How to put a wetsuit on?

We won’t lie to you, putting on a wetsuit for the first time can be an endurance challenge in itself. It doesn’t matter whether you are a wetsuit novice, or a seasoned triathlete, squeezing into your suit can be a cumbersome job. More importantly though, not following a tried and tested procedure can result in damage to your wetsuit. Which can cause damage to your wallet. To spare your blushes, and unnecessary expense, read our step-by-step guide to find out how to put a wetsuit on with minimum effort and zero damage.

1)      Preparation 

Before you put your wetsuit on, make sure it is all the right way in - so the smooth neoprene is on the outside. Our wetsuits are very special to us, so make sure your nails are properly trimmed and you wear the white gloves provided. Wetsuit skins are delicate and can be easily punctured by a badly manicured finger. Relax and take your time. Rushing to get the suit on is where damage is likely to occur.


2)      Lubrication

The next step to putting a wetsuit on, if you choose to, is lubrication. Lubricant can be used regardless of what you’re wearing underneath (ps check out our blog on what to wear underneath wetsuit here). Greasing your ankles, wrists, knees, elbows and neck not only makes the process a lot easier but also minimises any rubbing or chafing when you’re smashing out the strokes. However, you need to be careful with the type of lubricant you can use. The wrong product, such as Vaseline, can cause damage to the suit. Make sure you use a lubricant that has been designed especially for wetsuits – we recommend HUUB LUUB, you purchase from us here.


3)      Feet first

It may sound silly but check that you have the wetsuit the right way around – the majority of suits have their zip at the back. Step into the wetsuit, one leg at a time, and focus on pulling the wetsuit over your ankles up the leg. Make sure you have worked the material all the way up past your knees up to the crotch area so that your wetsuit can comfortably sit at your hips with no excess material around the legs.  A neat trick, if you have one to hand, is to pop a plastic bag on your foot. This helps ease your lower limbs into the wetsuit.  


4)      Arms in

Only once you have gently pulled the wetsuit up to your waist and you are sure that you have got it as high as you can with no excess material on the legs, then you can then ease your arms in. Do the same as we did with the legs, make sure to pull the wetsuit up the arm starting from the wrists all the way up to the shoulders. Once you have your arms in, raise them above your head to ensure there are no air pockets. Again, if necessary, use a plastic bag to make this a smoother process. As before, take your time and don’t rush the process.


5)     Final Adjustments

Your wetsuit should be sitting and feeling comfortable at this point but this is the time you can make any final adjustments and make sure that all the material is pulled up your arms and legs!  If you are making adjustments, always make sure to start from the ankles or wrists and pull the material gently up the limbs, rather than just pulling around the waist or random parts of the body, all that really does is pulls the material out of shape and can damage the wetsuit.


6)     Time to zip up! 

Once you are sure you're wetsuit is on and you are comfortable and can move freely, it is time to zip up. You’ll have noticed that wetsuits have a long lead to pull the zip up. This means that you can zip up without any help but if someone is available, you can ask them to give you assistance. A common cause of damage is from over aggressive pulling on the zip, so a partner can help you avoid any slip ups. If no one is around to help, then make sure you pull up the zip as gently as possible, without any vigorous tugging. Finally, secure the velcro flaps and you are ready to swim!

If you have any further question about how to put on a wetsuit, or any other aspect of wetsuit hire, then email us at

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published