How to Choose Your Wetsuit

It is important to understand that the choice of wetsuit is very important. Ideally you need several wetsuits with each one suited to the different temperatures.

The more neoprene you wear the warmer you are …….BUT…. it’s more uncomfortable and causes all sorts of grief with your buoyancy. So we aim to have the smallest amount of neoprene and still be warm.

Different folks get cold at different rates. Women and tall, skinny okes get cold quicker.

Neoprene Quality

There are 9 ratings of neoprene quality and the number one criteria is the resistance to pressure compression damage.
Compression damage is where the little insulating cells in the neoprene are compressed on a dive and do not re-inflate on surfacing. The wetsuit becomes thinner and thinner and you get colder and colder.
As a rule the more flexible the neoprene the less compression it can take.
Unfortunately several wetsuits sold in South Africa are in fact made of surface Surfing material and not diving neoprene. SO BEWARE !  These suits will be much cheaper than normal.


Cape Town
Either a dry suit or a 7 mm one piece with a shorty worn over the top. A hoodie is essential
You can get away with a 5mm but it’s a bit lightweight

Eastern Cape
One piece 5mm wetsuit with 5mm shorty over the top and a separate hood.
This will give some flexibility as the one piece will be great for KZN  without the hood and shorty.

One piece 5mm will be good enough for most folk. Add on a separate hood and the a shorty if still cold

5mm one piece is great but a 3mm will be better when its warmer.

Warmer water
3mm one piece. This gives protection against the sun and stingy things