In most parts of Europe and especially the UK a wetsuit is the fundamental component to most water sport disciplines. The sole purpose of a wetsuit is to retain body heat and protect from environmental elements such as wind and rain, allowing the user to partake in their sport for extended periods of time. Any manufacturer’s brochure can be found listing complicated jargon of technical features and hybrid materials used in wetsuit construction, but to most consumers such terminology is worthless. This guide therefore aims to inform Surfing Hardware’s prospective customers of the key issues surrounding contemporary wetsuits design, purchase and use, to simplify how they work and inform them why our brands have been carefully selected to meet the wide demands of our customers.  This wetsuit guide presents the many styles of wetsuits available on the market and the many different material and construction types they comprise of, also what to look out for in your purchase and the best ways to look after your suit.  Our intention is to not to bombard the reader with technical jargon, but inform them of the important aspects to consider when buying a wetsuit. Our aim is to ensure that our customers get the best product for them by providing extensive product knowledge alongside exceptional customer service.

Wetsuit Brands

Over the last decade wetsuit manufacture, as like many consumer durables has relocated to the Far East to reduce labour costs. This has brought the retail prices of technical wetsuits down, yet increased the stock of cheap products coming onto the European market. As ASDA, Sainsburys and Tesco continue to flood the market with poorly designed suits many retailers, especially those with retail outlets continue to suffer.   Our brands are all English and all market leaders.Being originally a Cornish company we promote both C-Skins and Gul , 2 Cornish brands with extensive experience in design, construction, quality assurance and customer loyalty. Finally Rhino, a top Devonshire surfing company that supply first class surfing accessories designed and delivered by top surfers.

Material Construction and stitching

Different suits will have different constructions that help categories their type and price. We have a stone paper notebook for each material with pricing for you to order or collect in one of our stores.. Relating back to issues of water infiltration, wetsuit construction is a vital aspect of a good suit. The fundamental reason for this is that seams and stitching allow what is known as ‘flushing’ when water gets into the suit. The zip, in which you enter the suit also plays a significant role in flushing. This is because stitching in wetsuit construction and the addition of a zip in which to enter the suit requires needle and thread; these create holes for water to infiltrate the suit. Such stitching is known as flatlock and overlock. Such stitching in a suit is adequate for summer wetsuits when water temperatures are higher, but in winter will be a vast disadvantage to sustaining body temperature, even in thicker winter designed suits (5/4/3). The below diagrams illustrate how the stitching works.

Wetsuit care & cleaning

Cleaning your wetsuit after use will help to prolong its life and performance. If you don’t rinse off the salty sea water from your wetsuit after surfing, tiny salt particles, grit and sand will be left on your suit. This will hinder the flexibility and performance of your suit, erode stitching and lead to corrosion and failure of zippers as well as making your wetsuit uncomfortable to wear and unpleasant to smell!To clean your suit simply hand wash in cool or warm water with McNett wetsuit shampoo using a kneading motion, thoroughly rinse in fresh water and allow to drip dry out of the sun.We all know how cold it can be at times and the last thing you want to do when you get out of the water is take off your suit slowly! But the thing you must not do is force it off and tread or stand on it. If you abuse your wetsuit in this way it may void your warranty. A way to avoid this is to stand on a towel when taking off the suit or you can get yourself a wetsuit-changing mat.

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