If you live in a chilly place the chances are that you only surf during the summer. Let me introduce you to your, Wetsuits – The year-round surfer’s best friend. This amazing invention guarantees that you can surf, dive, swim, or whatever even in very cold conditions without a problem. This article will investigate what wetsuits are and how they came to be.
How do regular clothes keep us warm?
Wetsuits, when it comes to how they keep you warm, works just like regular clothes. It is the equivalent of putting on many clothes on top of each other in the winter. Contrary to popular belief, it not thick layers that keep us warm but many layers. The air between these layers acts as the buffer for heat escaping our body. By trapping this heat, clothes (and wetsuits) keep us warm. There is further reading to be had if you visit psycho wetsuits.
Why do ocean waters freeze us so quickly?
Ocean temperatures can easily go below 10 degrees of Celsius and given the temperature difference between the ocean and your body, it will be cold enough to kill you or go into a state of hypothermia which can also be fatal.
The solution is, of course, wetsuits. It is a cloth made of multiple layers and one layer is a layer of a synthetic rubber named neoprene. The key feature of neoprene is that it has trapped bubbles of nitrogen inside them, making it a great heat insulator. Some wetsuits are also lined with metal to reflect back into your body. These can metal like titanium or copper. It insulates much better than regular wetsuits.
For a wetsuit to function as it should, any water that goes in the suit must stay inside and be warm. When you think about it, if cold ocean water goes in and out and circulates inside the suit, you might as well not be wearing one at all. It is for this reason that the opening of wetsuits is tight (ankles, wrists and neck. They also use a method called blind stitching where the stitching is not exposed to the outside of the suit. This way, the chances of water getting inside your suit is very low.
Who made the wetsuit?
Although the concept of the wetsuit has been mentioned many years back, the privilege of being credited as the inventor of the modern wetsuit goes to a physicist from the University of California at Berkeley named Hugh Bradner. Bradner, in his time working for the US Navy, was the individual who realized the neoprene material will insulate you despite getting wet. Like most great inventors, Bradner did not patent his invention assuming that no one would use it. Little did he know in 1951 that millions of people around the world will be religiously using the invention in a $15 billion industry.
For whatever reason it may be, swimming, diving, surfing, a wet suit is a great investment. You will never have to let the time of the year dictate when you want to experience the ocean. As always, do your research and purchase your wetsuits from a reliable vendor.