How To Put On A Chest-Zip Wetsuit

Putting on a wetsuit isn't the easiest thing to do. Especially if it's cold, raining, and you're in a carpark with a lot of other surfers eager to get in the water. A lot of the time a wetsuit will need to be put on whilst having a towel wrapped around you which can make the process even trickier. However, if you familiarise yourself with the key steps below, you shouldn't have any issues getting in to your wetsuit. Although, the one thing that never gets easier, is putting on a wet wetsuit. Even if you've been surfing your whole life, it will still be as unpleasant the 1,000th time, and it was the first time.

Below is a simple step-by-step guide on how to put on a chest-zip wetsuit as demonstrated by our resident neoprene expert Will. In the video, Will is wearing a 2018 Billabong Furnace Carbon 3/2mm Chest Zip.

Step 1: Find the entry for the chest zip. This can be done by reaching inside the chest entry, grabbing the armpits and opening the suit up. This will ensure you have a clear way of getting into the wetsuit.

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, you need to find the side without the zip, as it allows for more stretch, which will make it easier for you to get your arm in. Note: It’s generally the left-hand side.

Step 4: Work your left arm through the opening and pull all the way up to your shoulder.

Step 5: Pull the side down with the zip. This will be the right-hand side. Then slip your right hand through the opening. Tip: If you lift your arm straight up in the air, it will be easier to get the wetsuit over your shoulder.

Step 6: Place the gaiter (extra neoprene) over your head. Note: You should pull the gator over your head from the front of your face.

Step 7: Place the zip section (neck seal) over your head. Note: You should pull the zip section from the back of your head.

Step 8: Attach the zip and pull across.

Step 9: Tighten the chest area with the fastening system to provide a solid water seal.

Step 10: Time to go surfing!


Shop our full range of men's 3mm chest-zip wetsuits here. And for our full range of women's 3mm chest-zip wetsuits, shop here.


Updated on 3rd March 2020

Originally published on 17th September 2018 in Wetsuit Guides

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