How to Put on a Wetsuit the Easy Way (No Wetsuit Dance Required)


“I just love the way my wetsuit is such a pain to put on!” said no one ever.

Wetsuits improve our favorite sea-going and ocean activities by keeping us warm and protected from less-than-savory or even dangerous ocean elements. We’re sincerely thankful for them.

But the difficulty in donning such protection nearly prevents us from enjoying those same favorite activities. The time spent jumping and wiggling to don the wetsuit wastes precious surfing or diving opportunities. And we risk our dignity before beachgoers who witness our neoprene wrestling smackdown in awe.



The good news is, there is an easier way to put that wetsuit on (and take it off).

A (short) wetsuit history: How the wetsuit was invented

The history of the wetsuit came from an obvious source: Naval military.

Italian “Frogmen” began wearing rubber wetsuits during World War II, and military research eventually developed neoprene out of rubber and plastics. The first neoprene wetsuit emerged from Hugh Bradner’s work to improve U.S. Navy Frogmen equipment.

There is a bit of ownership drama surrounding the invention of the wetsuit. Two other people also claim to be the first creators. Those men were Bob Meistrell and Jack O’Neill.

Today’s wetsuits are the result of many iterations over the years, involving material blends, stitching patterns, and thickness. Its evolution resulted in the cold water tool we love… and love to hate.

Ways we used to put on our wetsuits

wetsuit struggle

Methods to squeeze into wetsuits ranged wide. Many people swore by specific tricks, while others followed a more “scientific” method (although some of us just prayed).

A few of those included:

1.     Plastic bags over hands and feet 

Yes, it’s true. Long before recognition of plastic bag environmental concerns, there were wetsuit wearers who used them for ease of donning the neoprene. The method was simple: Cover the hands and feet with plastic bags to slide into sleeves and legs. Those crafty bags may have worked to put on the wetsuit, but they didn’t help to take it off!

2.     Vaseline

One of the most versatile substances on the planet became some wetsuit wearers’ best friend. The slippery substance made sliding in and out of the neoprene relatively easy. It seemed like a great idea… until someone needed to grab their surfboard with hands still slathered in petroleum jelly. We’re guessing many surfboards slipped away from frustrated wave riders in those days.

3.     Pantyhose

We’ll spare you a description (some things you can’t unsee), but you get the general idea. The truth is that no one likes wearing pantyhose. Like, no one. Why would anyone want to suffer feeling like a sausage in pantyhose before stuffing themselves into a wetsuit? There’s simply no need to suffer such indignity.

Innovators of these and other tricks made wetsuit wearing a bit more bearable in some ways, although definitely not in others.

The good news is none of these awkward solutions are necessary anymore!

The solution: How to put on a wetsuit with ease

Vaseline and other tricks simply were not ideal for the long term. The industry needed a better solution. It came about through DiveSkins.

SlipIns DiveSkins are tight-fitting, full-body lycra suits with 4-way stretch. They quickly became popular to maintain body heat in cold water, but caught on fast as a trick for sliding in and out of wetsuits with ease (and was the main reason SlipIns owners created it). Divers and surfers everywhere found themselves donning a DiveSkin to avoid wetsuit drama. In fact, DiveSkins are perfect for any water activity, including paddling and snorkeling too!

The buttery lycra fabric blend makes DiveSkins slippery enough to slide through a neoprene wetsuit, wet or dry, and allows for quick drying on its own. These full body, sun protective suits for women (sorry, guys!) also look fabulous all by themselves with unique ocean-inspired designs. Check out Whale Shark, Aqua Mermaid, and Black Turtle to name a few.

Look how easy it is for Marina Incerra to get into her 5 Mil wetsuit:


DiveSkins are available in dozens of different patterns and designs, all featuring a front zipper, long sleeves with thumb holes, full body 50+ UPF sun protection, and are not see through wet or dry.

And best of all? No more wetsuit dance. The beachgoers may miss your acrobatics, but you sure won’t!


Learn more about SlipIns DiveSkins


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