There are different kinds of wetsuits, some of them are relatively easy to put on, while others not so much, especially if you don't know how to do it properly. In the new episode of The Complete Guide, Linda Paganelli will show you how it's done the right way, without hurting yourself, the wetsuit, or the ocean.
Should I Use Soap?
Soap and shampoo can be quite aggressive on the skin. If you dive once in a while nothing is gonna happen unless you have very delicate skin or allergy, but if you dive regularly you might want to find some hypoallergenic product. I only use conditioner because it's more slippery than the soap and because of that you will need much less of it. It is also more gentle on the skin.
Lubricant - Water Ratio
I will teach you how to use an extremely small amount of it, but in any case, if you can find a product that is biodegradable, please consider spending the extra buck not to add more pollutants into the sea. A bottle of conditioner can last me a long time, so it's really not going to break the bank. Like I mentioned I will show you how to use a very little amount, most people use a full one and a half little bottle and they have to add a considerable amount of soap or conditioner in order to make it slippery enough. You don't need all that liquid to lubricate your suit, in fact, you only need a quarter of a liter, which is about this much, and is less than a can of soda. Now, you add one squirt of soap, I keep calling it soap but you know what I mean, mine is conditioner. And then you shake it, and this will be enough to lubricate your suit.
How To Lubricate Your Suit
Pour half of the bottle content in your wetsuit pants. Hold the opening like this, and then shake it sideways, for a few seconds, with the openings closed by your hands. Now drain it, but not on the ground, drain it inside the jacket instead. Take a mental note of how much liquid got into the jacket, and leave it aside for now. Wear the pants one leg at a time. If you have big hips you might want to soap your butt a little before pulling the pants through, so they will glide better, and to help it slide up gently grab each leg with open hands and push it up to your legs. If your suit is smooth skin on the outside, never pinch and pull the neoprene, especially small pinches are bad, because you risk ripping the suit. If your suit has a nylon lining on the outside, you won't break it, but pinching and pulling are still not effective as pushing it up with open hands.
Use A Swim Cap
If you have long hair, do get hold of a silicone swim cap now. Not doing so will eventually rip half of your hair off, and I cannot count how many times I pinch my neck muscles because the hood got stuck against my hair and I have to push my head violently through. Short hair doesn't stick as much to the open cell, but a cap will still help. If you have no hair then congratulations, you don't need a cap.
How To Wear The Jacket
Now let's finish soaping the jacket. Some soapy water is already inside but it might not be enough. You can add some more so you're sure to have enough running also through the arms. Close all the openings and shake it well. Now drain it on yourself so that it falls on your shoulders and arms. You might want to avoid pouring it on your head, to avoid burning your eyes. Now fold the bottom of your jacket on itself. Put one arm inside and with the other hand, of the opposite arm, help it as high as possible. Now you do the same with the other arm. Now grab this part of the jacket, and with both hands gently open it, so that you have enough space to pass it over your head. The swim cap will help the suit slide over your head without ripping all your hair off as we said before. Now that your head is through you just need to pull the jacket down. The reason why we previously folded the jacket bottom is to prevent it from bunching at the shoulder and now it's done.