FRONT ZIP VS BACK ZIP WETSUITS

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crcobb

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I find back zippers to be easy. I ask my buddy for help. I think having assistance with zipping also helps extend the life of suit
 

RyanT

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I hate back zip suits. In warm conditions, you can unzip the front zip and cool off until you splash. The previous comments here about not being able to peel a front zip off yourself are correct. But it's really easy to ask your buddy to peel down the front zip off your shoulders! Makes me a bit sad that front zip suits aren't more commonly available.
 

PBcatfish

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For me, back zips are for surfing (because you lay on the board much of the time) & front zips are for scuba, especially in warm water or areas with thermoclines (because if you get too warm, you can unzip & cool down).

I can get in & out of either front zip or back zip by myself. The thinner suits are easier but 6mm farmer johns can be worked with when necessary. The front zips with the diagonal zipper are easier to get out of compared to the front zips with vertical zipper. I've owned at least a dozen suits over the years and I've rented some. Probably only 4 of the ones I owned were back zip I don't miss the back zips.
 

tkaelin

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Just returned from a week of diving where I had both a front zip and back zip shorty. The back zip was a 11 yr old neosport 2 mil well worn and frayed with hundreds of dives. The front zip was a brand new 3 mil Thermoprene pro with a front zip that goes all the way down to the thigh and can be opened up. I found the front zip to be easier but not so much on the shoulders putting on or taking off but simply just zipping up and down with the zipper in front. Never noticed on felt the zipper itself during the dive on either type.
 

noserider

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back zips are for surfing (because you lay on the board much of the time) & front zips are for scuba, especially in warm water or areas with thermoclines (because if you get too warm, you can unzip & cool down)

Most cold water surfers now use front zips, the zip is high up just below the neck line in a horizontal direction as they are warmer and less likely to flush, back zip wet suits are hardly ever used by serious cold water surfers unless they have shoulder issues. Vertical front zips are never used by surfers for the reason stated above.

Front zip suits are warmer, which is why they are used, however the other key thing that divers seem not to care so much up about is the number of seams and how the seams are sealed, surfers are all over this as decent well sealed seams really help keep you warm longer
 

broncobowsher

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Surfering are mostly a surface sport. Mostly with the torso out of the water except for the little bit they fall into the water. Paddling out, hanging out waiting for the right wave, sitting on the board with feet in the water. Hands if paddling. Actually riding a wave, just some splash.
 

-Moe

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Surfering are mostly a surface sport. Mostly with the torso out of the water except for the little bit they fall into the water. Paddling out, hanging out waiting for the right wave, sitting on the board with feet in the water. Hands if paddling. Actually riding a wave, just some splash.

But what does that have to do with front zip suits not being beneficial to divers? Isn't the main issue in this thread so far being the ease of getting into it?
 

NAM001

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I prefer a back zip. because i can pull the suit forward off my shoulders to get out of it. a front zip I need help to get it off my shoulders prior to removal.
 

broncobowsher

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Getting out is usually a bigger issue than getting in.

And it is a wetsuit for a completely different application. Different needs so a different design. Try and dive in some surf booties sometime and find they don't have the fin keeper tabs. Surfers don't need them and keeping fins on your feet without them (or something else) you will find the difference in design matters.
 
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