January 31, 2023 2 min read
Ultimately, what to wear under your wetsuit comes down to personal preference but technically the best thing to wear under your wetsuit is …drum roll… nothing. Why is it best to go commando under your wetsuit? Well, neoprene wetsuits work as insulators trapping your body heat inside while acting as a barrier to the cold outside. Therefore, putting anything between you and your wetsuit can reduce the wetsuits effectiveness as an insulator. Additionally, the fit of a wetsuit also affects its heat retention capabilities. You want your wetsuit to fit like a glove, so wearing underwear, boardshorts, or bikinis can cause bunching that will hinder the wetsuit’s ability to sit flush and comfortably on your skin.
Now you must be wondering how do you get into a wetsuit naked on the beach? We recommend using a towel or a changing robe to make this process easy and help you refrain from flashing the parking lot, getting a bunch of strange looks, or ending up in jail for indecent exposure. Now that you know you don’t need anything but your wetsuit, let's dive into some wetsuit 101.
In the early 90’s, it was common for surfers to wear rash guards under their wetsuits. Rash guards are thin lycra jerseys initially designed to protect surfers from chaffing and rashes caused by the wetsuits inside seams and stitching. However, by the mid ‘90s, most quality surfing wetsuits were designed with glued, blind stitched and or taped seams which drastically eliminated chafing and decreased the need for rash guards. While you’ll rarely see a surfer wearing a rash guard under their wetsuit, rash guards are still very commonly used and worn for sun protection.
Another key reason for going commando under your wetsuit is due to the technological advances in neoprene wetsuit linings. Today, virtually all popular wetsuit brands have proprietary versions of heat retaining liners built into the wetsuit like the Body Glove Red Cell. These liners come in varying fabrics and thickness and generally serve to increase heat retention between your skin and the wetsuit.
Regardless of what you choose to wear under your wetsuit, you’ll want to make sure the wetsuit fits nice and snug and doesn’t restrict your ease of movement. You can check the Body Glove How to Buy a Wetsuit guide to help you understand the correct thickness, size, and fit for your wetsuit needs.
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