A back-zip wetsuit is common in entry-level wetsuits. However, it’s really a matter of preference. For example, if you’re broad in the shoulders and/or have a large frame, then a back-zip wetsuit is a great entry system as it’ll be easier to get in and out of. Although you might just be a hopeless romantic who’s holding onto the glory days of wetsuit before other entry-systems adapted to the way in which surfing was heading.
Our resident neoprene expert Will goes through some simple steps which will show you just how easy it is to put on a back-zip wetsuit. Will does this using an O'Neill Psycho One.
Step 1: Locate the back-zip and make sure it’s all the way down.
Step 2: Bend down and insert feet into the leg openings of the wetsuit, then pull the wetsuit up to the knees, and then continue all the way up to your waist.
Step 3: Once the wetsuit is pulled up to your waist, simply put your arms through the arm openings. Tip: If you’re broad in the shoulders or have a large frame, then a back-zip wetsuit is perfect.
Step 4: Work your left arm through the opening and pull all the way up to your shoulder. Make sure it fits well.
Step 5: Grab the right arm opening and manoeuvre your arm all the way through. Tip: If you lift your arm straight up in the air, it will be easier to get the wetsuit over your shoulder.
Step 6: Make sure everything is fitting in the right place, so the zip doesn’t get stuck on your back. If there is a neoprene gaiter in the zip, make sure that is correctly pulled over your head, and is sitting comfortably around your neck.
Step 7: Bring the chord that’s attached to back zip to the side of your body with your left hand, then switch it to your right hand, and pull it up above your head.
Step 8: Adjust the Velcro neck accordingly making sure it’s nice and snug. This will provide an appropriate water seal to minimise water seeping in.
Step 9: Time to go surfing!
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