While the weather is warming up in San Diego, the water is still chilly. Every surfer knows wetsuits are a game changer this time of year and are used often. Because wetsuits come in various brands and qualities, they can be a little pricey. This is not to say you should not invest in a great suit, but you should take care of the one you have. Luckily, there are ways to keep your wetsuit in tip top shape so you can make sure to extend its life and keep you warmer for longer. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep care of your wetsuit.
Leave it in your car
While it’s so tempting after a surf sesh to take off your wetsuit and ditch it in the back of your car to get food or take a warm shower immediately after being in the water, don’t do it! It may seem like an inconvenience at the time, but taking the little step of taking the wetsuit out of the back of your car so it’s not sitting in a wet pile will help keep the suit in better shape. Another bonus is that your car won’t smell like the ocean the next time you open the door.
Hang it with a hanger
Even though hanging your wetsuit in a hanger may seem like a smart, responsible move, this way of drying your wetsuit can ruin the collar and shoulder portion. Hanging the wetsuit this way can stretch it out and break the seams on the top part of the suit.
Let it dry in the sun
Letting your wetsuit dry in the sun is a good way for your wetsuit to deteriorate faster than necessary. This is because the UV rays in sunlight cause neoprene to lose its stretch and become stiff and brittle. Neoprene is the main material that wetsuits are made of so it’s very important that you keep it in good shape so it doesn’t accelerate the wear of your suit.
Use any soap to clean your suit
While cleaning your wetsuit is always a good idea, you can’t use normal soap to do so. This is because normal soap degrades the neoprene in wetsuits. Also neoprene is super absorbent so some soaps are not safe for the ocean.
Leave it to dry in the shade
Instead of leaving your wetsuit to dry in the sun, find a shady place outside to let your wetsuit dry. This will help protect the neoprene from UV rays to keep it flexible and working the right way. IN order to get the longest life out of your wetsuit, this step is very important.
Hang your wetsuit the right way
While you already know not to hang your wetsuit on a hanger, there is a right way to hang your suit to avoid unnecessary stretching and tearing of the collar and shoulder. The best way to hang your suit is to drape it over something (the bottom bar of a hanger, over a door etc.). This will allow it to hang gently to avoid tears and stretching.
Rinse your wetsuit
Make sure to rinse your wetsuit after you use it! It is tempting to take your wetsuit off and leave it lying around, so if you’re feeling lazy and only want to complete one step, this is the one to do. Leaving your wetsuit without rinsing it will accelerate its wear because the salt water will sit in the suit making the neoprene and seams of the suit age. Even dunking your suit in some freshwater or running a hose though it will greatly help you take care of your suit.
Invest in wetsuit soap
Investing in wetsuit soap is a great way to keep your suit clean and smelling good. Special soap for your wetsuit is important because it will help break down oils and odors that get stuck when paddling around in the ocean. Luckily, this investment is inexpensive and easy to find. These soaps are usually found at surf shops and range around ten to fifteen dollars.
Taking care of your wetsuit is an important part of surfing. Having a good suit can help keep you warm throughout the year and make your surfing experience better and more comfortable. You want to keep your wetsuit for a long as possible, so next time you get out of the water, make sure to go over this list in your head to take the best care of your wetsuit!