With the weather here in New Zealand one of the most important accessories you need while jet skiing is a good wetsuit, a wetsuit will retain body heat and protect your from wind and rain, as well as keep you warm if you end up off your craft and in the water.
It’s that time of year when you start looking at your jet ski gear and you may realise that your wetsuit has seen better days and it’s time to grab yourself a new one!
Here is a brief guide to help you choice the correct suit for yourself.
There are a few brands that make specific wetsuits for personal watercraft riding, these are designed to suit our riding position, slightly bent in the back with our arms out front and bent knees. By buying one specifically designed for our sport you can make those long rides that little more comfortable. Most of these brands are available from any good personal watercraft store, and if you get stuck any of the dealers advertising to the right will be able to help you out.
Every year suits get warmer, more flexible, and more watertight so if you are looking for a new one there is a very high chance it’s better than your last.
Wetsuits are normally made of neoprene which has been round since the 1930’s. Neoprene is a synthetic, flexible rubber type material that luckily enough for us is also buoyant, which will help out slightly if you need to stay floating for some time if you get separated from your craft, but with that in mind you do still need a life vest.
Wetsuits keep you warm by trapping a thin layer of water in-between your suit and your skin, once the water enters the gap between your wetsuit and your body your body temperature will warm the water and if your suit fits you right this water will stay contained and keep you warm. This is why fitment is one on the most important factors when purchasing a wetsuit. Different brands have different fits, so it may pay to try on multiple brands.
Wetsuits come in many thicknesses, a thicker suit will keep you warmer but will also be less flexible, this is an important factor to take in when purchasing a suit for PWC riding, as our riding position normally involves bent joints. Alot of brands create wetsuits with a thick body/torso and thinner arms and legs to help combat this problem. So take a 3/2 for instance; typically it’ll have three-millimeter rubber in the chest and legs, while the two-millimeter rubber is reserved for the high-flex areas.
Different suits will have different constructions that help categorise their type and price. Wetsuit construction is a vital aspect of a good suit. When looking at wetsuits you may come across many different types of stitching, here is the most common types.
The location and season in which you intend to use your wetsuit will help determine which type/style of wetsuit will suit you the best. Have a think and talk to your local friendly wetsuit dealer.