What to Wear Underneath a Wetsuit?

What to Wear Underneath a Wetsuit?

When it comes to enjoying water sports such as surfing, diving, or paddleboarding, a wetsuit is an essential gear item. Wetsuits provide insulation and protection from the cold water, ensuring you stay warm and comfortable during your aquatic adventures. However, what you wear underneath your wetsuit can greatly affect your overall experience. In this article, we will discuss the different options for what to wear underneath a wetsuit and answer some frequently asked questions to help you make the right choice.

1. Wetsuit Underwear:
Wetsuit-specific underwear is designed to be worn underneath your wetsuit. Made from materials that wick away moisture and provide additional insulation, these undergarments prevent rashes and chafing while maximizing comfort and warmth.

2. Rash Guards:
Rash guards are popular choices for wearing under wetsuits. These lightweight, quick-drying shirts are typically made of spandex or nylon, providing a snug fit without adding extra bulk. Rash guards offer protection against sunburn, rashes, and abrasions, making them ideal for water activities.

3. Swimwear:
If you prefer a minimalistic approach, you can wear swimwear under your wetsuit. Opt for snug-fitting swim shorts or bikinis made of quick-drying materials. Keep in mind that swimwear does not provide as much insulation as other options, so it may not be suitable for colder waters or longer sessions.

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4. Base Layers:
Base layers, such as thermal tops and leggings, can be worn under your wetsuit for added warmth. These garments are typically made of synthetic materials like polyester or merino wool, which offer excellent insulation even when wet. Base layers are a great option for colder conditions or for those who tend to get cold easily.

5. Neoprene Shorts:
Neoprene shorts are specifically designed to be worn underneath wetsuits. Made from the same material as wetsuits, these shorts provide extra insulation for your lower body while allowing freedom of movement. Neoprene shorts are particularly useful in colder waters or for individuals who want additional protection.

6. Nothing:
While it is uncommon, some people choose to wear nothing underneath their wetsuits. This option is more suitable for those who are comfortable with the feel of neoprene against their skin. However, keep in mind that wearing nothing under your wetsuit may increase the risk of chafing and skin irritation.

7. Avoid Cotton:
Regardless of your choice, it is essential to avoid wearing cotton underneath your wetsuit. Cotton absorbs water and takes a long time to dry, which means it can leave you feeling cold and uncomfortable. Opt for synthetic materials that wick away moisture and dry quickly to ensure maximum comfort and warmth.

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Q1. Can I wear a regular t-shirt under my wetsuit?
No, it is not recommended to wear a regular t-shirt under your wetsuit. Regular t-shirts are made of cotton, which retains moisture and can leave you feeling cold and uncomfortable. Instead, opt for a wetsuit-specific rash guard or wetsuit underwear made from moisture-wicking materials.

Q2. Should I wear socks with my wetsuit?
Wearing socks with your wetsuit is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the added insulation and protection that socks provide, especially in colder conditions. However, make sure to choose thin neoprene or thermal socks to ensure a proper fit inside your wetsuit.

Q3. Can I wear a sports bra under my wetsuit?
Yes, you can wear a sports bra under your wetsuit. Look for sports bras made of moisture-wicking materials that provide a comfortable and supportive fit. Avoid bras with clasps or metal parts that can dig into your skin or cause discomfort during water activities.

Q4. Can I wear leggings under my wetsuit?
Yes, you can wear leggings under your wetsuit, particularly if you need extra insulation or protection for your legs. Choose base layer leggings made of synthetic materials like polyester or merino wool for optimal warmth and moisture management.

Q5. Can I wear board shorts under my wetsuit?
It is not recommended to wear board shorts under your wetsuit. Board shorts are typically made of quick-drying materials, but the extra fabric can cause discomfort and restrict movement when worn under a wetsuit. Opt for neoprene shorts or wetsuit-specific underwear for a better fit.

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Q6. Should I wear a wetsuit hood?
Wetsuit hoods are designed to provide additional insulation and protect your head from the cold water. If you are planning to engage in water activities in extremely cold conditions, wearing a wetsuit hood can help keep you warm. However, for milder conditions, a hood may not be necessary, and you can rely on a wetsuit with a high collar.

Q7. How should I clean the clothing worn under my wetsuit?
To keep the clothing you wear under your wetsuit clean and odor-free, rinse them thoroughly with freshwater after each use. Avoid using harsh detergents as they can damage the fabric. Instead, use a mild soap specifically designed for wetsuits or hand wash them with gentle detergent and air dry.

In conclusion, choosing the right clothing to wear underneath your wetsuit is crucial for comfort, warmth, and overall enjoyment of water activities. Whether you opt for wetsuit-specific underwear, rash guards, base layers, neoprene shorts, or swimwear, make sure to avoid cotton and select moisture-wicking materials that dry quickly. By following these guidelines, you can enhance your water sports experience and stay comfortable in any conditions.

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