Trying a Wet Suit

August 27th, 2023
I get cold very quickly in the water, enough that unless it's close to body temperature I get chilled through within ~15min. This mostly wasn't a problem, because I'd take a quick dip to cool off and then hang out on the beach, but now that I have kids they (and I) want lots of swimming together time. When I touched on this a few weeks ago people recommended trying a wetsuit, and yesterday evening I did for the first time!

It was different in a bunch of ways, but on balance I like it a lot. Some things I noticed:

  • Initially there was some air in my suit, which felt funny bubbling out.

  • The suit is slightly buoyant, taking some getting used to.

  • It still felt cold getting in, until my body had time to heat up the trapped layer of water.

  • I didn't get cold in the water! This was with maybe ~78F water and ~82F air. I could play with my kids until they wanted to get out of the water.

  • I bought separate pants and a vest, which I wore under my swimsuit. The pants worked very well, and the vest worked ok: I got a bit of water rotating through where they met, and I occasionally needed to pull the vest down. Possibly a full body suit would have been better? But those seem more annoying to get in and out of, and the amount of water moving through was pretty low with the kind of playing we were doing.

  • Once I got out of the water, I stayed wet a lot longer. This was warmer than usual for the first part, since it was a warm sort of wet, though after we got to the stage where I normally would have been fully dry (~45m?) I was mildly colder.

Overall I'm happy, and am looking forward to swimming with it again in the future!

(My kids are now asking if they can get ones too, which is fine with me!)

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