Dive lovers and enthusiasts come in all kinds of beautiful shapes and sizes, so we expect the same from our wetsuits, right? While it may seem like there is an abundance of wetsuits for petite females, it can be much harder for plus size women to find the perfect wetsuits that fit. Whether they are too big, too small, men’s sizes, all pink, all black… no in-between, it can seem like there is nothing that fits each of us as individuals.
There are limitations on who can dive, but these are not necessarily weight-related. Many women feel like every single wetsuit is designed for a man’s body type, or at least women with zero curves. But what about other body types? Plus size, short and curvy, wide hips, big busts… there is no need for women to struggle while trying to get a wetsuit on.
Over at Girls Who Scuba, Hannah Logan, a Canadian travel writer and blogger, recounts her experience with plus size wetsuits. She says,
“Over the past few years I’ve gotten used to concerned looks when I ask to rent a suit, or the loud ‘do you think this will fit?’ comments as they hold large suits up for me in front of an entire group. Perhaps the easiest thing would be to buy my own and not have to rely on the dive shops. But, while that may seem like a good option, it proves to be equally as disheartening as I scan through websites only to see the same limited sizes over and over again.”
So what are some ways that plus-size women can get the most out of their diving experience? We’re glad you asked!
Tips for the Plus Size Diver
Contrary to what you may think, extra fat actually floats. Which for a plus-size diver means you will need more lead weight to keep you down. Your instructor will teach you how to get the correct weight for your body type, and the equipment you should be using for the environmental conditions. Wearing a lot of weight, you may prefer a pocket weight belt or a weight integrated BCD. If your body weight fluctuates, keep track of your body weight and the amount of lead you use in your dive log. You may not need as much weight to dive as you think.
Keep in mind, if you’re in hire equipment you might not always have this option. Standard weight belts come in various lengths so try them on prior to your dive.
Ankle weights are also a blessing! Typically designed for drysuit divers, the use of ankle weights can offset floaty ankles which can be an issue for female and plus size divers.
Bring Your Own Wetsuit
Using hire wetsuits is usually never the best option. They will probably be old, ill-fitting, and worn by many people. This is especially true for plus size women. Finding a wetsuit to fit may be an issue depending on your size as some places won’t stock above an XL. Be aware that “one size fits all” doesn’t always work, and bring the pieces of your kit that you need to make it not just work, but also comfortable! Then you are less stressed and more familiar with your equipment which is safer. Bringing your own wetsuit will reduce the need of having to struggle to find your size, even if it means carrying a bit of extra weight when you travel.
Pro tip: When it comes to putting the suit on, if you have a body of water to get in and put your wetsuit on, do it! Filling the legs and arms with water before you slip into it will make it much easier. Obviously, this is not always an option, but if it’s there, use it!
So, where are the best places to find plus size wetsuits and swim gear? In this section, we will go over some of the best brands out there that cater especially for plus size women.
Scuba Sisters – up to 6XL
Always wanted those whale shark leggings everyone is wearing butt can never find them in your size? Scuba Sisters* was born on a dive boat filled with female scuba divers who were fed up with recycled male designs (aka “unisex”) and unpredictable sizes. They wanted to show their love of the ocean though rarely could find any garments (and hardly any scuba gear) designed for women. So they did it themselves! They have everything you need from rashguards and leggings to hoodies and tees.
Truli Wetsuits – 21 sizes from US 0 – 24, including long torso and plus size
The future for plus size divers is looking a whole lot brighter with companies like Truli Wetsuits*, who take it into their own hands to developing a line to fit every woman. They recognize that women who feel good in their gear and apparel perform better, possess confidence, and feel empowered to pursue their sports and adventure goals.
The Truli Wetsuits sizing system recognizes that our bodies are not straight cookie cutter shapes. Feeling a little snug in the thigh area or pressure on your chest? No problem, go up a size for a slightly larger fit without it becoming too loose anywhere else.
With just millimeters of difference between sizes, Truli Wetsuits allows you to move up or down a size to accommodate for boobs, bums, and bellies without worrying about it being too loose or tight anywhere else.
Another great thing about this company is the size names. With names like Dreamer, Daring, and Explorer, they adapted the size categories with words inspired by trail-blazing women.
Diving is not for everyone, but your weight should never be an issue that keeps you out of the water. It is a great way to explore the underwater world, make friends, and get some exercise. If you are one of the many beautiful curvy women out there, know that you do not need to struggle to find your perfect fit!
*Not an affiliate link or partnership with Deepblu Mag
About the Author
I’m Harmony Rose, a California native passionate about exploring the world and sharing the craziness along the way. I’ve traveled across ten countries so far, and do not plan on stopping any time soon. This blog is a way for me to use my passion for writing and photography as a way to share my adventures!
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