Wetsuit care tips
Taking care of your wetsuit as by the manufacturer’s instructions will make your wetsuit last much longer. A few basic things to remember: Rinse your wetsuit after use, don’t use chemicals, don’t dry your wetsuit in direct sunlight to avoid ozone and UV damage to the neoprene. Don’t machine wash, iron or tumble dry your wetsuit. Avoid chlorine and store your wetsuit on a suitable wide-shouldered hanger, or folded over the waist eve drying. Only store your wetsuit in a closet or cupboard when completely dry on both sides.
Changing into your wetsuit
We all know the feeling, you are too stoked to get into the water. While rushing into your wetsuit, you are pulling on your arms hard. You accidentally stick your nails into the neoprene. You jump on your suit on the tar trying to squeeze in. Sometimes it’s easy to forget to look after your wetsuit the way you should. However, if you take good care of your wetsuit, it might last you a lifetime.
Getting out of your wetsuit
The same applies when taking your wetsuit off. Avoid using your fingernails on the neoprene, it can damage the skin and lining, especially when your wetsuit has a single lined chest and back panel. If you struggle to get your feet through the openings, try putting a plastic bag around your feet. You will slide in with ease. Use a wetsuit bag or bucket to stand in when getting changed, to avoid scraping your wetsuit on the parking lot’s surface.
Rinse your wetsuit with fresh water
Now that you’ve gotten out of your wetsuit carefully, make sure you rinse your wetsuit after each surf with fresh water. Water will rinse off any odor, sand and salt that can corrode your zip, or get stuck in the wetsuit lining which makes it stiff. If preferred, you can use wetsuit shampoo or similar products that won’t damage the neoprene or seams. Never use chemicals or cleaning products on your wetsuit, this could damage the neoprene and wear it out much quicker. Never put your wetsuit in the washing machine or dryer either, this will damage your wetsuit as well.
Drip dry on a wetsuit hanger
After your wetsuit is washed, hang your wetsuit inside out to dry. Avoid a damp or moldy pile. Therefore, don’t leave your wetsuit laying around wet. Especially not soaked in a bucket of seawater in the boot of your hot car. The best way to avoid this is to let your wetsuit drip dry. Hang it over a rail or on a wide shoulder hanger.
Longterm wetsuit storage
When storing your wetsuit for the long term, hang your wetsuit correctly. Rather than folding it up in a cupboard. Don’t store your wetsuit inside out, to avoid the neoprene to crease over time. If you use a hanger, make sure it’s a thick hanger with wide shoulders. By doing so, the wetsuit neoprene won’t overstretch in the shoulder area. Avoid thin metal wire hangers as these will damage the neoprene foam. You can also use a pants hanger, a hanger with a horizontal rod. This allows you to fold your wetsuit in half over the waistline. This will prevent the wetsuit from stretching out the shoulders over time. When you store your wetsuit, make sure it is completely dry on both the inside and outside to avoid mould or bad smell.
Avoid direct sunlight
Don’t leave your wetsuit in the sun to dry as this will accelerate the wear of the neoprene and lining. The ozone and UV rays in sunlight cause neoprene to lose stretch and become brittle over time. UV will also cause colors to fade. The longer you leave your wetsuit in the sun, the quicker it will deteriorate.
Avoid contact with velcro
Velcro damages your wetsuit lining by tearing the fibres. Avoid storing your leash in the same bag as your wetsuit. Some boots also have velcro straps attached to them, and every SRFACE wetsuits come with two velcro leg straps. Contact with velcro doesn’t ruin your wetsuit straight away but will slowly deteriorate the lining.
Now that your wetsuit is dry and clean and smelling fresh, you are ready to hit the water again.