The Ultimate Wetsuit Care and Repair Guide
Wetsuits care for you in the water, so it only seems fair that you should be returning the favour. It doesn’t take a lot of time either. Sure, it’s the last thing you feel like doing, but I’m certain that burger you’re immediately mind-eating post surf can wait an extra five minutes. Because at the end of the day, a little bit of TLC will guarantee your wetsuit lasts a lot longer.
Here’s a list of things to tick off before you go and stuff your face:
Rinse your wetsuit in freshwater.
This is an absolute must. It’s up there with declining any single-use plastic stupidly forced upon you. Put simply, you just have to do it. You could forfeit the other steps (although not advised) just as long as a thorough rinse inside and outside of your wetsuit is accomplished. The reason a freshwater rinse is so important is that salt is known to destroy your wetsuit over time – especially if you’re consistently surfing throughout the year. So please, rinse your wetsuit out with freshwater after every surf!
Hang your wetsuit up properly.
This will allow the wetsuit to drain itself of salt water and dry consistently throughout. However, avoid the sun if you can. Ideally, you want to hang your wetsuit up on a hanger in the shower or on a clothes line. This will reduce stretching. The reason you want to avoid hanging your wetsuit up in the sun is that the UV can cause the neoprene to age a lot quicker. Plus, the wetsuit will firm up and lose its flexibility. Which is not what you want!
Our top picks for wetsuit hangers:
- Northcore Wetsuit Slide Hanger
- Northcore 'Hook Up' Magnetic Wetsuit Hanger
- Northcore Wetsuit Tree Hanger
Turn your wetsuit inside out.
If you think about it, having the inside of your wetsuit dry is crucial. There is nothing worse than putting on a soggy and cold wetsuit first thing in the morning when the air is still crisp. However, you also want to make sure the outside is dry as well, so the neoprene doesn’t go all funky. Therefore, get the outside of your wetsuit dry first, then turn it inside out and leave it to fully dry. Again, avoid the sun if you can. Over time, the drying process will do its thing. Trust me.
Use wetsuit shampoo.
Although the freshwater rinse will do a pretty good job, it’s always a nice touch to have some shampoo washed through your wetsuit. Not only will it rid the ocean smell, but it will also flush away another liquid that may be trapped within. Because let’s be honest, if you’re surfing for hours on end, you’re going to need to relieve yourself – especially if you’ve been hydrating all morning.
Our top picks for wetsuit shampoo:
Top Tips for prolonging the lifespan of your wetsuit:
- If you plan using your suit every day for a week, then you don’t need to wash it thoroughly every day. Just rinse it in some cold fresh water, getting rid of salt and sand for use tomorrow. Oh and try to dry it - there's not much worse than putting on a cold, damp wetsuit.
- On a cold wash with a slow RPM, a good wetsuit will survive in the washing machine. However, we do not recommend using a washing machine and would only suggest doing this if the suit is really dirty or smelly from stagnant water. Don't tumble dry your suit - if it can't go outside, put it on an airer/clothes horse near a radiator, making sure it doesn't touch the radiator.
- For optimal storage, try a wetsuit hanger in your wardrobe for best results. Alternatively, you can use a regular broad shoulder hanger, or even roll up the wetsuit from the back. Most of us at Wetsuit Outlet store our wetsuits in drawers or under beds and they are still in top condition.
- Pee. YES! You can pee in your wetsuit - everyone does it, don't be shy. Just make sure to wash your suit afterwards, otherwise you may find people avoiding you...
Nothing lasts forever, and even sticking to these guidelines will not save an ageing suit that's seen one too many swells. It can be hard to let go, but when you do, be sure to visit Wetsuit Outlet for your replacement wetsuit. We've got the biggest brands, lowest prices online and best customer service with free delivery and 60-day returns.