Why are most surfing wetsuits we see black and not colored?
Why are most surfing wetsuits black and not colored?
This is a question that has been answered and questioned by a million different people in a million different ways. Some say that sharks have poor eyesight, and wearing black suits makes you look more like a seal, AKA a tasty shark treat...
This is completely false, as most sharks that attack surfers only see black and white and are attracted to movement, not color.
Others suggest that colored suits would be better because black may attract more UV rays. This is a possibility, but not a certainty. As far as we know, black is just the most ergonomic. It doesn't fade as fast; neoprene comes in black; and it performs better thermally.
The thing is, colored suits may actually have huge advantages that we've never seen until recently.
The colors we wear can greatly affect our self-perception and embodied cognition, making our physical and mental performance much better depending on the situation.
For example, a teacher who dresses formally is perceived as more intelligent than one who dresses casually and therefore perceives himself as a more powerful figure.
This also goes hand in hand with a study by Peter Dijkstra of the University of Glasgow and Paul Preenen of the University of Amsterdam, who looked closely at the claim that judo athletes dressed in blue were more likely to win than their competitors dressed in white.
Although their research showed the claim to be false overall, they did note that many colors have psychological effects.
They found that red and orange have a very aggressive and dominant quality that affects an individual's mood, behavior, brain activity, and posture.
One study found that athletes in red have a winning edge over blue in a variety of contact sports.
While many of these color associations may be entirely true, putting on a red wetsuit won't make you the best surfer in the world, and wearing a black wetsuit won't make you the dark-figure athlete who's more likely to be called for fouls and penalties, according to quasi-experimental evidence from a 2011 double-university study.
Your best bet is to find the color that makes you feel your best, and remember that it can have a huge psychological effect that becomes a physical effect on the way you surf.