The first thing to think about when you decide you want to buy your own wetsuit is what activity you plan to do. If you think you’ll be spending a lot of time in the water it would probably be worth getting a long sleeved full wetsuit. If you think you’ll be mostly okay on your kayak you might want to get a longjohn wetsuit – one with no sleeves – as this allows more freedom of movement.
Once you have decided the type of wetsuit you’d like the next thing to consider is how thick it should be. 5mm thickness is great for colder months but is probably too warm for the summer. A suit such as 3/2 thickness is a good compromise – most of the suit is 3mm thick but is 2mm thick around areas such as under the arms to allow better movement. The image below gives a rough guide to thickness you might need.
Once you have decided which wetsuit and the thickness you’d like it’s really then down to style, quality and budget. Decathlon have some good suits to get started out with, Lomo are based in Glasgow and have a good range. You will find a variety of other brands on line too.
And remember a wetsuit works best by wearing just swimwear underneath and having the suit next to your skin – when the wetsuit gets wet a layer of water forms between your skin and the wetsuit material, your body heat heats this layer of water, and this is what keeps you warm!
If you have any other questions feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to help, however hopefully this helps you to get started on what to look out for. Enjoy!