How to care for your wetsuit
Apart from being our second skin in the water, the neoprene wetsuit isn´t cheap so wetsuit maintenance is important for it to last a long life. The stresses, rushes and lack of discipline will sometimes lead to neglect of some basic wetsuit cares. It will just take us a few minutes and we will get the maximum performance out of it.
7 tips for wetsuit maintenance
Here we´ll advise you on 7 key things you can do so that your wetsuit lasts longer and in better shape:
1. Clean after you’re done for the day
The ideal practice would be to dedicate 2 minutes to rinse the wetsuit in fresh water once we´re done with our activity. This way we will eliminate the saltpeter. If you don´t cleanse it well, you´ll risk salt crystals forming after the water evaporates. As time passes it´ll damage your wetsuit and let water pass through.
2. Hang your wetsuit by the waist
A soaking wetsuit will weigh more so hanging it with a small hanger will cause indentation in the shoulders and damage our wetsuit.
3. Careful with auto-adhesives
This is important especially for those with zippers on the back. Take care so that the Velcro doesn´t stick to the wetsuit that may cause micro damage that will worsen as time goes on.
4. Don’t leave it under UV radiation for too long
Don´t leave it in the sun for too long, when drying turn the wetsuit inside out. This way the interior of the wetsuit will dry first and it´s better if the interior receives the sun radiation. The radiation damages the fibers of the wetsuit, making it lose elasticity and will end up cracking it. In the long run you´ll notice more and more water entering the wetsuit.
5. Check the zippers
This is one of the weakest points of the wetsuit. It´s important to clean the zippers well with freshwater. If you use wax for its care, make sure its special wax for its maintenance.
6. Don´t pull threads
If you see a thread never pull it out. Cut it with scissor or, if you know how to, burn it with a lighter.
7. Set the right program in the washing machine
If you clean it in the washing machine remember to not set hot water or centrifuge. And please don´t iron the wetsuit
Like all neoprene products, wetsuits have a limited life. As time passes and we use the suit it´ll start to lose its properties. It´ll get looser, water will enter, and be less warm. With these simple tips you can start to make your wetsuit last longer and in good conditions.
In another post “how to improve your wetsuit care” we talk about the wetsuit dryer Wetsuit Pro Dryer. This dryer from Surflogic lets you dry your wetsuit at an ideal temperature. It counts with a temperature security system and automatic control. This accessory is perfect for drying your wetsuit in your van.
How to dry your wetsuit?
As we said, the wetsuits shouldn´t be exposed under the sun for long bouts of time. Cracking and damage may happen and we want our wetsuit to last a long time. The question is then, how do I dry my wetsuit? Well apart from the new invention by Surflogic, there are other products thought for drying your neoprene wetsuit.
- Hanger for hanging and drying wetsuits easily and comfortably, Wetsuit Hanger Pro X2 Surflogic. For only 24.50 euros you can stop hanging your wetsuit on your car mirrors, the shower head or a chair. This hanger is made for hanging and keeping wetsuits.
- Iman Go Dry Hanger helps the drying of your suit. A gadget made of plastic that incorporates suction cups to hang your wetsuit on a window, a wall or the body of your vehicle. Its price is 39.99 euros.
Remember that when you´re hanging your wetsuit, do it by the waist so that the shoulders don’t deform and inside out. Once the interior is dry, we can turn it out again and finish drying the exterior.
How do I wash a wetsuit?
A wetsuit should always be washed with fresh water. As we´ve said in our 7 tips its important you soak the wetsuit in freshwater after your surf session. When you´re done surfing, put it in a container or recipient full of freshwater right after you´re out of the sea or when you´re back home, any way make sure it´s fully cleaned. Inside and outside and the zippers too.
Can you clean a wetsuit with soap?
Even if your wetsuit doesn´t smell bad, its recommended you clean it 2 – 3 times a year with special soap for neoprene wetsuits. This cleaner will also help fight corrosion from uric acid.
Can you put your wetsuit in the washing machine?
Yes you can, but always set it for the short program, no centrifuge and cold water. Do not use bleach.
How often do I change wetsuits?
The most common habit is to change wetsuits every year especially winter wetsuits. Spring and summer wetsuits can last 2 seasons easily. This is not because winter wetsuits are made with worse quality, but with time and use these wetsuit lose their properties. The low temperatures of the winter water in the Cantabrian coast requires that the wetsuits be in optimal condition. That’s why it´s common that we, people that train in winter, usually change annually wetsuits.
What can I do with my old wetsuit?
Apart from the classic option of selling it on a second hand site, we found a bit ago the SUGA initiative. It´s a project that makes yoga mats from recycled neoprene wetsuits.
Is it worth it to buy a second hand wetsuit?
We usually think that it´s not worth it. It´s better to buy a new cheap wetsuit instead of secondhand. In Single Quiver we have a selection of the best wetsuit brands in the market. For only 19 euros a month you can get an O´Neill wetsuit brand new. Of course this depends on how much you want to risk getting a secondhand wetsuit.
If you liked this post visit our wetsuit section for more. In this section we give you the newest and the latest that our testers bring from the wetsuit world. Also subscribe to our newsletter where we bring you exclusive content every now and then.
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