Anyone who has ever witnessed a water ski display or competition has felt compelled to try their hand at it. Water skiing was the first towed sport, and it has since generated offshoots, including slalom, trick and ski jumping, wakeboarding and wakesurfing, and even tubing and kneeboarding.
It all began with a man wearing two boards tied to his feet, standing behind a boat. The exciting sport it has become today is the culmination of a century of advancement and innovation.
Whether you are a first-time water ski learner or are simply looking to find the best wetsuits for water skiing, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve prepared everything you need to know in picking the right outfit for your next water skiing adventure.
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Wetsuits and Water Skiing
Although water skiing is more popular as a summer sport, it can be enjoyed all year round. Wetsuits allow you to enjoy water skiing even after summer by keeping you warm and protected against other harmful elements from the waters.
Water skiers require a well-fitting water skiing wetsuit that allows for lots of movement in the upper body. Wetsuits for water skiing are often made with a thicker torso for warmth and a thinner arm material for flexibility.
The form is also cut somewhat looser across the shoulders, allowing for more upper-torso flexibility. Diving wetsuits aren’t as good for water skiing because they’re designed to be tight in the upper torso to help retain heat when fully immersed.
This means that these suits will be less flexible than a water skiing wetsuit. Choose a wetsuit built for energetic sports with many upper-body movements, such as water skiing, surfing, or wakeboarding.
Top 5 Best Wetsuits for Water Skiing
A well-fitting waterskiing wetsuit with the proper blend of features will keep you on the water all year (or at least comfortably extend your season.) But bear in mind that they won’t keep you entirely dry. Water skiing wetsuits allow a bit of water to enter, and your body heat will take care of the rest.
Here are five of the best wetsuits for water skiing in the market today.
- Billabong Mens 202 Absolute Back Zip SS Wetsuits, Adult
- Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 4/3 Back Zip Fullsuit Wetsuit
- XCEL Axis 2mm L/S Womens Springsuit
- Roxy 3/2mm Women’s Prologue Fullsuit
- O’Neill Men’s O’Riginal 2mm Back Zip Sleeveless Spring Wetsuit
1. Billabong Mens 202 Absolute Back Zip SS Wetsuits, Adult
- Material: Neoprene
- Closure Type: zipper
- Sleeve Type: short sleeve
The Men’s Absolute 2/2 Short Sleeve Springsuit is engineered for maximum water skiing performance. Premium Recycled Superflex neoprene, a lightweight foam created partially from recycled car tires and neoprene scraps, is used to make the short-sleeve wetsuit for water skiing.
Strategically placed seams, high-end materials, and modern construction techniques add to the performance. Its flatlock seams are solid and flexible, and there’s a back zip opening. Billabong has designed this suit more relaxed, warmer, and faster drying than ever before.
All while retaining an environmentally conscious perspective.
Because an un-taped GBS seam has more stretch potential due to its minimalism and capacity of each stitch to expand, most competitive water skiers pick it over the more expensive but more durable ‘taped’ seam.
Durability is not a concern for a sponsored water skier because their sponsors provide them with suits for free or at a low cost. Wetsuits are the same way: features that increase stretch negatively influence durability, so achieving the appropriate balance is crucial.
If you’re a regular water skier seeking a long-lasting water skiing wetsuit, look for the ‘taped seam’ Absolute X suits; the taping significantly enhances durability and can be quickly bonded back down- learn more about seams.
|Glued and blind stitched||Not a lot of available reviews to reference with online|
|Smooth skin chest panel|
|Chest zip entry and back zip gusset|
2. Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 4/3 Back Zip Fullsuit Wetsuit
- Material: Neoprene
- Closure Type: zipper
- Sleeve Type: long sleeve
Rip Curl’s Dawn Patrol wetsuit for water skiing has been a fixture of the performance wetsuit industry for over a decade by mixing high-performance features and durability. Because it uses their market-leading E5 neoprene, E5 Flash Lining, and is 75 percent E5 taped, the current Dawn Patrol collection is stronger than ever.
We’ve come to expect the chest zip entry mechanism in high-quality water skiing wetsuits because it solves a critical fault with the back zip: it denies most back-panel stretch because a zip can’t extend. This implies that tucking down low or simply standing up with your legs tucked under your body puts a lot of tension on the back panel and can pull the zipper out of its position.
The front/chest zip eliminates this problem by positioning the no-stretch zipper between your shoulder blades, where there is minimal elongation.
Rip Curl’s Flash Lining is a high-tech material made of poly-fleece wrapped around the torso to create a dual-layer construction that channels water away from your important organs. Poly-fleece is ‘hydrophobic,’ meaning it won’t absorb water, keeping your torso dry and comfortable.
The ‘E’ prefix used on most Rip Curl features is frequently asked about. As they phased out their old Elastomax rubber, which was popular at the turn of the millennium, it was applied to the neoprene. As a result, it’s possible that the E is a modernization of Elastomax.
|High stretch and lightweight||More expensive than most brands|
|Maximum solar absorption with reduced wind chill|
|Comfortable E5 Flash lining|
3. XCEL Axis 2mm L/S Womens Springsuit
- Material: 100% Stretch Neoprene
- Closure Type: zipper
- Sleeve Type: long sleeve
Creating a wetsuit for surfing is a difficult task – first, you must find the ideal balance of warmth and flexibility. Second, you must strike a balance between breathability and warmth while maintaining a maximum range of movement and the highest potential durability.
The list goes on and on. Xcel’s primary focus has been on building the ideal layer around the body for water skiers, and they have unquestionably mastered the craft.
This 2mm L/S Women Springsuit is your new water skiing wetsuit favorite because it’s stretchy, easy on the eyes and budget, and trustworthy. This long sleeve wetsuit for water skiing is made of 100% performance stretch neoprene with Eco Limestone Veoprene and a full back zipper for simple access and exit.
The tailored fit provides a wide range of motion and comfort, while the flatlock seams ensure long-lasting durability.
This 2mm wetsuit for water skiing is designed to be used in warmer water. The neoprene fabric is highly elastic, allowing for a perfect fit without being overly restrictive. The side panels also ensure that the suit fits your body perfectly, accommodating all women’s curves.
This water skiing wetsuit has a scoop neck that isn’t too low or too high, resulting in a modest cut suited for all.
|Flat seam construction||Size runs small|
|Eco-friendly dope dye|
|Engineered fit design|
4. Roxy 3/2mm Women’s Prologue Fullsuit
- Material: Spandex, Nylon, Neoprene
- Closure Type: zipper
- Sleeve Type: long sleeve
The Roxy Women’s PROLOGUE Fullsuit in 3/2mm is a high-quality wetsuit for water skiing at a great price. This water skiing wetsuit is designed with FREEMAX neoprene on the body and legs and HYPERSTRETCH 3.0 in the arms and low front leg for a good range of motion and comfort.
Flatlock seams, a full back zipper, Hydrowrap adjustable neck closure, smooth front and back panels, and robust kneepads are among the other features.
Roxy’s water skiing wetsuit from this collection is extremely popular. It is a favorite among female athletes who participate in swimming, diving, surfing, and other sports. This model offers unrivaled versatility and warmth, allowing you to stay comfortable in frigid water as cold as 14 degrees Celsius.
One of the best things about this wetsuit is that Roxy didn’t skimp on keeping you warm and comfortable while wearing it. It has a proprietary WarmFlight Far Infrared thermal lining that keeps you warm while you’re on the water while still providing soft, easy-to-wear clothes with optimum flexibility.
Because this wetsuit is only 3 mm thick, it is also lighter on your skin and won’t make you feel weighed down. This model comes in 2 different colors, so you can select one that matches your style and preferences.
|Supratex knee pads, durable, lightweight & flexible||Limited sizes available|
|Resistant flatlock seams, stitched close together for a flexible, soft & durable seam|
|Soft, flexible, and durable|
5. O’Neill Men’s O’Riginal 2mm Back Zip Sleeveless Spring Wetsuit
- Material: Neoprene Rubber
- Closure Type: zipper
- Sleeve Type: Sleeveless
O’Neill is one of the oldest wetsuit producers in the industry, with an extensive range of sizes and models at a reasonable price. Many people utilize the O’Riginal series for almost any water-related activities like skiing, snorkeling, swimming, white-water rafting, wakeboarding, kayaking, freediving, sailing, and so forth because it was initially developed for such a high-activity sport as surfing.
If you’re looking for the best wetsuit for water skiing from a reputable manufacturer, the O’Neill O’Riginal 2mm Sleeveless Spring Wetsuit is a great choice. Its latest technology features make it remain a top choice for summer water skiing wetsuits.
For starters, the UltraFlex DS neoprene fabric used in this water skiing wetsuit is 100 percent premium-quality nylon bonded for maximum warmth, comfort, flexibility, and overall performance. FluidFlex neoprene materials are also used in the chest and back panels, providing extra support and protection without adding bulk or weight.
These rubberized panels make the surfing suit extremely wind-resistant, protecting you from the cold.
The suit’s seamless lumbar design is exceptionally comfortable, and the sleeveless design allows you to use your arms more freely while holding on to the rope. The water skiing wetsuit’s single sealed neckline keeps it exceptionally impermeable while remaining comfortable to prevent chafing. Finally, the back-zip system includes an expanded pull tab that makes it easy to put on and take off the wetsuit.
|Strategic seam placement||Not ideal for short people|
|Wind proof smoothskin|
|Flatlock stitched breathable seams|
Buying Guide for Best Wetsuits for Water Skiing
The thickness of the wetsuit for water skiing, measured in millimeters, affects the warmth of the wetsuit. To promote flexibility, less neoprene is utilized in the extremities. Thickness, in general, boosts warmth while decreasing flexibility.
A wetsuit for water skiing will not protect you from the elements. Water will seep through the seams, zipper, collar, sleeves, and legs. Your body temperature will heat the tiny layer of water trapped between your body and the material. This could take anything from 3 to 10 minutes.
On the other hand, a dry suit is meant to keep you dry by not allowing any water inside. The negatives include a tighter neck fit, which may be uncomfortable for some people, and a thicker wetsuit material, limiting mobility.
Oneill used a Dry Lite suit with thin waterproof material on the arms to overcome some movement issues. This lightweight drysuit is only for surface water sports and not for diving.
Wetsuits for general watersports, including water skiing, are available in two varieties of neoprene – standard and super stretch.
Manufacturers utilize variable degrees of these neoprene kinds, but your wetsuit should include at least 30% super stretch neoprene for water skiing. For maximum flexibility and fit, experienced skiers and surfers prefer wetsuits made of 60 percent to 100 percent super stretch neoprene.
Thirty percent stretch means that the back, shoulders, and arms are made of super-stretch neoprene, while the rest of the suit is made of conventional neoprene. 100% stretch neoprene Means the entire water skiing wetsuit is constructed of super-stretch neoprene for the best fit and flexibility.
Seams hold the wetsuit together. Seam construction affects the wetsuit’s warmth and comfort and is divided into three varieties.
Flatlock seamed wetsuits for water skiing resemble railroad tracks, and the inner and outside look the same, making them ideal for higher water temperatures (62F and up). The interior is smooth and feels good against the skin. This type of seam allows some water to soak in.
Sealed (Glued and Blindstitched)
In cold water, this seam style works nicely (55F & up). The seam is made by first gluing it and then stitching it. Although the surface resembles flatlock seams, the inner is bonded. This type will only allow a small amount of water to pass through.
Sealed and Taped (Glued Blindstitched and 100% Taped)
These seams hold nicely in freezing water (55F & below). It’s made of the same materials as Sealed, but it’s taped on the inside and out. This tape strengthens seams and prevents water from leaking in.
Extra internal and external features will help your waterskiing wetsuit function better.
Internal linings made of poly fleece and fast dry poly fleece dry quickly and keep you warm for longer.
Back zip, front zip (or chest zip), and zip free are all options for water skiing wetsuit zippers.
The conventional entry is a full zipper. A short zipper provides more flexibility and prevents water from entering the zipper. In the surfing wetsuit market, a chest zipper promotes flexibility and becomes more popular and visible. Water can be flushed out of the zipper area using zipper barriers.
Smoothskin/Wind Resistant Neoprene
Smoothskin neoprene, often known as a smoothy, is a rubberized covering put to the outside of neoprene that helps block wind and inhibits water absorption. Smoothy is usually found on a wetsuit’s chest. Water skiing wetsuits have more smoothness for improved wind-blocking.
|Wind resistance||Adds a little weight to the garment, smoothy is sensitive and easily shows nicks/cuts|
|Improved "cling" to a surfboard|
|Water is kept out of the suit|
Most wetsuits have key pockets or key loops as a convenience.
Get the best wetsuit for water skiing to ensure your safety, comfort, and a longer water skiing season. You’re only as good as your equipment when it comes to water skiing, and that absolutely includes your wetsuit!
So, if you’re looking for the best water skiing wetsuit, you should be aware of the characteristics to search for and the brands to consider. There are numerous solutions available, but you should choose one that meets most of your requirements.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What wetsuit thickness do I need for water skiing?
A: The thickness of a modern wetsuit is measured in mm. Warmth and flexibility will be affected by the thickness of the synthetic neoprene rubber substance used to produce wetsuits. The more the rubber thickness is increased, the less flexibility is accessible.
The thickness of your water skiing wetsuit will be determined by the water temperature in which you will be water skiing. Water skiers want wetsuits with a lot of flexibility, so get the thinnest suit possible for the water conditions.
For water skiing, a 3/2mm wetsuit is the ideal option. If the water temperature is below 25 degrees Celsius, you may require a thicker suit, such as a 5/3mm option.
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G’day, my name is Rach Taylor and I’m the proud Founder of Surf Hungry. I am a former Australian Olympic athlete and Australian representative surf sports athlete. I’ve worked in the surf industry and lived at many of Australia’s best surf spots, sparking a life-long love of the ocean and a passion for surf sports which also rubbed off on my two young sons! I am also lucky to spend a lot of ocean-time in my favorite second home, Indonesia. In addition to SurfHungry I have founded several other websites in my areas of passion, namely coffee and rock climbing, and am also a regular rowing content contributor.