What Are Bodyboarding Wetsuits?

Table of Contents

When it comes to bodyboarding, having the right gear is essential for a successful and enjoyable experience in the waves. Among the crucial pieces of equipment, a bodyboarding wetsuit plays a vital role in keeping you warm, comfortable, and protected while riding the waves. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of bodyboarding wetsuits and answer key questions about their importance, features, and how to choose the perfect one for your needs. So, whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner venturing into the world of bodyboarding, this article will equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision.


What is a bodyboarding wetsuit and why do you need one?

A bodyboarding wetsuit is a specialized garment designed to provide insulation, flexibility, and protection when bodyboarding in cold water. Unlike regular wetsuits, bodyboarding wetsuits are specifically tailored to meet the demands of this unique water sport. They are typically made of neoprene, a synthetic rubber that offers excellent thermal insulation and durability.

In addition to keeping you warm, bodyboarding wetsuits also serve as a barrier between your skin and the elements, protecting you from abrasions, rashes, and potential injuries caused by the board or other external factors. Furthermore, wetsuits provide buoyancy, keeping you afloat and helping you maintain proper body positioning while riding the waves.


What are the key features of a bodyboarding wetsuit?

Bodyboarding wetsuits come with specific features that enhance their functionality and performance in the water. These features include:

a) Thickness: Wetsuits vary in thickness, typically measured in millimeters. Thicker suits provide better insulation in colder water, while thinner suits offer greater flexibility and maneuverability in warmer conditions.

b) Seams: Seams play a crucial role in preventing water entry. Flatlock stitching, glued and blind-stitched (GBS) seams, and liquid-sealed seams are common construction methods used in bodyboarding wetsuits.

c) Zipper: Wetsuits can have back zippers, chest zippers, or no zipper at all. Back zippers are the most common and offer convenience, while chest zippers provide better flexibility and minimal water entry.

d) Knee Pads: Since bodyboarding involves kneeling on the board, reinforced knee pads offer extra protection and durability in high-wear areas.

e) Stretch Panels: Strategically placed stretch panels allow for increased flexibility and freedom of movement, enabling bodyboarders to paddle and maneuver comfortably.

f) Neck Closure: A secure and adjustable neck closure prevents flushing (water entry) and ensures a snug fit, minimizing heat loss.


How do you choose the right bodyboarding wetsuit size?

(approx. 250 words) Selecting the correct size is crucial for the optimal fit and functionality of your bodyboarding wetsuit. Here are some steps to help you choose the right size:

a) Consult the Size Chart: Most wetsuit manufacturers provide size charts that correlate height, weight, chest, waist, and hip measurements with their respective wetsuit sizes. Refer to these charts as a starting point.

b) Consider the Fit: A bodyboarding wetsuit should fit snugly to minimize water entry and ensure proper insulation. However, it should not be excessively tight, restricting your movement or causing discomfort.

c) Try it On: Whenever possible, try on the wetsuit before purchasing. Pay attention to the fit around the shoulders, chest, waist, and knees, ensuring a comfortable range of motion.

d) Seek Professional Advice: If you’re unsure about the sizing, consider consulting with a knowledgeable salesperson or contacting the manufacturer’s customer support for guidance.


How do you care for and maintain a bodyboarding wetsuit?

Proper care and maintenance of your bodyboarding wetsuit can significantly extend its lifespan. Here are some essential tips to keep your wetsuit in top condition:

a) Rinse After Use: Rinse your wetsuit thoroughly with fresh water after each session to remove salt, sand, and other debris that can deteriorate the neoprene.

b) Hang to Dry: Avoid drying your wetsuit in direct sunlight, as it can cause fading and damage. Hang it indoors or in a shaded area, ensuring proper ventilation.

c) Store Properly: Fold your wetsuit neatly or use a wetsuit hanger to prevent creases and maintain its shape. Avoid storing it in hot or damp places, as it can lead to mold or mildew growth.

d) Avoid Contact with Sharp Objects: Be cautious while handling your wetsuit to prevent punctures or tears. Avoid sitting or kneeling on rough surfaces and sharp objects.

e) Apply Conditioner: Neoprene conditioners or wetsuit-specific formulas can help keep the material supple and prevent premature aging.


Can you use a regular wetsuit for bodyboarding?

While it is possible to use a regular wetsuit for bodyboarding, it is not recommended. Regular wetsuits, such as those designed for surfing, might not provide the necessary features and durability required for bodyboarding.

Bodyboarding wetsuits are specifically designed with reinforced knee pads, improved flexibility, and specific seam construction to withstand the unique demands of bodyboarding. They offer enhanced protection against rashes, abrasions, and impacts, ensuring a comfortable and safe experience in the waves.

Investing in a dedicated bodyboarding wetsuit is a wise choice if you plan to engage in bodyboarding frequently. It will provide the optimal fit, insulation, and durability required for this exhilarating water sport.


How do bodyboarding wetsuits differ from surfing wetsuits?

Bodyboarding wetsuits and surfing wetsuits may appear similar at first glance, but they have key differences tailored to the specific requirements of each sport.

Bodyboarding wetsuits are typically shorter in length, as the rider spends a significant amount of time in a kneeling position on the board. They often feature reinforced knee pads to withstand the pressure and abrasion from kneeling and paddling.

Surfing wetsuits, on the other hand, are generally longer to accommodate standing on the surfboard. They prioritize flexibility in the shoulders and arms for paddle movements and offer varying thicknesses based on water temperature conditions.

Furthermore, bodyboarding wetsuits tend to have different seam constructions. They commonly feature flatlock stitching or glued and blind-stitched (GBS) seams to minimize water entry. Surfing wetsuits may use more advanced seam technologies, such as liquid-sealed or taped seams, to provide enhanced waterproofing.



Bodyboarding wetsuits are essential for any bodyboarder, providing warmth, protection, and flexibility in the water. By understanding the features, sizing, care, and differences from surfing wetsuits, you can make an informed choice when selecting your bodyboarding wetsuit. Remember, a well-fitted and maintained wetsuit will enhance your performance, keep you comfortable, and extend the lifespan of your gear. So, suit up, hit the waves, and enjoy the thrilling world of bodyboarding with confidence!

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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