Ruby Fresh Wetsuit Fitting Guide

Putting on or taking off your wetsuit is the most likely time to unintentionally stretch and stress the seams or put a hole through the neoprene of your wetsuit. Swim wetsuits are delicate pieces of equipment and by their very nature need special care, more care than a surf wetsuit for instance or the one you bought at The Warehouse for floating down the river... Yamamoto SCS neoprenes are very soft and are easily damaged, ripped or holed from sharp objects such as a finger tip pulling too hard, or fingernails, or even walking into a protruding object like a small twig or branch at the lake side, so take your time and be careful of your surroundings.

There is a certain technique to putting on and taking off a Ruby Fresh wetsuit which should be practiced. And remember, it does take some time to put a new suit on, perhaps ten minutes or more the first time. It's a process... You may even need some help, but eventually it will become second nature -  just make sure to use the utmost care and your suit will last a lot longer.

Ruby Fresh Wetsuit - Putting it on {See video below}

This is important -  make sure to use the pads of your fingers and not let nails create tears or cuts in the new suit. And even then, with your fingers be careful with the amount of force you use. A good trick, whilst the suit is new or until you become more experienced, is to use a slidy plastic bag (if you can still find one in NZ!!) throughout the fitting process, as it makes the suit slide on a lot easier on the feet/legs & hand/arms.

    1. Take your watch off...
    2. If you need to, put your first foot into a plastic bag (a tip not a requirement) and then pass your foot through the wetsuit into the first leg and pull the suit up the leg.
    3. Position the lower edge of the 5mm Aerodome neoprene 'Buoyancy Tray' panel (the panel covering the front of your thigh) to below the knee/top of shin bone position, perhaps 75mm/3” below the center of your knee cap. Rotate and position this neoprene section to be centered below and around the knee cap. If the seam of the 3mm/5mm sections is on your knee cap it is too high. Move it down.   (After the suit is fully on, if you feel the length of the suit below the knee is too long, perhaps at a position you don't like or will affect the speed which you can remove the suit in say, a triathlon, consider cutting the suit to your requirements. The long taped seams have been designed to allow for this if needed. But that can come later...)
    4. Once in place take the bag off (if you used one) and use it on the other foot and repeat the 5mm panel positioning below the knee.
    5. Work the suit up and over the thighs of both legs simultaneously and ease it over your hips, taking care to pull as much as possible on the thicker 5mm and 3mm neoprene thickness, but not excessively. You may find the base of the zip position is higher than you are used to with other suits but this zip position is part of the design.
    6. Ensure the crotch area is as high as possible and everything feels snug around your buttocks and thighs before proceeding to the top half.
    7. Use the plastic bag again if you need, and insert your preferred arm into the first sleeve and pull the arm through. The trick here is to fully position the sleeve on the arm, above and below the elbow, and to pull the upper shoulder section of the suit fully on to the ball of your shoulder, BEFORE moving to the next arm. When positioning the 1.5mm arm neoprene be careful. Another tip - with the flat of your palm, you can grab/slap the neoprene and pull/slide it into place. When using your fingertips be aware of your finger nails. Be aware of the position of the suit under the armpit ensuring it is fully hitched up.
    8. Only then move to the next arm. This is the best way to fit our wetsuit. Don’t try and do a bit of each arm, moving from one to the other, at the same time. Doesn't work.
    9. Remove bag (if used). Repeat the above process with the other arm.
    10. Once both arms are in, and all is feeling good, have a general look over yourself before doing the zip up. Check the back of your legs behind your knees/lower thighs are fitted correctly with no ripples or rolls. Do the same on your arms. People tend to often forget the area by the Triceps.
    11. This next process is optional and can be done either before or after the zip is done up - if you find the suit feels tight across the very top of your chest, or your neck is ‘pulling down’, lean / hinge forward at the waist and grab a handful of wetsuit at your stomach position and roll it or ‘work it up’ towards your chest/neckline. This should relieve the tight feeling and allow your shoulders to be a little looser feeling. Never tried that before? Try it!
    12. To do the zip up yourself, this is where the Grab Tab™ on V2 suits comes into play. With say, your left hand, grab the Grab Tab™. With your right hand get the end of the zipper cord and pull it upwards, whilst at the same time arching your shoulders backwards to decrease the distance between your shoulder blades and consequently the two halves of the zip. Pulling simultaneously on the Grab Tab™ and the zipper cord is a revelation in how easy the zip does up without stressing the base of the zip area.  On V1 suits, grab or hold the base of the zip area, being careful not to pinch the neoprene too hard, and pull down whilst pulling up on the zipper cord with the other hand as before. If the zip jams in the zip flap, release, slide it down and try again.
    13. Once the zip is up, you can attach the zipper cord ‘fluffy’ velcro end to the ‘sticky’ velcro, at the small lowered section provided, if you like doing that. Otherwise simply let it hang. Your preference.
      Some people like the zipper cord to hang out the bottom of the velcro flap, whilst others like it exiting above the velcro flap. The 'above' position does prevent the zipper being pulled down 'accidentally' and sabotaging you during a race (it happens), or if a 'friend' wants to play a trick, so that's good to remember.
      Fasten the velcro on the back of the collar in a firm, comfortable position. Experiment with the closed position because not all necks are the same! This actually takes some trial and error, in the water, until you find the position that best secures the collar and doesn’t chafe a spot on your neck.
      Chafing: Just pointing this out, as the neckline effects different people in different ways, but with some experimenting in how the velcro is secured (a bit higher, a bit lower, an ‘odd’ angle) it can be resolved if you do experience chafing. Remember: a loose collar will allow water to flush through the suit, chilling you, and also slowing you down, because you are now carrying all that heavy water with you. Continued chafing means you need a neck glide. We recommend
      Sweet Cheeks.



Ruby Fresh Wetsuit techniques - Taking it off


Take some time. Don’t pull it off really quickly without respecting the seams between each neoprene thickness, especially at the hip areas. Take the suit off with as much care as you put it on. Your wetsuit will slide off a lot easier as it is wet, but there are still certain spots you should take care on. When undoing the velcro collar, be careful the first few times from new, as it’s REALLY sticky.

    1. Take your watch off (again), if you put it on over the neoprene on your wrist. LOL...
    2. Grab the shoulder at the rear edge of the collar and pull the wetsuit forward, over and off the shoulder of the first arm. Then pull the suit off the other shoulder too, so it sits on both your upper arms.  Going back to the first arm, lift your arm and elbow, upwards and backwards to extract the arm and hand fully, in one single movement, whilst holding the suit with the other hand. It's real easy like this.
    3. With the first arm free, repeat the process with the other arm (this is when you remember you forgot to take your watch off…).
    4. With the top half of the suit off, shuffle/fold it down to your hip area.
    5. This next stage is a possible stress point. Being careful not to overstretch the side seams on the waist panels, try and use the thicker 5mm aerodome panel on the front of the suit to roll/slide the suit over your hips and down your thighs.
    6. With your first leg, pull it upwards after rolling the suit down over the knee toward your calf and heel. At this stage, you can if you wish stand on the already removed upper torso / upper leg sections of suit and give another upward movement of the knee and your heel may pop out of the suit, just like that. It may just as easily not! There’s a bit of a trick to it and does depend how the suit is fitted on your calf whilst in use. The further up your calf the bottom edge of the suit sits, the easier it is to remove.
      The calf panel is 2mm, very supple and designed to allow easy removal, but you will need to help it down the back of your Achilles and ease the calf panel over and off your heel. This is also another possible stress point getting it over the heel area. Take care but you will soon find your own technique and rhythm for this part.

    7. Repeat for the other leg, which is usually easier as you have better balance with the one foot already out. Stand on the suit again as you need.
    8. The suit is now off and inside out.
    9. Important - Keep it inside out to dry, or to rinse it thoroughly in fresh water and wash any material (gravel, mud grass etc...) off which was picked up during the removal process. Rinse in COLD water. Store it inside out also.
    1. Absolutely make sure to Check Clean Dry your suit for 48hrs if you are moving between different bodies of freshwater. This is of paramount importance to ensure our bodies of water stay free of cross contamination. The smallest particle can have the biggest effect over the fullness of time. Let’s all work together on this.