ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My First Wetsuit

Updated on June 16, 2015
A little tight around the arm pits and neck but it will loosen up.
A little tight around the arm pits and neck but it will loosen up. | Source

I've Had A Lot of Firsts

I've had a lot of "firsts" in my lifetime. First birthday. First time I was embarrassed. First time someone punched me. First kiss. First Bar Mitzvah. First sexual experience. First wedding. First baby. First divorce. First gall bladder surgery. First time I smoked pot. First time getting arrested. First time I was put on high blood pressure medicine. First bout of diarrhea. You name it, I had a first, it seemed, for everything.

My point is that no matter how old you get, you will still be getting a succession of "firsts" right up to the first time that you die. Most of the firsts in my life was totally expected. It was a part of a normal progression through each stage of life. It was part of living and growing older. Some firsts were a bit unexpected and not such happy events like getting arrested for smoking pot or getting divorced, but most of the other firsts were exciting and positive.


Pacific Ocean: It's Freezing

If you had told me when I was a kid living in South Philly that one day I would get a wetsuit, I would say that you're crazy. Who needs a wetsuit in Philly? A cheesesteak, maybe, but a wetsuit?

As my life and firsts progressed, I moved to California. Then I managed to meet a California girl who lived by the coast with its majestic blue waters. She liked to surf and bodyboard. But the first time I dipped my feet into the Pacific Ocean, more specially, Santa Barbara, I froze my bleep off! I jumped back to dry land faster than a jack rabbit running from a snake

It was the first time I ever experienced the water being so cold. I used to go to the Jersey shore in the summer and it was warm and comfortable. I made several trips down to Florida and the water was like being in my own tub where I controlled the temperature. My vacations in Mexico and the Caribbean spoiled me to such an extent that I expected that the ocean water be warm everywhere. Not the Pacific, I quickly learned all too well. The water temperature where I live in California ranges from the mid 50s in the winter to mid 60s in the summer, if you're lucky.


The water may be cold, but I'm not.  Thanks to my new wetsuit.
The water may be cold, but I'm not. Thanks to my new wetsuit. | Source

I Think I Need a Wetsuit

The first time I was up close to a wetsuit was when my girlfriend put one on.

It looked really tight, especially around the neck. It had a zipper in the back that seemed to make no sense at all. It was like a rubber straightjacket.

It didn't look easy taking off, either. You had to struggle, suck your chest in, and hope for the best. All in all, it seemed like one big hassle.

I had a decision to make. I could either buy one (wetsuits are not cheap) or sit on the beach and watch my girlfriend enjoy jumping waves and riding the curls while I'm getting bit by sand mites.

I chose the wetsuit, mainly because my girlfriend insisted.

Get it Off of Me

I don't think I will ever forget the first time I tried on a wetsuit in the dressing room. It was like fitting into a real tight wedding dress. I came out of the door like I was on Say Yes to the Dress and my entourage was sitting there, namely my girlfriend and this strange, gnarly dude who said he was a surfer.

All I could think was how am I ever going to fit into this thing? It was so damn tight and was cutting off the blood supply in the neck. I felt like a rusted-out tin man needing a can of oil.

When I first put on a wetsuit, I realized how disgustingly fat I was. The rubber suit was so skintight that every curve and bulge of my body stuck out like a sore thumb. I never realized how massive my belly was until I tried on a wetsuit. How am I going to parade on the beach looking like this? They'll rush me to the delivery room or worse yet, give me a C-section.

"Dude," the sufer said. "You look pretty brutal."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence," I replied.

I think that he meant that the large size was too tight and that I needed an extra large, at least. Well, back to the dressing room to try on another dress, err, I mean wetsuit.

All Clear

It was my first time changing into my wet suit on the beach. I had a large towel wrapped around my middle while I took off my shorts and socks. I then slowly rolled up my wetsuit from my feet to my waist. It was literally like rolling on a condom but only ten times worse because the rubber material of the wetsuit was a hundred times thicker than the condom. I worked up quite a sweat. I was breathing heavy by the time I got the wetsuit over my hips and I needed a rest, and some oxygen.

I did my best to ignore the fact that my belly was so huge. Initially I sucked my belly in but after a while, I stopped fretting over it. I'm not the center of the universe, I thought. People were not focusing on my appearance, they're too busy being self-conscious about their own hangups.

My girlfriend helped me with the rest, especially the zipper. When I was ready, I got my boogieboard, hooked it to my wrist, and waddled over to the ocean like a pregnant penguin.

The ocean was calm. There were no sharks to be seen, no bubbly undertow, and not one sting ray underfoot. All clear.

Sometimes the sea is too calm for bodyboarding. You just have to be patient and wait.
Sometimes the sea is too calm for bodyboarding. You just have to be patient and wait. | Source

The Seal with the Full-Length Beard

I looked like a humongous seal with a full-length beard. I'm glad no one threw me a fish.

Once I hit the water I could feel the cool ocean liquid enter my wetsuit. It inched up my back and to my neck. I thought it would be cold but it wasn't bad. The wetsuit worked. It was a miracle. I was in the water for hours and did not feel cold at all. In fact, I forgot that I had a wetsuit on and started to enjoy the ocean. I was floating on the board, catching waves, and being driven by the breakers all the way to shore. Besides getting a mouth full of salt water and being wrapped with seaweed like a mummy, I was having a ball.

My girlfirend smiled at me. She saw that I was finally having fun and getting used to the wetsuit. I lost myself in bodyboarding, swimming over, under and around the waves, taking in the fresh, salty smells, and loving it. I ceased to be a self-conscious big-bellied 60-year-old who was wearing his first wetsuit. I ceased being a big seal with a full-length beard. I was just a guy having fun in my new wetsuit.

Tips for Wearing a New Wetsuit

"Buy a wetsuit from a surfer shop, they really know their stuff."

"It feels tight at first, but once you use it in the water it will eventually loosen up."

"Put some Vaseline around your neck to protect it from chaffing."

"Wear the minimal under you wetsuit."

"After you're done surfing rinse off your wetsuit thoroughly."

"Don't hang up your wetsuit. After it dries, roll it up in a ball for storage."

"When putting on your wetsuit, go slow, don't yank it on, roll it up from the bottom."

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)