you feel a lot of pressure during this movement then the suit is too small.
  • You should be able to squat down and move your arms easily.

See the Derevko Wetsuit Size Chart

Wetsuit Seam Seals

Flatlock Stitching

  • This stitch will lie flat against your body, causing no discomfort.
  • This seam may let in a little water.

Sealed (Glued and Blindstitched)

  • This stitch is recommended for use in water that is 12° and higher.
  • These stitch panels are glued and then blind stitched. Blind stitching does not go all the way through the neoprene. Instead the stitch comes out the same side it went in, making it watertight.
  • This seam will let in very little water.

Sealed and Taped (Glued, Blindstitched and 100% Taped)

  • This stitch is recommended for use in water that is 12° and below.
  • This stitch is glued and then blind stitched but it also contains interior seam taping. The interior taping will add durability, reinforce the seam, and prevent any water from seeping through.

All Derevko Wetsuits are Blindstitched.

Wetsuit Zippers

There is more to getting into your suit than you may think. There are essentially two different types of zippers: back and chest zippers.

Back Zippers

This is the classic solution with the zipper going down the length of the spine with a long cord attached so you can zip yourself in and out. The advantage of a back zip is that, of the two zipper positions, it is typically the easiest to enter and exit, which is a big deal when you are trying to get into something that is skin tight. The disadvantage is that water can get through the seams on the back zip, which in cold water can become a major deterrent (think ice cubes down your back).

Many companies have come up with their own flush guard technologies to reduce this from happening. Also, when you are bending forward, the suit will go taut in the back and the zipper lacks give, which may restrict movement.

Chest Zip

Chest zip wetsuits are entered through a zippered cut out around the neck and you drop down into the suit through the neckline, finally pulling the neck cut over your head and zippering at the chest. Chest zips are the trickier of the two types to enter and exit. The chest zip is superior at keeping water from penetrating the suit both through the seams and the neckline. The chest zip may also be a more comfortable fit once on with a snug neck that is less likely to cause rashes and a zipper less back with a greater level of flexibility.

All Derevko Wetsuits are Chest Zip.

A Derevko Wetsuit

The Derevko Shadow wetsuit incorporates our next level materials to stretch, bend and conform to your body's natural extensions, allowing complete control and freedom of movement. Minimal seam design results in a cut that is comfortable, skintight and limits water entry through the use of fused seam technology. Fire Fiber insulation provides additional warmth to keep you in the surf earlier and longer.

This is simply the best wetsuit if you are looking for comfort, freedom of movement and warmth.

  • Smooth Skin neck seal
  • YKK Metal zips
  • 2mm, 3.2mm and 4.3mm Neoprene thickness
  • Blind stitch construction
  • Fused seams
  • Armoretex kneepads
  • Key pocket with loop
  • Fire Fiber fleece lining

Buy a Derevko Wetsuit Online today

Derevko Wetsuits