New wetsuits are expensive, so it makes sense to take good care of it. In return it will keep you warm much longer.
Here are ten tips on how you can extend the life of your rubber:
1 DON’T OVERSTRETCH
Take care when you are putting it on or taking it off. The neoprene or seems can easily rip when overstretched.
2 USE A PLASTIC BAG
Place a plastic grocery bag around your foot before sliding it into your wetsuit. Once your foot is through the wetsuit leg, remove the bag and repeat the process with the other foot, and then each hand. The plastic bag helps the neoprene to slide easily over your skin.
3 DO NOT PEE
Sometimes there’s no choice but try to avoid peeing in your wetsuit. Although there is not any proof that it will deteriorate the neoprene it just makes your wetsuit stink pretty bad.
4 RINSE PROPERLY
The salt from the ocean is one of the biggest factors in killing your wetsuit. After each session rinse it in the shower and hang it out to dry.
5 USE RIGHT HANGER
Try to use a wide plastic hanger when you let it drip dry. Thin wire hangers can damage your suit. You can also hang it over your balcony or shower door but with hangers wet suits dry much faster.
6 DON’T DRY IT IN THE SUN
Drying it in the sun will dry out all the rubber and shrink it up. It can reduce the life expectancy of your wetsuit drastically.
7 BUY RIGHT SIZE
Buying a suit that perfectly fits is very important. It should fit properly and tight.
If your wet suit is too small you will be constantly stretching it out further than it should. The tension on the seams and rubber might lead to holes and tears.
8 USE WET SUIT SHAMPOO
Use wetsuit shampoo occasionally, not too miss some spots where salt collects. Do not use regular soap, this might damage the neoprene.
9 DON’T LEAVE IN CAR
Do not wad it up and leave it in your trunk. If you leave it soaking wet for too long, the rubber will begin to deteriorate.
10 DON’T MACHINE WASH
The worst thing you can do is throw it in the washing machine. Never do this !
Featured image by C.Davis