Do You Speak Wetsuit?

Posted by Oz B on

Live2Kite San Francisco Kiteboarding Wetsuits

Wetsuit technology is amazing these days but it can be tricky to understand what all those abbreviations and made up words mean. We'll break it down as best as we can here, focusing on our main in-house brands, Prolimit and Mystic.

  • Freezip - This means there is no zipper in the back, it's a "top loading" wetsuit. The top flap unzips at the chest, folds back to reveal a wide neck that's very stretchy and you step in to. This is allows the wetsuit to have more stretch in the back since now there's no zipper back there.
  • GBS - "Glue Blindstitched Seams" Wetsuits with thin, exposed seams are triple glued using Prolimit's methods. This also includes a liquid rubber seal on the seams to reinforce them and prevent water leakage. These types of seams don't have a raised surface, making them more durable.
  • FTM - Fluid Taping Method. These are the wetsuits with a seam thats topped with a wide rubber tape. These seams are triple glued as well. This is the most water-tight method for seams.
  • DL - Double Lined. Most wetuits these days are double lined. This means there's fabric that sandwiches a piece of neoprene. This makes the neoprene more wear resistant and allows color options.
  • Airflex 550+ - Airflex 550 is a version of neoprene that Prolimit uses on high end suits. Airflex 550+ can stretch over 480% of its original size! This version is also very light weight. Other neoprene versions include, Airflex 500 (stretches to only 400%), and Airflex 350 (stretches to 350%) These other types also weigh more than Airflex 550+.

While we're here, lets refresh our recommended wetsuit care instructions:

  • Always store your wetsuit inside out in a well ventilated area, out of the sun. Do not leave in your car. Once you smell that smell, it never gets out of your nose.
  • When/if using a hanger, make sure the arms are broad and not thin, those will leave an impression on the neoprene.

  • Try not to use alcohol based sunscreens when wearing your wetsuit.These are usually spray on sunscreens. This can eat away at the smooth neoprene texture found around the collars, neck, arms.  Stick with cream sunscreens, they’re better for the environment anyways.

  • Rinse your suit out with fresh water as soon as you can. Got the stink? Try a very diluted vinegar bath. If you over do it on the vinegar the smell can be very powerful. Heads up, fresh water rinses are more likely to make your wetsuit stink than salt water rinses. I swear I went a whole season only doing salt water rinses and letting it completely dry and never had a smell issue.

  • Try not to store your suit (wet or dry) in the trunk of your car. The heat in there can deteriorate the glue on any seams or tape.

Shop our Collection of wetsuits here

Women's Wetsuits

Men's Wetsuits

We've even got Youth/Kid's Wetsuits

Don't forget to stop by the closeout section. We've got oodles of previous years stuff.



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