Why Use Wetsuits and How to Take Care of Them!

In our biased humble opinion, a wetsuit is one of the best inventions ever made. A wetsuit allows you to be in the water doing what you love regardless of the season or weather.  If you’ve never used a wet suit before it could be a life-changing experience for you. The proper wetsuit with the right thickness keeps the warmth in and the cold out!

FYI wetsuits aren’t just for surfers either! Swimmers, spearfishers and paddle boarders also choose to have fun in the water all year long with the right wetsuit!

Wetsuits in the water

The Science Behind a Wetsuit

A common misconception is that wetsuits keep water out! False! Wetsuits work their magic by trapping in a thin layer of water in your suit. This layer of water is then warmed naturally by your body heat, keeping you warm while in the water.

Wetsuits are made up of multiple layers! The most important layer is made up of a material called Neoprene. Neoprene is the thickest layer of a wetsuit and is a synthetic foam-like rubber! The incredible thing about this material is the cellular structure composed of nitrogen gas bubbles trapped inside the rubber. These little air bubbles trap the heat in, providing optimal insulation in cold ocean water.

Wetsuit Thickness Guide

It is important to remember that wetsuit thickness is measured by the thickness of the neoprene in millimeters (mm)! Somewhere on your wetsuit, usually on the sleeve, there will be two numbers separated by a slash mark. The first number stands for the thickness in the torso area and the second number represents the thickness in the arms and legs.

If you’re shopping at Anchor Chief, the thickness is also found in the product description!

womens wetsuit  Mens blue wetsuit  Mens black wetsuit

Wetsuit thickness ranges from 0.5mm - 5+mm. The temperature of the water you are typical shredding in will determine the thickness of your suit. Before suiting up consider other factors like air temperature and wind speed!

Water Temperature Range (ºC)

Wetsuit Thickness

17º - 22º


15º - 19º


12º - 15º


7º- 12º


3º- 7º


Temperature conditions in relation to thickness may differ slightly from those listed above from brand to brand. In warmer water, you may just slide on an Anchor Chief rash guard or jacket to keep your torso warm and prevent chaffing.

mens wetsuit jacketwomens wetsuit topwomens wetsuit jacket

Wetsuits are definitely an investment but if given the proper care, can last for years.

Wetsuit Care

When it comes to wetsuit upkeep there are a few easy do’s and do not’s. Next to your board, your wetsuit is your best friend. Treat it like one!


  • Do rinse your suit off with cold fresh water immediately after being in the ocean. If the salt stays on your suit it will cause it to age faster.
  • Do use a special wet suit cleaner when necessary.
  • Do hang dry after each use, out of direct sunlight.
  • Do hang dry inside out on a thicker hanger designed for a wetsuit

Do not’s:

  • Do not ever wash your wetsuit with warm water.
  • Do not put your wetsuit in the washing machine.
  • Do not use bleach or nonorganic cleaner on your suit.
  • Do not go in the pool in your wetsuit (or let your child do so), the chlorine will weaken the fabric.
  • Do not dig your nails into your wetsuit when you are trying to yank it off. Go slow.

girl in wetsuit on beach

Anchor Chief Wetsuits

Anchor Chief offers a wide range of wetsuits for men, women, and children. When you are buying your wetsuit, remember it should be tight. It is normal to feel a little uncomfortable in your suit when you’re out of the water. If the wetsuit gapes in any way, the cold water will get in!

Stay in the water longer doing what you love with Anchor Chief wetsuits!

Shop these wetsuits and more at Anchor Chief!