10-Tips-To-Help-Your-Wetsuit-Live-Longer-featured-image-thewaveshack.com-minn

10 Tips To Help Your Wetsuit Live Longer

🕓   6 min read✏️   Updated on 1st September 2021

Intro

Welcome to today’s blog post and it’s a good’n… ’10 Tips To Help Your Wetsuit Live Longer’.

In this post I’ll be sharing my top 10 tips that will help extend the life of your wetsuit. Some are fairly well known, you may even be doing a few already… but they’ll all help make your wetsuit last longer!

Here’s a breakdown of the content…

1. Protection From Below
2. Take Time Off, Literally
3. Slow & Steady
4. Wax On…Wax Off
5. Wetsuit Shampoo Is A Thing
6. Vampires & Wetsuits

7. The Ultimate Flex
8. Hips Don’t Lie
9. Hang Time
10. No Machines Allowed

It’s a super useful read, so let’s get started!

 

1. Protection From Below

My first top tip that will help your wetsuit last longer is about wetsuit changing mats. These things are not only a great surfing accessory, they also offer decent protection when changing in and out of your wetsuit.

The idea is that you place it on the floor, then step into it when putting your wetsuit on or taking it off. This stops your wetsuit from being obliterated by whatever gravel, asphalt or mud you’d otherwise be changing on.Osprey-Wetsuit-Changing-Mat-Best-Gifts-For-Surfers-UK-thewaveshack.com-min

Of course, Osprey have created a top notch wetsuit changing mat for just the occasion. It’s similar to my Northcore version, which has turned into an essential piece of kit for every sesh. I’ve also used mine on a shed load of surfaces that I’m sure would have damaged my wetsuit if I didn’t have it.

If you’d like a bit more info check out my product review – Northcore Wetsuit Changing Mat product review.

 

2. Take Time Off, Literally

My second tip to help keep a wetsuit in top shape is really simple… remove any sharp accessories when changing into or out of your wetsuit.

Watches and rings not only make it difficult to get a wetsuit on and off, but also scrape and damage the inside.

If you still need these whilst surfing (like a watch), you can always put them back on after getting into your wetsuit.

 

3. Slow & Steady

The third tip is all about wetsuit zips, don’t force ’em.

Obviously this only applies to wetsuits with a zip, but as that’s most of us I thought I’d share it. Without the humble wetsuit zip our wetsuits would literally not keep us warm.

These awesome little things are what stand between our lovely warm bods and that freezing UK water. So, don’t force it and only pull in the direction you want the zip to go – try not to pull it at an angle.

If you look after your wetsuit zip, your wetsuit zip will look after you.

 

4. Wax On…Wax Off

Tip number four is about that pesky surfboard wax.

When surfing it’s pretty common for surfboard wax to get stuck to your wetsuit, especially the torso area. This normally happens after applying a fresh coat of wax to your surfboard and some bits just get stuck.

The key point here is to avoid scrubbing off any surfboard wax that makes it onto your wetsuit. The scrubbing off process will do more damage than good and you’ll only get more wax on your wetsuit the next time you apply new wax to your surfboard.

 

5. Wetsuit Shampoo Is A Thing

Now for some tips for when you’ve finished your sesh… tip number five is about the myth, the legend – wetsuit shampoo.

Although it seems like a bit of a gimmick, wetsuit shampoo does work and does lengthen your wetsuits life. I’ve used a number of wetsuit shampoos in my time and each offered a unique feature that has helped my wetsuit last longer. O'Neill Wetsuit Cleaning Shampoo

Here’s a breakdown of the wetsuit shampoos I’ve reviewed and their best feature;

This is a really easy tip to adopt if you already rinse your wetsuit after a surf… just add some shampoo.

 

6. Vampires & Wetsuits

Another tip for when you’re out of the water and it’s probably the most common mistake I see – don’t dry your wetsuit in direct sunlight.

Unfortunately, our humble wetsuits (similar to a humble vampire) don’t like direct sunlight. In the same way sunlight damages and ages our skin, that same effect applies to our wetsuits. Both of the sun’s UVA and more potent UVB rays reduce a wetsuit’s flexibility, durability and generally speeds up the wear and tear of the material.

However, if you still can’t help yourself – turn your wetsuit inside out to reduce some of the effect. 

 

7. The Ultimate Flex

This next tip is one of my favourites and one I’ve literally just mentioned… dry your wetsuit inside out.

Although it might not seem that important, there are two great reasons to turn your wetsuit inside out to dry.

The first and most obvious is that the inside of your wetsuit will dry much faster than the outside. There’s nothing worse than waking up for a dawny on day two of your surfing weekend and having to put on a damp wetsuit.

The second and most important reason to help keep your wetsuit in its best condition, is that it helps maintain flexibility. By turning your wetsuit inside out to dry, you’ll ensure your wetsuit doesn’t lose any of that all important flex when surfing.

 

8. Hips Don’t Lie

Tip number eight is super easy… when drying your wetsuit, fold it at the waist. Again, there’s two proper good reasons to do this that will help your wetsuit live longer.

The first is that it will help your wetsuit dry faster compared to hanging it up by the shoulders. The reason for this is that the water inside the material only has to travel half the distance to drip out the end.

The second good reason is that wetsuits can be mega heavy when wet, especially the winter ones. If you hang up a wet winter wetsuit by the shoulders, the material at the shoulder will stretch. This isn’t great for the wetsuit and will eventually speed up the wear and tear of the material in the shoulder area.

Osprey-wetsuit-hanger-Best-Gift-Ideas-For-UK-Surfers-thewaveshack.com-min

To help you with this tip, Osprey have created a purpose built wetsuit hanger to keep your wetsuit in top shape. It’s very well reviewed by the surfing community and is a great addition to the surfing accessory bag.

It can also hang wetsuit gloves, boots and hoods at the same time to keep everything together in one place whilst drying. 

 

9. Hang Time

My penultimate tip on this list is all about storing your dry wetsuit… here’s a couple of things to avoid.

The first is to avoid folding it up. The folds will create creasing along the wetsuits material and these creases can be permanent if left long enough.

The second thing is to avoid storing your wetsuit anywhere that gets hot or is in direct sunlight. As mentioned previously, wetsuit’s don’t really like direct sunlight and get damaged by excessive heat. So, if you currently store your wetsuit in the back of a hot car or in a bag in a hot garage for most of the Summer – have a rethink.

The best storage solution that fixes both issues is to hang your wetsuit up by the shoulders using a wide / heavy duty hanger in a wardrobe. This stops any creases evolving whilst keeping it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

The best bit though? Being reminded every time you get dressed in the morning to go surfing.

 

10. No Machines Allowed

My final tip is probably the most important on this list if you want to keep your wetsuit alive as long as possible.

Do not put your wetsuit in a washing machine or tumble dryer. Likewise, if you decided to fold it for storage… do not use an iron to try and get rid of any creases.

Excessive heat is the only thing that can seriously fudge up a wetsuit. It reduces a wetsuit’s flexibility, lowers a wetsuit’s buoyancy and ruins any stitching that uses glue. In the most extreme cases, excessive heat can actually melt neoprene.

It’s probably also worth mentioning that sand and grit can definitely break a washing machine or tumble dryer overtime.

So to end on a really cheery note, no machines allowed.

 

Summary

Well guys and girls, that’s my top ’10 Tips To Help Your Wetsuit Live Longer’. I hope you’ve found it useful, these tips will definitely help your wetsuit last a bit longer.

If I had to pick my top three tips it would be; ‘Wetsuit Shampoo Is A Thing’, ‘Vampires & Wetsuits’ and ‘Ultimate Flex’. But ultimately, the more things you do from this list the longer your wetsuit will stay in its best condition.

As always, be sure to follow on the usual socials below to keep up to date with the latest surfing content!

 

Follow on:            

 

Next read: ‘Aquapac 25L Wet & Dry Backpack Review’