A drysuit will make a huge difference to your winter watersports, and they’re well worth the investment. However, it makes no sense to purchase expensive kit if you're not going to treat it with care. Although drysuits are designed to be durable and hard-wearing, you can extend the lifespan of yours quite drastically with a few simple tips
Rinse your drysuit out properly with a freshwater hose or tap after every use. This is especially important if you’ve been wearing it in saltwater, as it can damage the suit. Every now and again, it’s a good idea to use a soap specifically made to be used for Gore-Tex or drysuits, as this will prevent any dodgy smells and protect the waterproofing.
Never use soaps or other chemicals not meant for drysuits or Gore-Tex.
Before you store your drysuit, make sure that it’s completely dry – you don’t want to be greeted by the smell of damp next time you get it out. Ideally, air it out in the house or on a clothesline outside – do not use a tumble dryer! You should also avoid too much direct sunlight, as UV rays will break down the latex gaskets. Petrol fumes can also have this effect, so think twice about leaving it in the boot of your car.
Make sure you hang your drysuit up properly, with a sturdy hanger such as one intended for suits and coats. Drysuits can be heavy compared to other clothing, so the extra support will be necessary.
Sunscreen, insect repellent and other chemicals may be detrimental to your drysuit’s latex gaskets. Whilst it’s important to stay protected from UV rays while boating, you must wash off any marks immediately after removing the drysuit.
Zips can become stiffer over time, so a good tip is to lubricate each Q-tip zip with some Vaseline. This Snap-Stick Zipper Lubricant is perfect for zips on all watersports gear and bags. Each zip should be completely open when the drysuit is not in use. You can also use a toothbrush to clean the zips with a special zip cleaning solution. Just be sure not to use the toothbrush on your teeth afterwards!
After buying a new drysuit, you might find that the latex gaskets are uncomfortably tight. While they do stretch over time, you can speed up the process by placing something slightly larger than your neck, wrist or ankle in the gasket and leaving it overnight. Don’t trim it as this may cause gasket failure.
A drysuit is an investment item, and it’s unfortunate if despite good care you find a hole or small tear in your suit. Luckily these can be easily fixed with the right items so that you can stay dry in your suit for longer.
You’ll need appropriate repair items for a dry suit, as the seal needs to be thorough, flexible, and completely waterproof. We carry a range of wetsuit and drysuit repair kits for exactly that purpose.
Always make sure to follow the description of the product you're using for best results, regardless of if you’re using neoprene cement, specialist patches or iron-on tape.
First of all, make sure that your drysuit is clean and dry before you start on the repairs. Usually, the product of choice will need to be applied on the inside of your drysuit, so turn your drysuit inside out before starting your fix.
Apply the solution or glue on the hole or tear, making sure you overlap on all sides by at least a quarter inch/half a centimetre. This “seam allowance” will provide the seal, ensuring the same hole won’t bother you again.
Follow the product drying times, and follow up with your chosen tape or patch. If you are cutting your own neoprene patch, make sure you cut the patch round, or at least round all corners. This makes for stronger, better seals. Corners tend to start curling and releasing, leading to a faulty repair.
Following these tips will enable you to get the most out of your drysuit, but when the dark day finally comes and your drysuit isn’t so dry anymore, come back to Wetsuit Outlet and treat yourself to a shiny new one, we have a wide range of drysuits from the biggest brands and the lowest prices, so there’s definitely something for you.
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