Everything You Need to Know About Plus Size Wetsuits
Divers and dive enthusiasts come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so we should anticipate the same from our wetsuits, right? For plus-size women, finding the ideal wetsuits that fit can be considerably harder than it is for tiny women, who may appear to have access to a greater variety of wetsuits. It may seem as though there are no sizes that fit each of us as individuals, whether they are too huge, too little, men's sizes, all pink, all black, or none in between.
Although there are restrictions on who can dive, these are not always weight-related. Many women believe that all wetsuits are made for men or, at the very least, women with straight bodies. What about different body types? Women shouldn't have to struggle to put on a wetsuit because of their size, shape, or size of their busts or hips.
Canadian travel writer and blogger Hannah Logan writes about her experience with plus-size wetsuits over at Girls Who Scuba. She states:
“Over the past few years I’ve gotten used to concerned looks when I ask to rent a suit, or the loud ‘do you think this will fit?’ comments as they hold large suits up for me in front of an entire group. Perhaps the easiest thing would be to buy my own and not have to rely on the dive shops. But, while that may seem like a good option, it proves to be equally as disheartening as I scan through websites only to see the same limited sizes over and over again.”
What are some strategies for maximizing the diving experience for plus-size women? We're happy you asked!
Tips for the Plus Size Diver
Contrary to popular belief, excess body fat actually floats. A plus-size diver will therefore require additional lead weight to keep them down. Your instructor will demonstrate how to get the ideal weight for your body type and the appropriate equipment for the surrounding conditions. If you carry a lot of weight, you might consider a weight-integrated BCD or a pocket weight belt. Keep account of your body weight and the quantity of lead you utilize in your dive record if it varies. It's possible that less weight than you think is required to dive.
But bear in mind that you might not always have this choice if you're using rental gear. Before your dive, test on the standard weight belts since they vary in different lengths.
Additionally helpful are ankle weights! The usage of ankle weights, which are typically made for dry suit divers, can counteract floating ankles, which can be a problem for female and plus-size divers.
Bring Your Own Wetsuit
It is almost never a good idea to rent wetsuits. They'll probably be worn by lots of people, old, and ill-fitting. This is especially true for women who are larger size. Depending on your size, finding a wetsuit that fits may be difficult because some stores don't carry anything larger than an XL. Recognize that "one size fits all" doesn't always apply, and carry the supplies you'll need to make your kit functional as well as comfortable. As a result, you are less anxious and more comfortable using your equipment, which makes you safer. Even if it adds a little extra weight to your trip bag, bringing your own wetsuit will eliminate the need to search for one in your size.
Pro tip: If you have access to a body of water to enter and put your wetsuit on, do so. It will be considerably simpler if the arms and legs are filled with water before you enter it. This is obviously not always a choice, but if it is, take use of it!
What are the finest stores to shop for swimwear and wetsuits in plus sizes? We'll discuss some of the top companies that cater to plus-size women specifically in this section.