Front Zip Wetsuit Versus Back Zip Wetsuit
Purchasing a front zip wetsuit versus back zip wetsuit has been a question and consideration of many water sport enthusiasts. There really is no wrong choice here but there are certain wetsuits that are better for different activities and situations. A wetsuit’s main goal is to keep you warm even in the coldest of waters. Here we help you find a wetsuit that can be flexible, comfortable, and high quality.
For the argument of a front zip wetsuit versus back zip wetsuit the most important things come down to how comfortable they are in a few different areas. For the front zip wetsuit it can be said that not having a velcro patch right on your neck is a big bonus. For some back zip wetsuits this can be really uncomfortable and for others it is not noticeable so it really is personal preference. Also, not having to reach to the back to unzip your wetsuit is a more comfortable process and creates less worry about your zipper potentially getting caught in your hair if you have longer hair. The second feature of a front zip wetsuit is that they have more flexibility in them. This is due to the back panel having a stretchy feature on most front zip wetsuits that you don’t get in a back zip wetsuit. That flexibility is key for water sports such as kiteboarding or surfing to be able to use your arms more freely. The front zip wetsuit can also limit flushing in your wetsuit which is one of the most uncomfortable things that any wetsuit user can experience. Flushing happens when you get water in your wetsuit and with front zip wetsuits it is minimized over the back zip. The reason for less flushing is that there are less gaps in the front zip wetsuit.
Now the back zip wetsuit has its perks the same as a front zip wetsuit. Getting a front zip wetsuit versus a back zip wetsuit is based on if you are more fond of the pros of the front or the back zip. The first benefit of a back zip wetsuit is that it is generally more roomy than a front zip wetsuit. This is because the back zips usually open up wider. The back zips are easier to put on as well due to the large back zipper but can’t be zipped up as easily by yourself compared to a front zip wetsuit. That velcro on the neck that can be uncomfortable also could allow for more adjustments if the neck is too tight or too loose it can be nice for adjustments on the fly. There are definitely benefits to both but for water sports activities the font zip is recommended for the fact that it improves flexibility that you need to be comfortable and perform the best during these activities.
Kite surfers primarily use front zip because of the harness. Unlike scuba and surfing they do not have a tightly secured waist or seat harness. Also, in those other activities you are sitting in the water more so having the water in your wetsuit to warm you up is good. Whereas with kiting, you are outside of the water so they are coming up with ways to make it not only waterproof but also windproof to stay warmer.
As mentioned before, you also have to figure out what you want in a wetsuit besides how comfortable it is. Some things to consider is the location and temperature of where you ride. What highs and lows in temperature does your water activity season have? How long into your season will you ride? And how big of a temperature change will you experience throughout the season? Some riders are more warm blooded where they can ride in colder weather with just a wetsuit while others need the full hood, booties, and gloves to go out in the same conditions.
The first suit type is of the basic full suit variety and a brand to look out for is the 4/3mm Majestic for men and Jayde for women from Mystic. This suit is glued blind stitch and this is a must for riding in colder weather. Some features of this suit are the knitflex+ lining that provides a lot of flexibility and the wind mesh that offers great protection against wind chill. 90 to 95 percent of water will be kept out on falls in a suit such as this.
For even more protection against the cold while enjoying water sports go for a 5/3mm insulated suit. These are comparable to the basic full suits but have even more added features to keep you even warmer on your session. Some of these features include a better insulated lining and are even better at reducing the amount of water intake on your wipeouts. Other things you can add to a suit for extreme cold weather is a hood or a beanie.
If you are more of a summer rider then you could go with a 3/2mm summer wetsuit. These suits are not glued and blind stitched and will let in water to flush through your suit everytime you go into the water.
However, what does 3/2mm, 4/3mm and 5/3mm mean? This is the thickness of the wetsuit. The numerator (3) is for the thickness of the chest or body. Whereas the 2mm denominator is for the arms. They make the thickest part of the suit in areas where your body heat needs to be trapped the most.
There is a lot to think about with buying a wetsuit but the most important things to think of are the activities you will be doing.
If you would like to purchase a new wetsuit for kiteboarding or any watersport activity contact us today or come into our local shop and check it out for yourself!