The decision of choosing a wetsuit is determined by many factors such as your weight, height, chest and waist sizes, body time, swimming conditions, and also the sport that you are engaged in. The latter consideration is quite important because you need to make sure that the wetsuit is not affecting your performance in any way.
There are many sports that a wetsuit is designed for whether it is swimming, diving, surfing, etc. If you are involved in multiple sports, it is best to keep your primary sport in mind when selecting the wetsuit. Different wetsuit types are designed for varying water temperatures and seasonal conditions. Depending on the water condition, you can go for a full suit, a spring suit, a 3/2 suit, or a 4/3 suit like what you find in the O’Neill 4/3 wetsuits range. There are some styles of suits that are versatile to be used in several activities. A wetsuit will make sure that the heat loss from your body is reduced by trapping a thin layer of water between your skin and the fabric of the suit. This layer of water is heated by the body temperature and this warmth is preserved by the suit.
When it comes to diving, you will be dealing a lot with cold water so you need to select a wetsuit that is designed especially for that. They also need to withstand the compression that your body faces when diving into the depths. The material that this wetsuit is made up of will be different because of the extreme conditions of diving. If you are visiting a store to purchase the wetsuit, let the staff know about the depth to which you are diving as this can have an impact on the material of the wetsuit.
You can find skin suits that are not made of neoprene which is the commonly used material for most wetsuits. The materials are either of a Lycra blend or a poly fleece blend. There are also spring suits that have short legs that can be worn in warm conditions and also full suits that cover the entire body. You will be more protected against the cold when wearing a full suit but make sure that you check the thickness of the material to confirm that it is appropriate for the temperature condition of the diving location.
If you are a surfer, you will be doing a lot of arm paddling so you need to think about the stretchiness of the wetsuit. Especially the upper portion of the wetsuit needs to have sufficient flexibility so that your movement is not restricted. This way you will fatigue slower and you will be able to surf for a longer time.
There are triathlon wetsuits that are designed for lap swimming and offer more stretch. These suits are made out of panels that have varying thicknesses and materials to optimize the swimming without creating drag. This can make the suit very stretchy and mould perfectly to the form of the body. But a downside of this wetsuit is that it can tear quite easily.