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What Do You Wear Under A Wetsuit (Male & Female)

One of the most discussed topics between new surfers is what they could put on underneath their wetsuits. 

What surfers wear under a wetsuit may vary depending on personal preference and weather, ease of movement, and after activities, but both male and female divers can wear sport specific apparel, bikinis, and boardshorts, or even nothing at all.

Several professional divers have completely distinct ideas on the subject, but the essential thing to note is that you must do what works best for you, even if that means going totally commando.

If you just got into surfing and you’re uncertain of what you can wear under your wetsuit, then this article can help, as it will look at numerous alternatives that men and women can wear beneath a wetsuit.

What do men wear under a wetsuit?

Male divers have five options:

Swimwear briefs

Swimwear briefs are good if you want to dive in warm water. If you’re not in need of any additional clothing but still prefer extra cover down there, getting a swimwear brief is an option.

In buying swimwear briefs, it would be best to look for stretchable, chlorine-resistant, and durable material rather than the standard spandex since it would not droop or shift out of position when swimming or diving, providing adequate covering while giving complete ease and freedom of movement.

Putting on swimwear briefs underneath your wetsuit works effectively as a way of covering up your private areas. They are a good alternative if you don’t want to risk your clothing fitting snugly and causing discomfort when swimming. 

Because you don’t have to worry about people seeing you nude when changing, having a pair of swimwear briefs makes putting your wetsuit on and off easier. There will also be no wrinkled garments when wearing or taking off the suit.

Bicycle shorts

When worn under a wetsuit, fitted bicycle shorts or diving shorts are quite handy. It not only serves as an extra layer for diving in somewhat colder weather, but it also makes it easier to get into and out of your wetsuit.

For greatest results, choose a pair of diving shorts made of neoprene, which is buoyant and light but thick enough to give extra warmth. They are an excellent choice since they are composed of ultra-soft, comfy, and stretchable material that does not crease as you slide into your wetsuit.

Neoprene diving shorts give a light, warm, and comfortable experience. Aside from providing heat protection for your body, it can make wearing and removing your wetsuit easier. Hence, bicycle shorts are ideal for canoeing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and even surfing.

As they are placed tightly against your skin, you will not feel them even with your wetsuit on. And they will not restrict your movement.

Full-body jumpsuit

If you want complete coverage, consider a full-body jumpsuit, which will keep you even warmer. High-quality jumpsuits are made out of thin neoprene, offering excellent insulation and breathability without adding too much thickness when layering.

It should also include a heavy-duty rear zipper closing with an accessible pull tether and a stylish cut to accentuate the masculine figure.

Rash guard

Rash guards keep your torso warm and comfy. They come in different styles, and they make a great additional layer when diving in cooler waters, offering an extra degree of insulation and protection in avoiding chaffed wetsuits. 

In choosing rash guards, you can select one with longer sleeves according to the temperature above and below water. While those with short sleeves offer a more comfortable fit, long-sleeved rash guards can additionally protect your arms from rashes that usually appear around the throat, groin, and even the armpits. 

Moreover, rash guards may also protect against cuts and scrapes.  Though rash guards are not as effective as wetsuits in keeping you warm, they might cause you too much heat if worn in water temperatures at the upper limit of your wetsuit’s temperature range.

Additionally, you can wear rashguards on their own or pair them with diving shorts and rash guard pants when relaxing on the beach. 

In essence, rash guards made of lightweight polyester and spandex decrease friction with wetsuits and deliver UV protection. They’re also fashionable and quick to dry, making them great for a variety of water sports.

A rash guard must be tight-fitting in order to fit underneath a wetsuit. Rash guards can also have a loose fit. However, because they are used as undergarments, having additional material will be unpleasant.


Some male divers would like to wear nothing underneath their wetsuits. This is a practice known as going commando. Because of the wetsuit’s tight fit, wearing anything under it can feel unpleasant at times.

Wearing nothing between your wetsuit and your skin reduces the quantity of water that can enter. You’ll be warmer if you decide to go nude beneath your wetsuit.

The only difficulty with going commando is that getting changed after coming out of the water might be a bit difficult because as you have nothing on beneath, you must be careful with your towel to prevent exposing yourself to others.

What do women wear under a wetsuit?

Women are more conservative than males when it comes to swimwear. They must wear undergarments, especially while renting a wetsuit.

Aside from unisex options like going commando, using bicycle shorts, full-body jumpsuits, and rash guards, women can also opt to wear the following under a wetsuit:


Women can also wear bikinis, and the decision between a bathing suit and a bikini is based on personal desire and comfort. 

However, if you pick the bikini, avoid wearing one with a knot as the tight wetsuit will press the knot into your skin. It may not appear to be a big deal at first, but after a while, it becomes really painful and distracting.

Because wetsuits may be difficult to put on and take off, wearing a bikini can be far more convenient than hiding beneath a towel or quickly throwing something over your shoulders.

Two-piece bikinis are also ideal for extended diving trips. It makes taking off your bottoms simpler, whether using the marine toilet or hiding behind a bush after a shore dive.

Avoid elements such as knots, metal, and bead embellishment, which may scrape into your skin and create irritation under the wetsuit. Thicker straps may also be more secure than smaller straps. When feasible, utilize flat clasps and slimline bikinis.

Sports underwear

Sport bras and sports underwear are excellent choices for what to wear beneath a wetsuit. They are often more secure and provide excellent chest support than standard underwear or bikinis. 

They are durable and designed for sweaty and rainy settings. Most will also be quick-drying, which is useful for drying your gear in between or after dives. 

You can pair sports bras with bikini bottoms and spandex shorts. You can also use a sports bikini, which fits tighter than a regular bikini and is similar to a sports bra, and is better for removing your wetsuit.

Bathing suit

A one-piece bathing suit is a straightforward and modest approach to covering a substantial section of your upper body. It doesn’t offer much insulation or protection, but it can cover up your intimate parts and keep the suit from rubbing against them.

Sleeveless vest

Women can also wear compression shirts, although some prefer sleeveless tops since they provide greater mobility around the shoulders and arms. They’re called vests by some companies, and they’re made of the same thin, quick-drying, lightweight materials that are ideal for water sports, swimming, and layering beneath wetsuits while surfing.

Vests keep you comfortable and help regulate your core temperature whether you’re lounging on the beach or surfing.

Thermal wear

A thermal wear beneath your wetsuit is ideal to remain warm. Thermals come in a variety of designs and thicknesses, so choose one that is appropriate for the activity you’ll be undertaking. 

Determine the water temperatures on the day you plan to go out. Then check to verify if the product you’re buying has a temperature range appropriate for its intended use. Furthermore, the thickness influences not only how warm it is, but also how mobile it is while worn.

Thermal shirts and bottoms are available. These are generally rash guards with polypropylene added for extra insulation. This gives the interior of a wetsuit a fluffy, fuzzy texture that is both warm and comfy. 

Wearing these thermal apparel can provide your arms and legs with more movement while keeping your torso insulated.

How do you choose what to wear under a wetsuit?

Aside from personal preference, you can consider these three other factors when choosing what to wear underneath your wetsuit:


If you’re going to rent a wetsuit, you’ll probably want to wear something beneath it for hygiene purposes.

You can opt to wear undergarments with minimum covering (swimsuits, diving shorts, bikinis, etc.) or nothing at all in warmer locations and waters. 

For comfort and safety in chilly conditions, layering is suggested. If you have a thinner wetsuit (2mm-4mm), you may add a rash guard, full-body suit, or any other sort of undergarment to offer the extra insulation you need. 

Ease of movement

Whatever you choose to wear under your wetsuit should be something that corresponds to the activity you wish to do. Make sure that aside from being comfortable, what you decide to wear does not hinder your movements, especially during surfing.

After activities

If you want to travel someplace else after surfing, you may want to change out of your wetsuit, so keep this in mind while deciding which of your alternatives will allow you to change quickly without revealing any of your private parts.

Why do surfers wear undergarments under their wetsuits?

Wearing undergarments beneath wetsuits provides the following benefits:

Hygiene and protection

It’s not a pleasant concept to imagine your raw flesh touching against fabrics or any other material where other people’s skin has previously been, especially with your intimate parts if you’re renting a wetsuit. By wearing something underneath the wetsuit, surfers provide their body with protection and proper hygiene.


The extra layers keep our bodies warm in and out of the water, particularly in colder weather. Rather than wearing a bulky wetsuit, which can impede movement and drain energy, surfers choose to wear lightweight layers to aid with chilly comfort.


When you need to change in public areas, you have little to no privacy. Once you feel any form of inconvenience in your wetsuit, you’d want to get out of it as quickly as possible, which is why you should put something on below. 

Having an undergarment under your wetsuit can help you avoid unpleasant situations while also giving you the necessary protection to enjoy your time above the water.


For some, going naked beneath wetsuits is painful because of the frequent rubbing of flesh against the wetsuit’s interior material. 

When surfing, some parts of the body, such as the neck, groin, behind the knees, and armpits, tend to chafe, particularly when surfing for prolonged periods of time. 

With undergarments, the chafing can be minimized.


It is not required to wear underwear beneath your wetsuit. However, it is recommended if you are renting one for hygiene purposes.

Wearing and removing wetsuits is difficult, especially if you are wearing nothing underneath. But in the end, what you wear under a wetsuit should not only depend on personal preference but also on the weather, ease of movement, and after activities.

Learn surfing today by enrolling at Tommy Tsunami Surf School.



One thought on “What Do You Wear Under A Wetsuit (Male & Female)

  1. Dear Tommy Tsunomi Surf School,

    My specific search that brought to web site answered my question in detail. Not intending but wear a wet suit too simply mitigate cold icy temperatures in Oregon. Recently purchased I like new condition wetsuit overall style by NRS titanium Ulta. The neighborhood landscape was today just covered by a thick sheet of white slick ice. As an explorer tee hee. I’m dawning my wetsuit along with multiple barriers. Adding crampons to my boots I’ll be warm and mobile. Thank you for answering the question of should I wear something underneath my wetsuit which I’m going to. Thank you for such a fantastic resource about surfing.

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