Protection Against Exposure A 3mm wetsuit may only require 6 to 8% of your body weight in lead, however a 7mm wetsuit, or dry suit, may require 10% or more of your body weight, depending on your undergarments. For example, a person who is 70kg (154lb) would need to wear a wetsuit that weighs about 14kg (31lb).
Your best bet is to find out how much lead and zinc there are in wetsuits and adjust the percentage numbers accordingly. It's not easy because most manufacturers don't disclose their ingredients. A professional surfer who asked to remain anonymous said: "I usually go with 8% for my lead weight and 20-25% for my zinc weight. Some people can get by with less lead or more zinc but most people need their weight divided between the two."
The amount of weight you need to wear depends on how long you want to stay in the water before changing suits. If you plan to surf for an hour or more, then you should change suits every 30 minutes. If you're only going to be in the water for five minutes at a time, you can wait 15 minutes before changing.
There are two types of wetsuits: full and partial. Full suits cover the whole body from head to foot including the gloves, while partial suits leave part of the body exposed.
A thicker suit indicates that we are expelling more water and hence require more lead to sink. A 3mm wetsuit may only require 6 to 8% of your body weight in lead, however a 7mm wetsuit, or dry suit, may require 10% or more of your body weight, depending on your undergarments.
The amount of lead required will change based on many factors such as temperature, how long you remain in the water, etc. But this gives you an idea of how much lead is needed.
As lead was used in naval warfare until quite recently, it is likely that there will be questions about the toxicity of wearing lead for prolonged periods. Modern rubber suits tend to be very thin and do not pose the same threat because they does not enter the bloodstream through cutaneous penetration like lead does. However, if you are concerned about lead poisoning, then you should use caution not to wear a suit for too long.
It's really straightforward: the thicker the wetsuit, the warmer you'll be. A 5/4/3 wetsuit is significantly warmer than a 3/2 wetsuit. The thickness of a wetsuit has little bearing on its longevity. Thicker suits with more material are less likely to shred all the way through the neoprene. But even a 5/4 wetsuit should last at least as long as a 3/2.
The main advantage of a thicker suit is that it gives you more protection from cold water. Someone in a 3/2 wetsuit can usually handle ice-cold waters, but someone in a 5/4 or 7/6 wetsuit will be much too hot if the water is above 50 degrees F.
Thicker suits are also going to be harder to swim in. It's difficult to move quickly in a thick wetsuit, so you're going to be able to go down deeper and stay under water for longer periods of time. This makes strong swimmers out of weak ones and allows them to continue fighting fish off of shore while still getting protected from the ocean.
Finally, thick suits are going to be more expensive. A 5/4 wetsuit costs far more than a 3/2, and a 7/6 is still more expensive than a 5/4. There are other factors involved as well - how fast do you want the suit to shrink when it gets wet?
For summer, a 3mm or 2mm shorty, and a 3mm fullsuit with waterproof seams for morning patrols and general late spring and early autumn surfing. A 4mm suit is best for early spring and late autumn, before winter sets in. In most regions, a 5mm wetsuit is enough for winter, especially when teamed with boots, gloves, and a hood. Some people can switch back and forth between 3mm and 4mm suits without problems, but most surfers prefer one size for all.
You don't need a wetsuit that is too small. It's better to have a big suit than a small one. Even if you can get away with a smaller size, it's still very important to try on any new wetsuit before buying it so that you know how it fits over your arms and legs. There are many different styles of wetsuits, so make sure that you try on several sizes before making a choice.
The average person has a height of 69 inches (175 cm) and weighs 166 pounds (75 kg). Standard wetsuit sizes range from X-small (4-6), small (8-10), medium (12-14), large (16-18), to x-large (20). Most manufacturers also sell one-size-fits-most wetsuits. These usually fit someone who is either much smaller or much larger than the standard sizes; they are labeled as "Small/Medium" or "Large/X-Large".