View Full Version : Wetsuits - need advice
04-27-2005, 08:13 AM
Does anyone know a company that makes wetsuits for small women? I'm about 5'1" - 5'2" and according to some of the manufacturer specs I've seen, I'm not supposed to weigh over 100 lbs at that height. Ok, so obviously they make suits for VERY small woman, but what about the rest of us? I weigh about 115 so I can't find anything that fits. The kids sizes look like they'd fit better except the chest area is too small - and I'm not big there either so this is pretty frustrating.
I need to get something soon because the water is still very cold here. I have a jet ski, I'm not surfing or swimming in it if that makes any difference. Also, I'm on the East Coast and would be using it mainly in the summer on the Bay, Potomac River, and a large lake in Western Maryland. I don't want anything too hot to use during the summer either. I'm new to this so any advice is helpful. Thanks.
04-27-2005, 08:46 AM
I think you're probably just going to have to try them on. They will stretch some, so depending on how your weight is distributed, a size that looks "small" according to the charts may actually fit you.
Henderson Wetsuits (http://www.hendersonwetsuits.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=HS) has a material called Hyperstretch that is supposed to make the suit easier to put on and take off. This probably also helps with the sizing. I know some divers whose experience says that a given thickness Hyperstretch suit is not as warm as the same thickness of standard neoprene. I don't know if that plays a part in your decision, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
If you still can't find anything, and depending on your budget, try LiquidFit (http://www.liquidfit.com/) for a custom wetsuit. Again, I have no direct experience with them, but I know a number of people who have bought from them, and they get rave reviews.
04-27-2005, 08:48 AM
Check out ProMotion (www.wetsuit.com) I've ordered a couple (windsurfing) things from them, including a wetsuit, and I've been very happy with the quality of their stuff and their customer service.
They have a size 6 that says it's for 5'2" - 5'5" 110-125 lbs. Sounds perfect for you. Give them a call with your exact numbers--they've always been helpful when I've talked to them. Relatively small company.
04-27-2005, 09:18 AM
Great! Thanks guys. I'll post some pics of my new Honda Aquatrax turbo when I pick it up from the dealer tonight. :)
Edward The Head
04-27-2005, 09:29 AM
Since you seem to be in the area, I know Deep Creek Lake, there is a place in NoVA called TriBonzi or something like that. They sell stuff for triathetes and have wetsuits that are the older versions much cheaper. I got my wetsuit there last year for around $100, and it's a bit better then the normal wetsuits because you can swim in them better.
04-27-2005, 09:31 AM
How about heat wise? How hot are they in the summer? Sorry, I admit I'm a noob.
04-27-2005, 10:42 AM
First off, it sounds like you're looking for a shortie, rather than a full wetsuit ("jet skiing", "not too hot in the summer"). If you're looking for a full wetsuit, then I would definitely recommend a custom (like Liquidfit). I am short (5'1") and stocky and could not find anything off the racks. So I have a custom full wetsuit I use for diving.
But shorties are a little easier. Big tip: different manufacturers size differently. Unfortunately, shorties are grouped into "small", "medium", "large", etc.. But try different manufacturers out to see if there is one out there. For instance, I have found Body Glove to be a bit wider, whereas O'Neill's tend to be narrower. I have a Henderson shortie that I use for diving, and it seems more like the Body Glove sizing.
Next, where to look. Aside from (all encompassing) sporting good stores (worth a shot, though), try dive shops and surf shops. It may be a pain to try on a bunch of different suits, but it is worth it if you can find one that fits. I shopped (determined sizing) for my Henderson through dive shops, and then ordered it online (Leisurepro.com) for significantly less.
Hope this helps.
04-27-2005, 05:27 PM
Unfortunately, shorties are grouped into "small", "medium", "large", etc..
Not always--ProMotion sells some of their shorties in the same size ranges as their regular wetsuits. They have a 3mm shortie (http://www.wetsuit.com/store/detail.cfm?product_id=434) in the size 6 I mentioned earlier. And, come to think of it, the things that make a wetsuit good for windsurfing (rubberized or coated exterior surfaces to eliminate wind chill, extra flexibility in the shoulders) would also seem to be good for jetskiing.
Not an employee or investor, just a happy customer. ;) There are certainly a lot of other good wetsuit manufacturers out there.
04-27-2005, 07:57 PM
Thanks everyone. I found a scuba shop near my house and am going to go after work tomorrow if only to get an idea of the sizes.
I have to get something before the weekend so I can ride my new toy!
Honda Aquatrax f-12X (http://home.comcast.net/~blancm3/jetski/honda042705_3.jpg)
04-27-2005, 08:26 PM
NRS (Northwest River Supply), serving the whitewater kayaking and rafting community since.......well,......a long time. I am a satisfied customer and can recommend highly. Also check out the Hydroskin apparel. It's like a thinner wetsuit material and a hydroskin top works well under a "Farmer John" wetsuit.
Relief zippers are nice to have!
There's a sizing guide on the site somewhere.
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