Do you wear anything under a wetsuit?

Choosing the right attire to wear under a wetsuit is essential for comfort, hygiene, and the longevity of the wetsuit itself. Whether you're diving, surfing, or partaking in any water sport, understanding the appropriate undergarments can enhance your experience. This guide will explore the various options and considerations for what to wear under your neoprene ensemble.

The Basics of Wetsuit Undergarments

Purpose of a Wetsuit

Before diving into undergarment choices, it's crucial to understand the purpose of a wetsuit. Wetsuits provide insulation, buoyancy, and protection while you're in the water. They work by trapping a thin layer of water between the suit and your skin, which your body warms up, thus keeping you warm.

Considerations for Choosing Wetsuit Undergarments

  • Comfort: The right undergarment should prevent chafing and ensure the wetsuit fits snugly without being too restrictive.
  • Temperature: For colder waters, thicker undergarments may be needed for additional warmth.
  • Activity Type: High-intensity water sports might require more breathable fabrics to prevent overheating.
  • Hygiene: Wearing something under a wetsuit can keep it cleaner and reduce the frequency of washing, which can extend the life of the wetsuit.

Options for What to Wear Under a Wetsuit

For Warmth

  • Thermal Layers: In cold water, thermal rash guards or wetsuit liners designed to fit snugly under your wetsuit can provide extra insulation.
  • Neoprene Shorts: For added core warmth without bulkiness, neoprene shorts can be worn under a full suit.

For Comfort and Protection

  • Rash Guards: A popular choice, rash guards are lightweight, quick-drying, and can prevent chafing around the neck, armpits, and waist.
  • Swimwear: Swimsuits and bikini bottoms are commonly worn under wetsuits for hygiene and minimal added bulk. Ensure they are tight-fitting to avoid uncomfortable bunching.

For Modesty and Convenience

  • Sports Undergarments: Sports bras and briefs made from synthetic, quick-drying materials offer support and convenience.
  • Disposable Undergarments: For those who prioritize hygiene and convenience, disposable undergarments are a practical option, especially for rental wetsuits.

Special Considerations

Children and Wetsuits

For children, comfort and ease of use are paramount. Look for smooth, flat-locked seams and soft, stretchable fabrics in undergarments to ensure they don't distract from the fun of water activities.

Hygiene Practices

  • Always rinse and dry both your wetsuit and undergarments thoroughly after use to prevent the growth of bacteria and extend the life of both garments.
  • Consider antibacterial and quick-drying undergarments to enhance hygiene and comfort.


Deciding what to wear under a wetsuit depends on several factors including the water temperature, the type of activity, and personal comfort and hygiene preferences. From thermal layers for cold water to lightweight rash guards for warmer conditions, the right undergarment can make a significant difference in your water sports experience. Remember, the key is to choose materials that complement the functionality of the wetsuit, ensuring comfort, warmth, and protection during your aquatic adventures.