Gear Care & Repair
How to Repair a Wetsuit
You could say that you and your wetsuit have been through a lot together. Whether it was the final hurdle of your last grueling triathlon, the tumbling waves you handled in those early mornings at La Jolla, or the sunken ships you saw off the coast of Aruba on a recent diving trip, those who wear a wetsuit know that it’s more than just another piece of equipment—it’s what keeps you safe, warm, and protected when you explore new depths or take your sport to the next level.
After years of loving use, your suit may start to unravel or rip, which can blow a huge hole in your adventuring routine. Still, no matter if your wetsuit is a thin, triathlon suit or an ultra-thick, cold water surf and diver suit, it’s easier than you think to repair it yourself. All you need is a few minutes and some simple tools like patches, cements, and adhesives. Best of all, learning how to patch up and fix your wetsuit will also translate to repairing other water sporting gear including neoprene drysuits, booties, gloves, jackets, seat covers, and PFDs.
Ready to mend your wetsuit properly? Read on to find out how you can get back out in the water as soon as possible.
Say Goodbye to Neoprene Rips with an Iron-On Patch
When you’ve got a rip, tear, or an unraveling seam on your wetsuit in high-stress areas like the knees, elbows, underarm, and around the zipper, give it a strong and flexible repair using an iron-on neoprene patch. This strong, flexible patch can work on all types of neoprene gear including wetsuits, drysuits, and waders. It even works on spandex and Lycra® fabric.
- Tenacious Tape Iron-On Neoprene Patch
- Household Iron
Estimated Repair Time: 15 minutes
Here’s how to perform this simple repair:
- Clean and dry your suit before you begin.
- Pre-heat iron to medium heat.
- Cut your Tenacious Tape Iron-On Neoprene Patch to size over the torn or damaged area.
- Place the heat shielding paper over the patch and press down on the iron and hold.
- Rotate the iron and repeat until secure, letting it cool a few minutes before you test it out.
Tip: In addition to fixing holes and rips, you can also use the Tenacious Tape Iron-On Neoprene Patch to give the worn-out areas of your suit some extra reinforcement or use it to cover up old repairs.
Use Contact Cement for Incredibly Stretchy Repairs
As strong as neoprene is, being active out in the water means that eventually you’ll get a snag or a rip in your wetsuit, glove, gasket, or booties—but that doesn’t mean you have to replace your gear. Fix it instead with Aquaseal NEO, a neoprene cement that will give you a flexible, elastic repair within half an hour.
- Aquaseal NEO Contact Cement
- Rubber Gloves
Estimated Repair Time: 25-30 minutes
Here’s how to use this quick fix product so you can get back to paddling, surfing, or diving in no time:
- Locate all rips in your wetsuit, gloves, booties, etc. (Note: Take your time and do this thoroughly. It can take a while to find them on a black wetsuit.)
- Apply the Aquaseal NEO onto both sides of the tear.
- Let the cement dry for five minutes.
- Apply a second coat of the adhesive and let dry for 10 minutes.
- Once the second coat has dried, press the two pieces together and let them cure for 5-10 minutes.
Tip: You can add a handy pocket to your wetsuit using Aquaseal NEO because it creates a strong, permanent bond between two pieces of neoprene material.
Fix Gear with a Flexible Adhesive that Lasts
Whether it’s your fishing waders or your diving gloves, discovering a hole in your gear can be a setback, especially if you were planning on using them soon on your next excursion. Luckily, you can fix them overnight with our urethane-based repair adhesive, Aquaseal FD, which acts like a waterproof and ultra-tough glue.
- Aquaseal FD Repair Adhesive
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Rubber Gloves
Estimated Repair Time: 5 Minutes for prep and 8-12 hours to fully cure.
Here’s how to apply the clear, flexible, waterproof adhesive and repair your wetsuit, waders, and more:
- If your hole is larger than a pinhole, you’ll first need to create a “backing” with removable tape.
- Fill the hole with the Aquaseal FD adhesive, going a ¼” beyond the tear.
- Once the adhesive has completely cured (this should take 12-24 hours), remove the tape and use gear as you normally would.
Tip: The knees of your wetsuit are one of the most vulnerable parts. You can create a flexible knee patch with Aquaseal FD to protect your suit from harmful abrasions.
Now that your neoprene wetsuit, drysuit, gloves and booties are fixed and good as new, there’s nothing stopping you from taking on that next big race, wave, or dive.