I have a ROKA Maverick Pro II, a great wetsuit, durable, very fast, very well made. But, it’s a size too small. Maybe making a video of putting this suit on (I thought) would accentuate the skill and tricks required to put a wetsuit on. Let’s see if this experiment plays out. I enlisted the help of my dog Bear.
I’m 61 years old, and the older you get the harder it is to put these things on. What are the tricks?
First, cut your fingernails short. If you have nails, they may make little cuts on the suit. If you don’t cut your nails your nails may penetrate the rubber.
Second, yes, you race sockless. Fine. But take a pair of socks to transition just for putting on your wetsuit. Either that or take a plastic baggie and put your foot it it; stick your baggied foot into the wetsuit. I’ve had to repair a lot of blown out calves in wetsuits (not in my suits, in your suits) because of this. Basically, your wetsuit’s lower leg is in labor, and your foot (and heel) is the child. Birthing your foot can be as hard or as easy on your wetsuit as you make it.
Next, pull the wetsuit up to your knees. All the way up. High. Then, pull your wetsuit up to your waist, high up into your crotch, until you sing an octave higher. If you complain of a lack of shoulder mobility, this, right here, this step right here, is where you lost that shoulder mobility. You lost that mobility in your shoulders before you ever slid an arm into your wetsuit.
See what’s going on here? You’re putting your wetsuit on in sections. Lower leg, then the waist, then the arms. If you’re pulling on the rubber in your thighs while your wetsuit is all the way on then you didn’t put the suit on right to begin with. That rubber in your thighs should’ve been all the way up before you put the top half of your suit on.
Now put one arm through. Get one arm all the way on. Pull the rubber all the way up. Hike it over one shoulder and then do the other. Make sure the seams in the arms line up. Make sure the panels on the wrists are in the right spot before you put the wetsuit on.
When you zip it, one hand pulls the zipper base down, the other pulls the zipper up. When you attach the velcro in back, make sure it’s lined up well. Know where the pull cord is so that when you get out of the water you can easily find it.
Make sure the suit is pulled up in the back enough so that the neck isn’t pressing against your throat. But, if the suit is too big, or borderline big, you might have the opposite problem. You don’t want a space – a scoop – between the front of the wetsuit’s neck and your throat. If that’s the case, pull the back of the wetsuit down a little. You want no scoop in front, but you want the least pressure on your neck as possible.
Now you’re ready to swim.