When learning a new sport, or in the case of surfing - a new way of life, it is as important to learn how to take care of your gear as it is to learn how to surf. Below are several tips to keep your wetsuit and your board in tip-top shape.
The most valuable piece of advice for wetsuit care is to RINSE IT IN FRESH WATER, inside and out. Salt water is detrimental to both the longevity and appearance of your suit. Rinse it out every time, even if you're going back in the water soon.
Heat is not your friend. Oneill advises "don't boil it, grill it or roast it". This translates to don't put it in hot water, dry it in the sun or leave it in the car trunk. Once rinsed in cool, fresh water - hang it in the shade, inside out. When completely dried inside, turn it back so the outside will now dry. Specialized cleaners are available for the occasional washing - when your suit gets a little stinky.
Caring for your surfboard is pretty simple, it is mostly common sense. The first thing suggested by Surfer Magazine is to keep the board in the bag when you're not using it.
Heat can be just as damaging to your board as it is to your wetsuit. It can cause the board's fiberglass coating to weaken and yellow. With this in mind, don't leave it on your car's rack or sitting out in the sun uncovered very long. Store your board in a cool, shady place in a secure position. Boards getting knocked over and dinged can lead to other issues.
If you do get dings, cracks or puncture holes, get them treated right away. The longer you let minor problems go, the more major they'll become.