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A Dive Skin is the Perfect Answer to the Question of What to Wear Under a Wetsuit

Updated on March 21, 2013

What Should You Wear Under a Wetsuit?

Wetsuits are an essential part of many water sports, particularly if you live in an area where the water's not very warm. But first-time wetsuit users are often perplexed about what to wear under a wetsuit.

What you definitely don't want to wear is baggy swim trunks or board shorts because these will bunch up under your wetsuit and become uncomfortable.

The best option is to wear a body-hugging swimsuit under a dive skin or to wear a dive skin with nothing underneath. You can just wear a swimsuit under your wetsuit but it won't make it easier to get your wetsuit on or protect you from the sun. Dive skins, however, do both of these things, making them the perfect accessory to wear under a wetsuit.

Why Choose a Dive Skin

A dive skin is a lightweight, flexible body suit, usually made of Lycra, that can be worn under a wetsuit. There are two main advantages to wearing a dive skin instead of a swimsuit under your wetsuit.

The first benefit is helping you get into your wetsuit. Wetsuits, particularly full-body wetsuits or thick ones, can be a real challenge to put on. They don't slide well over skin. Dive skins, on the other hand will create a smooth surface that will make it much easier to slide your wetsuit on and off. This alone is a great reason to get a dive skin.

But the second benefit of dive skins is the sun protection factor. Wetsuits can heat you up very quickly, so many surfers, triathletes, scuba divers, or other athletes will often unzip or fold down the top half of a full-body wetsuit when they're taking a short break from the water. You don't want to take the whole thing off because the only thing more difficult to put on than a dry wetsuit is a wet wetsuit. But keeping your wetsuit fully on when you're out of the water will heat you up in a hurry.

This is where dive skins are particularly useful.

If you're just wearing a swimsuit underneath, you're going to be exposed to the sun and will need to apply sunscreen every time you pull down your wetsuit. A dive skin, on the other hand, will protect you from the sun, and you don't have to apply it every time you get out of the water.

I wear a Lycra dive skin under a 7mm Farmer John-style wetsuit when I go scuba diving, and it makes a huge difference in how quickly I can don my wetsuit. If you wear a thinner full-length wetsuit or a short springsuit, a dive skin may not be as essential, but they will help anyone slide into a wetsuit more easily.

So if you've been wondering what to wear under a wetsuit, consider a dive skin your best bet.

What Do You Wear Under a Wetsuit?

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