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Encyclopedia > Wetsuit
A surfer in a wetsuit.
A surfer in a wetsuit.
A modern steamer with "superflex" properties.
A modern steamer with "superflex" properties.

A wetsuit is a protective garment used for watersports such as scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing, and triathlon. A modern wetsuit is mostly made from thin neoprene, which provides limited thermal protection for activities in cold water. It is usually lined with a nylon fabric to strengthen it and make it easy to put on and take off. Some newer wetsuits, usually marketed as "superflex," contain spandex in addition to neoprene to allow the suit to stretch (the panels of a wetsuit of this type typically contain 15-20% spandex). This counteracts neoprene's tendency to shrink with age; it also allows for some changes in the wearer's size without making the suit uncomfortable. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (3456x2304, 3410 KB) Summary Surf, Surfing: A Surfer in a wetsuit carries his surfboard along the beach. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (3456x2304, 3410 KB) Summary Surf, Surfing: A Surfer in a wetsuit carries his surfboard along the beach. ... See World Wide Web for surfing the web; see also Wind surfing Surfing at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (247x620, 38 KB)Bravo çok güzel bilgiler File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (247x620, 38 KB)Bravo çok güzel bilgiler File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... There are a large number of sports that involve water. ... Scuba divers. ... Surfing outside Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. ... Windsurfing (also called boardsailing) is a surface water sport involving travel over water on a small 2-4. ... A triathlon is an athletic event made up of three contests (from the Greek). ... Neoprene is the DuPont Chemical trade name for a family of synthetic rubbers based on polychloroprene. ...


Wetsuits help to preserve body heat by trapping the water that has been warmed by body heat so it cannot escape and take the heat with it. Water has a very high thermal conductivity so heat is lost very quickly to the surrounding water. Without a wetsuit, the movement of water over skin would constantly whisk warmth away from the body. Wetsuits are made out of neoprene, a synthetic rubber that contains small bubbles of nitrogen gas when made for use as wetsuit material. Nitrogen gas has very low thermal conductivity, so it does not allow heat from the body (or the water trapped between the body and the wetsuit) to be lost to the water outside of the wetsuit. Some wetsuits of late have even begun to incorporate Merino wool and titanium fibres to add warmth characteristics, while keeping the thickness of the suit to a minimum. A wetsuit must have a snug fit to work efficiently; too loose a fit will allow water to escape from between the suit and the body, taking the body's heat with it. Flexible seals at the suit cuffs aid in the water retention. Neoprene is very buoyant, helping swimmers to better stay afloat, and for this reason divers need to calculate extra weight values based on the thickness of their suit to achieve neutral buoyancy underwater. The suit loses buoyancy and thermal protection as the bubbles in the neoprene are compressed at depth. An unshorn merino sheep. ... General Name, Symbol, Number titanium, Ti, 22 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 4, 4, d Appearance silvery metallic Atomic mass 47. ... Divers wear weighting systems, weight belts or weights, generally made of lead, to counteract the buoyancy of other diving equipment, such as diving suits and aluminium diving cylinders. ...


History

It is difficult to credit a single individual for the creation of the modern wetsuit. In 1951, while working for the US Navy, Hugh Bradner had the insight that a thin layer of trapped water could act as an insulator. It was a colleague of Bradner who suggested neoprene as a feasible material. However, Bradner was not overly interested in profiting from his design and never marketed a version to the public; nor did he patent his design. The first written documentation of Bradner's invention was in a letter dated June 21, 1951. 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. ... June 21 is the 172nd day of the year (173rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 193 days remaining. ...


Traditionally, most say it was Jack O'Neill (businessman) who invented the wetsuit and started using neoprene, which he found lining the floor of an airliner. However, this is disputed by some aviation experts because neoprene and other rubbers are not fire retardant; therefore, they would not be found on any passenger aircraft. O'Neill went on to found the successful wetsuit manufacturing company called O'Neill. But Bob and Bill Meistrell, from Manhattan Beach, California, claim to have started experimenting with neoprene around 1953. Their company would later be named Body Glove. ONeill was started in Santa Cruz, CA near San Francisco. ... Manhattan Beach is a city located in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, USA. The population was 33,852 at the 2000 census. ... 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1953 calendar). ... Body Glove is an apparel and watersports-gear manufacturing company. ...


Types

Wetsuits come in different thicknesses depending on the conditions for which it is intended. The thicker the suit, the warmer it will keep the wearer. A thick suit is stiff, so mobility is restricted. A wetsuit is normally described in terms of its thickness. For instance, a wetsuit with a torso thickness of 5 mm and a limb thickness of 3 mm will be described as a "5/3". Some suits have extra layers added for key areas such as the lower back.


Different shapes of wetsuit are available:

  • A shorty or spring suit covers the torso and has short arms and short legs.
  • A jacket covers the torso and arms. Some jackets have short leg sleeves like a shorty, others--especially those for women--are cut to resemble the leg holes of a swimsuit. A third style, the beavertail, which was quite popular until the 1980s, had a flap which closed over the crotch and attached at the front with a fastener.
  • A long john or farmer john/jane (depending on the gender the suit is designed for) covers the torso and legs only; it resembles a pair of overalls, hence the nickname.
  • A full suit or steamer covers the torso and the full length of the arms and legs.

Some suits are arranged in two parts; the jacket and long johns can be worn separately in mild conditions or worn together to provide two layers of insulation around the torso in cold conditions. Typically, cold water wet suits have 12 to 15 mm of material around the torso and 6 to 8 mm for the extremities. It has been suggested that Monokini be merged into this article or section. ... The 1980s decade refers to the years from 1980 to 1989, inclusive, informally sometimes including the years 1979, 1990 and 1991. ... A fastener is a hardware device that mechanically joins or affixes two or more objects together. ...


Usually they have no feet or hood, and the diver must wear separate booties and hood made from wetsuit material. Booty is something both valuable and acquired by force or daring. ...


Using hoods: in the thermal balance of the human body, the heat loss over the head is at least 20% of the whole balance. Thus, for the sake of thermal protection of the diver, wearing a well-fitting hood is good practice, even at fairly moderate water temperatures.


A specialised kind of wetsuit, with a very smooth (and somewhat delicate) outer surface is used for long distance swimming and triathlon. These are designed to maximize the mobility of the limbs while providing both warmth and buoyancy.


Controversy

In open water swimming events, the use of wetsuits is controversial, with many participants believing that wetsuits give some swimmers an uncompetitive advantage (by increasing their buoyancy and hydrodynamic curve). Some open water swimmers, in fact, believe that wearing a wetsuit is contrary to the spirit of the sport, and that people who wear the suits should be the objects of derision. Unlike triathlons, which allow swimmers to wear wetsuits when the water is below a certain temperature, most open water swim races either don't allow the use of wetsuits (usually defined as anything covering the body above the thighs or below the knees), or put wetsuit-clad swimmers in a separate category and/or make them ineligible for race awards. Open water swimming is an activity in which non-aquatic animals (including dogs and humans) swim in large, outdoor bodies of water such as oceans, bays, lakes and rivers. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Wetsuit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (777 words)
A wetsuit is a protective garment used for watersports such as scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing, and triathlon.
A modern wetsuit is mostly made from thin neoprene, which provides limited thermal protection for activities in cold water.
Wetsuits come in different thicknesses depending on the conditions for which it is intended.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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