The days when you’re wearing your wetsuit are definitely the most fun, but sadly there are also days when you’re not wearing your wetsuit, and on those days you need to store it somewhere. This might not seem like such a big deal, but we’re all about making sure you can make the most of your kit, and making it last as long as possible is a big part of that. If you come in off the waves, ball your wetsuit up and chuck it in a corner until you next need it, it won’t last that long.
So here are our tips for storing and looking after your wetsuit properly.
After properly rinsing off your wetsuit (you can read more about that in our wetsuit care guide), you need to hang it on a sturdy hanger, ideally away from too much sunlight, until it’s fully dry.
Investing in a wetsuit hanger is a good idea here, as they’re designed to take the weight of a sodden wetsuit and won’t stretch the suit. Normal, narrow clothes hangers are no good. The weight of the suit will put a lot of strain on the shoulders if you hang it like you would any other item of clothing, and a thin hanger will end up stretching the material around the shoulders.
If you don’t have a wetsuit hanger, hang your wetsuit in half over a normal hanger (as long as it’s strong enough to take the weight, but you’ll figure this out pretty quickly). This will avoid putting too much strain on one area of the suit while still enabling it to dry properly. Once the outer side is fully dry, you should flip it over to allow the side that was against the hanger to dry out completely too.
Once your wetsuit has dried out, it’s actually a good idea to leave it on the hanger until your next session. Keep it in a wardrobe, shed or garage – anywhere cool and dry – until you next need it.
We don’t recommend folding or stuffing your wetsuit into cramped spaces as this can cause creases and damage to the suit.
It’s also best to avoid leaving your wetsuit in direct sunlight as much as possible, as the UV rays can affect the neoprene, deteriorating the integrity of your suit.
There will be times when you won’t need your wetsuit for a while, whether it’s because you won’t have the opportunity to get out on the water, or perhaps you’re switching to a different wetsuit thickness to match the season.
If you need to store your wetsuit for a longer period of time, the best choice remains to have it hanging on a wetsuit hanger, or folded at the waist over a horizontal bar of a sturdy trouser hanger.
It’s important that before you store your wetsuit for the season you let it dry completely (of course you washed it before putting it away, right?), to avoid nasty smells or even mould. You should also make sure that it hangs straight on the hanger, right side out, to avoid any creases in the material.
Neoprene is a sturdy material when on your surfboard, but can warp or deteriorate when stored incorrectly. Storing your wetsuit hanging, right side out, away from heat sources and direct sunlight is the best way to keep your wetsuit ready and waiting for next season.
Following best practices for storing your wetsuit is easy enough at home, but when you’re taking your wetsuit on the go this can become a bit more difficult.
First of all, remember to pack your wetsuit hanger with you. The place you’re going may not have sturdy hangers, making it that much more difficult to properly dry your suit. Also, check that your wetsuit is suitable for the water and weather conditions of your destination.
There is a high chance you will have to fold your wetsuit to make it fit in your luggage. While doing so, you want to avoid making unnecessary creases, and only do this when the wetsuit is fully dry.
Folding your wetsuit to fit your travel suitcase can be necessary, but make sure it’s in there for the least amount of time possible.
Lay your wetsuit on its front, and fold the arms back. Fold the legs at the knees and again at the waist, or only at the waist for shorties, so that your wetsuit vaguely becomes a rectangle shape, with the limbs folded inwards.
This rectangle shape should fit most pieces of luggage, but you’re not finished yet. To minimise creases from being jumbled about, it’s best if you put the wetsuit in a plastic bag that keeps it folded tight.
If it gets too much loose room in your luggage, it may unfold and refold in parts where you really don’t want any creases, potentially misshaping your suit.
As soon as you arrive at your destination, take the wetsuit out and hang it up to regain its shape.
Now you know how to store your wetsuit, whether it’s until the next session, for the remainder of the season, or while you’re travelling. When the time comes to replace your wetsuit, you can find the best range of wetsuits right here.
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