The more time you spend getting in the water or getting doused by waves, the more important the right boating accessories are going to be. Wetsuits and drysuits both play important roles in keeping your body dry and insulated, but there are some key differences. That’s why Norfolk Marine has provided some information on these options and how to figure out which one is right for you. You can also stop by our location in Norfolk, Virginia, to get more help from our experienced staff. Whether you’re from Chesapeake or Virginia Beach, visit us today!


Wetsuits are probably the more commonly known way to stay dry and warm. They’re usually made from foamed neoprene to help keep in body heat while also offering abrasion protection and additional buoyancy. This makes them ideal for watersports enthusiasts and divers.

You’ll find options that are suited for different water temperatures, though most of them work best in warm to moderately cold water. When you’re looking for one, you’ll want to make sure you get something that fits nice and tight, since you don’t want any water trickling in. You can also look for accessories, like gloves, hoods, and boots, to cover more of your body.


A drysuit may not look as form-fitting as a wetsuit, but it’s still going to keep you dry even if you go diving. They still provide all the same thermal insulation and keep out water like a wetsuit, but they’re better suited for much colder waters.

They’re often coated with rubber treated with the same process used to make car tires. Drysuits are also made from woven fabric and sometimes even use the same foamed neoprene as wetsuits to make them as water-resistant as possible.

Best Uses

So now it’s time to think about what you’ll need. This will probably boil down to where you intend to spend most of your time. Here in Virginia, ocean waters can vary greatly depending on the time of year. During the summer months, they can sometimes reach over 75°F. At these temperatures, a wetsuit would be more comfortable and more affordable. Wetsuits are also a better option for watersports enthusiasts because they’re more flexible. They won’t get in your way when you’re trying to nail a jump.

However, during the coldest days of the winter, ocean waters can reach around 50°F. Even though this isn’t freezing, it’s cold. Very cold. We’re talking knock the wind out of you cold. Once water temperatures dip below 65°F, a drysuit is better. At this point, you’re probably out on the water for industrial reasons or fishing expeditions. You won’t need something for watersports anyway, but you will need something to keep you dry and warm, even if you fall in the water or go diving. You might need assistance suiting up, though, and they can often be a bit more expensive, but if you’re spending a lot of your time in cold waters, then it’ll be worth it. So, in the end, you’ll just need to think about where you’ll be getting in the water, and how water temperatures might affect your final choice.

Getting the right wetsuit or drysuit can make for a more comfortable, and sometimes safer, on-water experience. However, before you can do that, you might want to get the boat itself! Stop by Norfolk Marine and let one of our experienced staff show you what we have available right now. We proudly serve Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach, Virginia.