It is important that you stay comfortable when freediving or spearfishing. One of the most important aspects of staying comfortable is staying warm and this means you are going to want a wetsuit when spearfishing. We’re going to cover what you want in a good spearfishing wetsuit. We’ll then look at the best spearfishing wetsuits currently on the market.
Why do you need a wetsuit when spearfishing?
The primary reason for wearing a wetsuit is warmth. Anytime you are in colder water for an extended period of time you are at risk for getting hypothermia. The solution to this is going to be a wetsuit with the right level of thickness to keep you warm.
Secondary to warmth, you will want a wetsuit for protection. Spearfishing is quite a bit different than pole fishing. With pole fishing, you hardly have to touch the fish beyond removing the hook. Even then, there are tools that make hook removal much easier and minimize the amount of contact you have with the fish. Spearfishing though requires you to come into direct contact with the fish. After you spear it you usually have to bring it in close so you can make the kill if the spear didn’t do it.
Depending on the type of fish you are hunting, this puts you at risk for being poked by fins. Not the most comfortable experience. Especially, if you are spearing a fish species such as a lionfish that can deliver venom from its fins. You won’t die. But you will be in for a bit of excruciating pain until the venom runs its course or can be neutralized.
Know that there is a difference between diving wetsuits and freediving and spearfishing wetsuits. Freediving wetsuits allow for a greater range of motion and are usually the preferred choice for spearfishers. Scuba diving wetsuits, however, are thicker and made from compression-resistant material.
What should you look for in a spearfishing wetsuit?
There are a few main factors you want to take into consideration when looking for a spearfishing wetsuit. The main points are:
- Custom vs. Stock Fit
- Lined vs. Unlined
- Extra Features
Each of these is going to impact the type of wetsuit you want. Fail to take into account any of these factors and you may end up with a wetsuit that doesn’t fully cover your individual needs.
Wetsuit thickness is going to be determined by the water temperature you will primarily be hunting in. After that, it comes down to personal preference. If you like to travel frequently to different areas of the world, it may be worth having multiple wetsuits that you can use.
The general rule is that for warmer waters you want a wetsuit that is between 1mm and 3mm thick and for colder waters between 3mm and 5mm. For very warm tropical waters you can get by with just a rash guard or nothing at all. Here is a bit more detailed breakdown on what we mean by warm and cold waters:
- 0°C to 16°C (35°F to 60°F) – Use a drysuit
- 10°C to 16°C (50°F to 60°F) – 7mm wetsuit
- 16°C to 21°C (60°F to 70°F) – 5mm wetsuit
- 21°C to 27°C (70°F to 80°F) – 3mm wetsuit
- 27°C (80°F) and up – 1mm wetsuit, shorty wetsuit, or rashguard
You will also need to factor in how long you plan on being in the water and how deep you plan on fishing. If you are in 27°C (80°F) water but you plan on being there for an hour or more, you will probably want to go with a 3mm wetsuit as opposed to a 1mm. But, if you won’t be in the water for long, a thinner wetsuit or rashguard is fine. Also, if you will be diving into deeper waters to spear your catch and coming back to the surface, a thicker wetsuit will be more comfortable.
At the end of the day, much of this also comes down to personal preference. For example, we like to wear a 3mm wetsuit in tropical waters when diving. There are plenty of people on the boats that have no wetsuit at all. But, we feel warmer and more comfortable as well as better protected.
The end result is that it makes our diving much smoother and ultimately better. This is for scuba diving, but the same applies to freediving and spearfishing. The more comfortable you are the better you are going to perform and the more focused you will be.
So, it really doesn’t matter if someone says you don’t need a wetsuit for a certain area or that you should use a 3mm instead of a 5mm for a different area. If you feel comfortable with what you are wearing, that is what’s important. The only time it matters is when you are in colder waters where there is an actual risk of hypothermia or other complications. Then the temperature is going to trump personal preference.
Freediving wetsuits differ in a few ways from scuba wetsuits. Mainly, freediving wetsuits are more flexible due to the types of materials that are used in their production. Scuba wetsuits are made to be more resistant to pressure at depth. Freediving wetsuits are made to be more flexible. Also, freediving wetsuits tend to come in multiple pieces. This is because the zipper used on scuba wetsuits is one point where water can come in.
There are a few varieties when it comes to the material that is used in a wetsuit and how it is made. Generally speaking, wetsuits are made from neoprene. Though, cheaper wetsuits will often be made from a mix using less neoprene to save on cost.
The exact type of neoprene used in the suit isn’t going to be important to most freedivers. At the top level of the sport, there are differences that would mater. But, for your average freediver or spearfisher, this is a bit more technical than need be.
What will matter though is the type of wetsuit. There are a few different wetsuit types that can affect everything from the range of motion to warmth. These include:
Double Lining Wetsuits
These wetsuits are made from a combination of neoprene and nylon. The core of the wetsuit is made from neoprene and an inner and outer layer of nylon adds extra durability.
The primary benefit of these is that they are more durable than many other types of spearfishing and freediving wetsuits. The downside, however, is that they add more stiffness to the wetsuit providing less range of motion.
Single Lining (Outside)
Single lining is generally more popular with freedivers and spearfishers. Outer single lining suits are known as open cell wetsuits. The open cell refers to the bare neoprene. These are much more flexible than double lining wetsuits. The major drawback is that they are more prone to ripping and tearing. You will also find that they are more difficult to get into.
Single Lining (Inside)
These are also known as smooth skin wetsuits due to the coating that is applied to the neoprene to make them more hydrodynamic. For this reason, these types of wetsuits are preferred by competitive freedivers. The main advantages are the improved hydrodynamics and the ease with which you can put them on and take them off. Like the open cell wetsuits, they are more prone to tearing and stretching and must be handled with care.
A no lining wetsuit has an open cell inside and a smooth skin outside. The open cell inside decreases the movement of water throughout the suit provides increased heat retention. On the other hand, the smooth skin outside gives the benefit of a more hydrodynamic suit. No lining suits are preferred by competitive freedivers at the highest level. These tend to be some of the most expensive types of wetsuits.
This is one aspect of wetsuits that is hotly debated. Many people will tell you that camouflage wetsuits provide no discernable benefits when it comes to hunting fish. On the other hand, many other people believe that it helps to break up the lines around your body which can help the fish come in closer to you.
It’s up to personal preference which one you choose. Spearfishing and freediving wetsuits come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. You can opt for a blue-colored wetsuit for deeper blue waters or a brown and red suit if you will be hunting around reefs. On the flip side, you can go for a more traditional black suit. At the end of the day, you will need to experiment and see which one you like best.
What are the best wetsuits for spearfishing?
Dyung Tec 3MM Camo One Piece Spearfishing Wetsuit
- WARM PRINCIPLE- Diving cold water quickly into the...
- EXCELLENT TECHNOLOGY-Using of classic Crewneck...
- FULL BODY PROTECTION-Extra padding in chest and...
- DURABLE FULL SUIT- Heavy duty YKK Zipper with...
- 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED-At out store, if you...
Dyung isn’t a well-known brand of wetsuits. But, they are known for decent quality at a very low price. These are great suits for entry-level spearfishers who want to avoid dropping hundreds of dollars on a premium wetsuit. Their suits come in many different sizes and can be purchased in a variety of colors and patterns.
- This is the cheapest wetsuit on this list. It doesn’t mean it’s the worst though. As we mentioned, their quality is great for beginners. As a new spearfisher, you most likely are going to be putting your wetsuit to the test. It is best to start off with something that you won’t cry over when it inevitably gets ripped.
- The 3mm material will provide excellent protection in cooler waters but can still be used in warmer waters if you are prone to becoming cold. This is a good thickness if you are planning on using your suit in a variety of locations with differing temperatures. For colder waters, you can easily add an undersuit for added warmth.
- There is a padded chest for extra protection when loading your speargun. When spearfishing, this is one of the first areas that tend to wear out. Having a padded chest can help to decrease the chances of this happening as quickly.
- This is not a high-level wetsuit. As we’ve mentioned, it is a good option for beginners looking to get started with a cheaper wetsuit. But, if you are quite experienced or if you are looking for a multi-purpose wetsuit, you might want something different.
SEAC Men’s Body Fit 1.5mm Wetsuit
- Camouflaged 1-piece wetsuit made from standard...
- Pre-formed and anatomically pre-angled arms and...
- Smooth Skin wrist and ankle seals reduce water...
- Tatex polyurethane knee protection for maximum...
- 2mm Melco tape provides chest and sternum...
SEAC, like many other top scuba equipment manufacturers, is an Italian company founded in the early 1970s. They are known for manufacturing high-level gear that is durable yet affordable. Their focus is primarily on scuba diving equipment. But, they have become one of the leading manufacturers of freediving and spearfishing equipment over the years.
- All SEAC wetsuits are designed to be rugged and durable. They are designed by freedivers who understand the demands of spearfishing and freediving. You can be confident this wetsuit will withstand the test of time.
- SEAC wetsuits come in a variety of patterns and colors from regular black to unique camouflage patterns. You can choose the exact pattern and color scheme that is right for your needs.
- The suit has built-in kneepads for reef fishing and a chest protection area for loading your speargun. The wrists also are made from smooth skin to help better seal the wetsuit from water coming in. This is both a warm and durable wetsuit.
- These wetsuits are sized a bit small. If you are a taller person you may need to go a size larger than you normally would buy.
MAKO 3mm Yamamoto Spearfishing Wetsuit
- Yamamoto #39 Neoprene: The finest neoprene...
- Integrated Ergonomic Hood: Ensures maximum warmth.
- Knee pads & Chest pad: Real padded material sewn...
- Selectable Bottoms: High Waist or Farmer Johns
- Thickness: 3mm
MAKO is quickly becoming a household name when it comes to spearfishing and freediving equipment. They are known for manufacturing their equipment and selling straight to the consumer. This removes the normal markup you would find when purchasing from dive shops. Though they are more known for their spearguns, the wetsuits they produce are top quality. This is a reef patterned wetsuit with a darker camouflage and an open-cell wetsuit.
- This suit is made from Yamamoto neoprene. This is a specific type of neoprene manufactured by the Yamamoto corporation in Japan. They produce their neoprene using a limestone sourced rubber rather than petroleum. This makes it more environmentally friendly. Nitrogen is blown into the neoprene to increase its insulative properties making it warmer as well.
- This is a 2 piece wetsuit which has a few benefits. The first major benefit is that it does not have a zipper. This removes one of the major areas where water can get into the wetsuit. These are also easier to get on and are generally more flexible than one-piece wetsuits.
- The MAKO 3mm is reinforced at the seams and includes both built-in kneepads and a chest pad. This adds extra durability to an already top-notch material.
- As we mentioned previously in the materials section, open-cell wetsuits can be quite difficult to squeeze into. This means you will need some type of lubricant to put this wetsuit on. Many people opt for baby powder or soapy water. But, there are also lubricants made specifically for open cell wetsuits such as Shark Snot.
Cressi Tecnica Spearfishing Wetsuit
- Should fit snug, but not too tight
- Cressi is a REAL diving, snorkeling and spear...
- The Tecnica is the 2-pieces wetsuit designed for...
- Made in Neoprene Ultraspan to offer the ultimate...
- Nylon patches in correspondence to the upper part...
Cressi is one of the top manufacturers in the world when it comes to scuba diving equipment. They had their start though in manufacturing spearfishing equipment in the 1940s. With over seven decades of experience, you can rest assured you are getting quality gear.
- Like the MAKO suit above, this is a two-piece wetsuit designed specifically for the needs of spearfishers and freedivers. As we previously mentioned, the two-piece design makes it more flexible and removes the zipper so less water can get in. It also doubles up the wetsuit around the torso where the pants and top part meet. This creates an added layer of warmth.
- The suit comes with reinforced nylon patches around the knees, elbows, and chest. These are the main areas that wear down in a wetsuit and can lead to a suit-wearing out prematurely.
- The interior of the Cressi Tecnica is coated with a special powder. This helps you to get the wetsuit on and off without having to use a lubricant. The added benefit of this is that putting the wetsuit on and off is one of the main times that wetsuits begin to wear out due to the constant stretching. Making this process easier will help to extend the life of your wetsuit.
- While the suit provides a high level of flexibility, many people have noted that the sizing can fit quite tight. You may think about purchasing a size larger than normal if you think you will have trouble.
SalviMar Blend 3.5mm Wetsuit
Now we’re starting to get into the high-level suits. The name SalviMar is synonymous with high-quality spearfishing and freediving gear. They started out in the early 1960s producing wetsuits for third party brands. Since then, they have gone on to create their own brand of high-quality wetsuits and spearfishing gear. They are at the mid to upper level when it comes to quality and one of the leading brands when it comes to technological innovation.
- This is a two-piece open cell wetsuit. As we’ve mentioned, the two-piece design provides added flexibility over the normal one-piece scuba wetsuit. The open-cell design also provides extra warmth and flexibility
- The suit is made from a super-flex neoprene. This provides extra durability and added comfort that you won’t get with cheaper quality neoprene wetsuits.
- One consistent compliment that SalviMar receives is that their sizing is accurate. Many wetsuit manufacturers have sizing charts that are too small or too large. But, SalviMar has got it right. As long as you follow the sizing guidelines, you should be fine when finding the right size suit for you.
- This is an upper-level wetsuit in terms of quality and that is reflected in the price. If you are just starting out this may be beyond the scope of what you need.
Riffe Digi-Tek Camo 3.5mm 2 Piece Wetsuit
- Yamamoto Neoprene (Grade 39) Open Cell
- Face, wrist and ankle seals to prevent water entry
- Wrist and Ankle seals non binding for more...
- Built-in Chest and Knee Pads
- Vented hoods to help release excess air
Riffe has been in the business of producing spearguns and other spearfishing equipment for over 40 years. They are one of the leaders in the industry. Not only are they known for their high-level spearguns, but also for their eco-friendly business model. The founder of the company started as a spearfisher in his early teens off the coast of California. Everything is designed by experienced spearos who understand what is needed from their equipment.
- Riffe wetsuits are made from Yamamoto neoprene. As we mentioned above, this is one of the highest qualities of neoprene available. It is limestone-based which makes it more environmentally friendly than petroleum-based neoprene. Also, because of the way it is manufactured, it provides better insulation than other types of neoprene and can keep you warmer for longer.
- This wetsuit comes equipped with sturdy chest and knee pads for added protection and durability. The knees on wetsuits tend to be one of the first places that wear out. Especially, if you are doing a lot of reef fishing and plan on resting on the bottom. With spearfishing, there is the added wear from the speargun when loading. The chest pad helps to protect both you and the wetsuit from this added wear and tear.
- The suit comes with a built-in face, wrist, and ankle seals which help to prevent water from entering the suit. This, combined with the two-piece design, will keep you much warmer than many other spearfishing and freediving suits on the market.
- The biggest con for many people is going to be the price. This is an upper-level wetsuit in terms of both quality and price. For this reason, it is not the best option if you are a newcomer and need something sturdy for learning with. The open-cell material will be less durable than a double-layered wetsuit. You need to take care when using this suit. Especially, when taking it off and putting it on or using it around rocks and coral.
Wetsuits, next to your speargun, are one of the most important pieces of equipment when you are spearfishing or freediving. For this reason, we highly recommend you spring for a quality suit such as one of the above. Many divers spend a lot of money on their speargun and dive watch and then purchase a wetsuit as an afterthought. But, this is something that is going to both protect you and keep you warm.
What do you think? Do you have experience with any of these wetsuits? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. We love to hear from our fellow divers. You never know when your experience might help someone else.
Last update on 2019-12-10 at 23:55 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API