Protecting your gear should be a priority for everyone who spends time enjoying the outdoors. Gear is an investment and should be treated as such, and wetsuits are no different. Now, wear and tear happens – that’s simply par for the course, especially for equipment that you own for multiple years.
However, there are simple things you can do to protect your wetsuit from unnecessary wear and tear so you can extend its life.
DRY. IT. OUT.
First and foremost, always hang up your wetsuit to dry as soon as you possibly can. Sounds simple enough, but after an exhausting session it’s easy to toss a damp suit in the back of the truck and forget about it until next time. And definitely do not leave your wetsuit in the trunk of a car, especially when wet. Hanging it up to dry will prevent rot, and will make getting into it much easier the next you want to hit the waves. Just make sure you use a sturdy hanger that won’t snap under the weight of a damp wetsuit.
KEEP IT OUT OF THE SUN (WHEN DRYING).
If you’ve owned a single wetsuit for more than a couple of years you’ve probably noticed the color has faded. You can blame the sun for that change. The sun’s UV rays actually damage the neoprene in your suit causing it to become less flexible and more stiff. When drying your suit, hang it up out of direct sunlight.
COLD WATER ONLY.
If you’re a winter surfer, it’s always super tempting to hop into a nice hot shower after a session. If a hot shower is imperative, make sure you ditch your suit before hopping in. Hot water will damage the material in your wetsuit, and, just like UV rays, will lead to a reduced lifespan for your suit. Warm water is ok, but don’t overdo it.
CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS.
Every wetsuit gets a bit rank eventually. Before you go tossing it in the washing machine, STOP. You should always hand wash your suit. Rinse it off with cold water after every session to remove sand and any stray rocks, and then hang it up. If it’s really starting to get funky, we recommend washing it (again, by hand) using a shampoo that is made for neoprene. Then, you guessed it, hang it up to dry.
These simple steps will ensure you’ll get a longer lifespan out of your wetsuit. After all, gear is expensive, which is one of the big reasons we created WETSOX in the first place. In addition to helping you get in and out of your suit, WETSOX reduce the friction between your skin and your suit. This allows you to tug on your suit less, and prevents unnecessary stretching which can lead to a failure.
Protect your gear as you expect it to protect you.