Do You Have To Wear A Wetsuit When Scuba Diving?

scuba diving suit

We all have our own personal options for wetsuits. We all know how awkward a wetsuit can be to put on and it can be as challenging to take off after the dive. Whether we love them or hate them but do we have to wear a wetsuit when scuba diving?

You don’t necessarily have to wear a wetsuit if you go scuba diving but the wetsuit protects you from bites, scrapes, chafing, and so on while underwater. It also helps your buoyancy as well as helps to keep you warm. Plus the thicker the suit the warmer it keeps you.

In today’s post, we will go through in more detail about do you have to wear a wetsuit when scuba diving, so let’s get started!

Read more on common questions asked by divers

Do You Have To Wear A Wetsuit When Scuba Diving?

You do not have to wear a wetsuit when out scuba diving but if you are diving with a dive shop you will have to wear a wetsuit. The reason is safety as it can be risky as wearing a wetsuit provides a number of benefits such as.

  • Protection.
  • Buoyancy.
  • Warmth.


The wetsuit covers your body and provides protection from hazards such as sharp rocks, reefs, jellyfish, and other marine life that like to sting and bite divers. Just having the wetsuit gives you something between your skin and those objects is always a good idea.

wetsuits diving

It also protects your skin from chafing. We know that chafing occurs cause of the friction with the skin rubbing against the diving gear. You should remember that the scuba gear in particular the tank and weight belt, can be quite heavy out of the water and are only supported by a few straps.

A wetsuit essentially provides padding and makes it more comfortable wearing the gear.


Wetsuits are made from a rubber called neoprene. Older wetsuits are less buoyant than new wetsuits but the bubbles inside the wetsuit help with buoyancy

If you do your first dive with an old well-worn suit followed by a dive in a brand new wetsuit you will need to adjust your weight.


Wetsuits come in different thicknesses. These range from the thinnest are 1mm lycra suits up to full 9 mm thick neoprene. The reason for the different thicknesses is for thermal protection.

The fact is that water conducts heat very quickly, and can hypothermia much more quickly when fully underwater. Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat. The deeper you dive the colder it will get.

In colder water, you would need a thicker wetsuit and in more tropical waters you would be looking at around 2.5 mm thickness. Remember the deeper you dive the colder it will get.

Do You Wear Anything Under A Wetsuit?

The simple answer is that you don’t need to wear anything under your wetsuit. Bear in mind that if you are renting a wetsuit you might want to wear something under a wetsuit just for hygiene purposes.

You can read more on what do you wear underneath a wetsuit, here.

scuba diving

Is It Okay To Pee In A Rented Wetsuit When Scuba Diving?

Officially no it is not okay but how is someone going to stop you. The reality is that water temperature gets colder and the pressure changes as you go deeper, this gives you the feeling of wanting to pee.

It even has a medical term which is called immersion diuresis. Simply, this happens when the diver is submerged underwater with a water temperature that is colder than air, causes narrowing of the blood vessels which causes you to want to pee more.

If it is a cause you pee in a rental wetsuit you should clean it properly and rinse it thoroughly before handing it back to the dive shop.

Why Are Scuba Diving Suits Always black?

Yes, normally divers usually wear black neoprene simply because it’s the standard as well as it’s practical. But there are all kinds of wetsuits that have various colors and designs.

The one thing about the colors is that the actual appearance of those colors changes to grey as the depth increases. This will start occurring after 3 meters.

The reason for this is the water absorbs the light at different degrees. The first to be absorbed is red then orange and finally yellow. The colors will disappear underwater in the same order as they appear in the color spectrum.

scuba diving

Wrapping Up

Finally, you don’t necessarily have to wear a wetsuit if you go scuba diving but the suit protects you from fish bites, scrapes, chafing, and it also helps with your buoyancy. And helps to keep you warm under the water. For colder water use a thicker wetsuit and thinner for more tropical waters.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on do you have to wear a wetsuit when scuba diving has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

Did you enjoy this post? Then don’t forget to pin it!

To Wear A Wetsuit When Scuba Diving

Recommended Posts