Gear Care & Repair
If you’ve spent any time in the ocean waters off the coast of North America, you would’ve realized that our coastline of over 7,500 miles is anything but tropical. Sure, it gets pleasant for three months out of the year when wetsuits become optional. For the rest of the season however, wetsuits convert into second skin and are an essential part to spending long hours in the water. Keep reading for best practices on how to wash a wetsuit and make a wetsuit repair.
A wetsuit does so much more than offer an excuse to put on a stretchy piece of rubber; it protects and insulates, by trapping a small layer of water between your skin and the neoprene. The heat generated by your body warms the layer of water in your suit thus keeping you warm as you recreate.
Since wetsuits are a life link in the water, it’s crucial that they remain in top shape. Here’s a guide offering best practices for learning how to wash a wetsuit and make wetsuit repair.
Even after using your suit in fresh water, it still calls for a good rinse through fresh tap water. Don’t wait too long as it could become a breeding ground for bacteria. Wetsuits need a thorough rinse no longer than 30 minutes after you’re out of the water. Whether it is in the shower or with a garden hose outside, give it a proper cleansing and the next time you put on your suit you’ll think, “I’m glad I don’t smell like moldy brackish water.”
Once you've rinsed the suit, it's also a good idea to give it a good cleaning. Use a product that has conditioning agents, like Revivex Wetsuit and Drysuit Shampoo. This ensures the neoprene stays supple and lasts longer.
DO NOT USE A TYPICAL HANGER. Hopefully the usage of caps lock got the point across. Hangers stretch out the shoulders of your suit therefore making it less water tight. Instead, fold your suit over something that will allow it to drip dry in a shaded area or use a wetsuit-specific hanger. Don’t hang it directly in the sun because it will dry out the seams that hold the suit together, which will include more wetsuit repair. Putting your wetsuit in the dryer is suit suicide.
If you do happen to suffer a tear or begin developing odors, here are some products that will make wetsuit repair easy. And learning how to wash a wetsuit will prolong the life of your wetsuit as well.
Revivex Odor Eliminator is a 100% natural and effective odor eliminator, ideal for wetsuits and other watersports gear such as dry suits and PFD’s. It utilizes powerful microbes to eliminate any odor that may culture in your wetsuit. Add 1 oz. solute of Odor Eliminator to a sink, bathtub or large container that can hold enough water to completely submerge your wetsuit (about 1-2 gallons). Dip suit into the solution and let soak inside and out. No need to rinse the suit with fresh water after dunking. Just allow it to air dry completely. Now that you’ve learned the basics on how to deodorize a wetsuit using Odor Eliminator, that smell should be gone!
Repairs and Adhesives
Aquaseal WP urethane adhesive is the leader in maximum strength wetsuit repairs. It will fix virtually anything and, if done properly, your wetsuit repair will make your suit even stronger than before.
To repair a hole or tear, get some removable tape such as painters tape to create a backing for the repair. Next, flip the item over and paint a thin layer of Aquaseal WP over the rip or hole. Make sure it cures flat and untouched overnight (8-12 hours).
As the wise old saying goes, if you take care of your gear it will take care of you. If you’ve read this article, you’ve learned how to wash a wetsuit and how to make wetsuit repair part of your routine, prolonging the life of your gear.