Now that you’ve bought your wetsuit you want it to last for as many surfs as possible. Here’s our tips and tricks to extend the life of your suit – make them a habit and your wetsuit will last longer than your average kook’s steamer.
Stay clear of sharp objects (as best you can). Wetsuits, especially smoothskin wetsuits, can be pretty fragile, so try to avoid rocks, reef and the gravel in the carpark. The same goes for velcro. Remember to close velcro on legropes, boots, and on the neck of your suit, so the velcro only grips onto what it’s supposed to.
Rinse your wetsuit. While you’re still frothing from that session, rinse your wetsuit inside and out in fresh water. Fill your wettie bucket with water and get your hands in there and give it a good rinse. Turn it inside out and have another go. Letting your wettie marinate in saltwater in the back of your car isn’t the best for your nose or your wetty.
Hang up your freshly rinsed wetsuit inside out to dry in the shade. Direct sunlight is not neoprene’s friend. Hang your wetsuit in half through a hanger and not from the neck. Wetsuits can be pretty heavy when they’re full of water so hanging them by the neck and shoulders will stretch it out.
After it’s been drying for a while, turn it inside out and give the other side a chance to dry too. This step is just as important as rinsing. You want a dry wetsuit on both sides and not a half-dry funky smelling suit to put on for your next session.
Once in a while give your wetsuit a thorough wash with some wetsuit shampoo. This will help get the last of the stubborn saltwater and next time you suit up, you’ll feel so fresh and so clean.
We’ve all done it before, suited up, paddled out and all that water has made us think of doing one thing. If you can hold off, do. Peeing in your wetsuit will make you feel cosy and warm for a few minutes but think about it, you’re sitting in your warm wee and your wetsuit is soaking it all up. If you can’t resist and you’ve gotta do a wetty warmer, see step 2 – and repeat.
Hopefully these instructions on how to take care of a wetsuit will get you more mileage out of your suit.