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HOME arrow GEAR INSIGHTS arrow How to Make Your New Wetsuit Last Forever!
How to Make Your New Wetsuit Last Forever! PDF Print E-mail
By: Stand Up Paddle Surfing Magazine   
Saturday, 22 November 2008
wetsuitcouple150.jpg    Keeping out of the frigid waters is a big plus for stand up paddling in the colder regions of our blue planet. Many stand up paddlers have embraced the freedom of being able to get out on the water at their local breaks without a wetsuit and without contracting pheumonia or getting frostbite from sitting in subzero temperatures. We've also seen photos of stand up paddlers venturing out on the water with grey skies and snow on their boards. For those who are braving the elements of cold and wind and simply must use a wetsuit, this article is for you. It was actually written for divers, however it applies to stand up paddlers and surfers alike. We thought it was a great article on how to preserve your wetsuit and we have the right to republish it here on Stand Up Paddle Surfing Magazine. It's extremely informative and if followed will help your new wetsuit last forever.




Wetsuit Mainenance

by: Michael Russell

    Lots of divers tend to take their wetsuit for granted. They put it on, it gets wet, they take it off and it dries. It would almost seem that the wetsuit cleans itself but there is more to wetsuit maintenance than just doing this. If you did nothing to take care of your wetsuit, it would not last very long but with just a few simple care procedures, it will last for many years.

    First of all, make sure you dry your wetsuit on a heavy-duty hanger so that you don't leave marks and ridges in your wetsuit. As the wetsuit dries out it will tend to take the shape of the hanger so you want the hanger to be fairly beefy probably made out of wood, heavy-duty plastic or a padded hanger. Several companies make special padded hangers just for use with wetsuits. Don't use a metal hanger. The ridges left by a wire frame hanger could easily cause stretch marks and cracks in the neoprene. Also the water from the suit will rust the hanger and leave rust marks on your suit and the hanger won't be good for much afterwards either. Generally when you first take the suit off turn it inside out and put it on the hanger so it dries more completely but for storage turn it right side out again. Don't dry it out in the sun. The UV rays from the sun will damage the neoprene if left out for too long. Some people will hang their wetsuit on a large horizontal pole like what you would find in your closet to let it dry. There are lots of good options for drying. The idea is to keep the stress on the neoprene to a minimum as it dries. For long-term storage, after the suit is dry, you can lay it out flat in a dry and cool place away from the sun. Don't store it in your garage. Car exhaust gases can also damage neoprene.

    It may sound strange but saltwater is not very good for your wetsuit. If you don't rinse the saltwater off it will start to corrode the neoprene. The chlorine in swimming pools is also very hard on the neoprene especially when combined with sunlight. So when you are done with your dive make it a habit to rinse the suit off with fresh water as soon as possible. This should be done regardless of where you were swimming.

     Wetsuits should also be cleaned regularly. Never ever put your wetsuit in a conventional washer and drier. It should be hand cleaned using either a special shampoo designed for use on wetsuits or a very mild shampoo such as baby shampoo. Use warm water, not hot, keep the temperature below 120 degrees Fahrenheit and rinse and dry thoroughly afterwards. If you use your wetsuit regularly, you should clean it in this fashion about once every 2 weeks. Also, to keep the suit from smelling bad, every 3 months rinse the suit in fresh water with a small amount of disinfectant mixed into the fresh water. Companies that make wetsuit shampoo generally also make wetsuit deodorizer for disinfecting.

     So always remember that saltwater, heat, sunlight, chlorine, stretch marks and sharp folds are your wetsuits enemies and clean it regularly and you should get many years of good service out of it.

     Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Wetsuit

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feed3 Comments
Peter Black
January 08, 2011

I picked up one of the SlideHangers a couple of weeks ago. This is the best hanger. It slides in at the waist of your wetsuit. You can carry the wetsuit easy and sooo. convenient.

December 20, 2010

Check out this hanger I just bought for my husband. Your wetsuit hangs from the waist.

November 26, 2008

I have a product from a company called hangair. The item is just as it sounds. A nice solid hanger with a built in fan to dry your suit. They claim it will dry in a few hours more like overnight but it is solid. I bought mine for @79.00 as it just came out. I just them online for 39.00, well worth it. Jerry

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