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4/3 Zip Wetsuits

A wetsuit is an essential piece of equipment for many water sports, particularly in the cooler months or in cold water. Surfing, waterskiing, kayaking and scuba diving all often require a wetsuit. In particular, 4/3 zip wetsuits are perfect in those in-between times when the water isn't too cold or too warm.

Types

Several different styles of wetsuits are available and provide either whole or partial body coverage. One-piece, full-body suits that cover the torso as well as the full length of the arms and legs are known as steamer wetsuits. You can use them all year round for all types of water sports. There are also short-sleeved steamer suits available. Spring suit wetsuits have short sleeves and legs and are commonly used during summer or in warm water. Sleeveless wetsuits with long or short legs are known as long johns and short johns respectively. Wetsuits for scuba diving and snorkelling in cool water are often two-piece, consisting of a long john and long-sleeved jacket, providing a double layer of insulation for the torso.

Wetsuit Thickness

The thickness of wetsuit neoprene is typically between 2 and 7 mm. More than one thickness is sometimes used in the same suit. For example, a 4/3 wetsuit has 4 mm neoprene for the torso and 3 mm for the limbs. The thinner the neoprene, the more flexibility is provided, so sports in which a lot of movement is required generally use thinner wetsuits. A 7 mm wetsuit would typically be worn by spearfishers or scuba divers in cold water, with two-piece suits providing a 14 mm covering on the torso.

Seams and Zippers

Wetsuit seams can be constructed in a couple of ways. Flatlock stitching provides a flat, comfortable seam but is only suitable for neoprene up to 3 mm thick. For thicker wetsuits, blind stitching is used. The pieces of neoprene are firstly glued and then stitched. Tape is sometimes added for reinforcement. Wetsuit zippers are generally located in the back of the suit, extending down the spine, or across the chest. Back zippers make the suit easier to get in and out of but are more prone to leakage and may be less comfortable when bending when compared to chest zippers. Two-piece wetsuits usually have a zipper running the full length of the jacket.

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