Whilst buying the right wetsuit is paramount, looking after it once you have it is important too. Doing so means it will perform better, for longer and you’ll get many years of good use out of it. Here’s a few top tips for looking after your wetsuit.
- Be gentle when putting your wetsuit on. The tight fit can make the whole operation a little bit tricky, but yanking your suit on will put undue stress on the seams and zips. Slow and smooth is the best way. Start at the bottom with your feet and slowly work your way up in stages, rolling the suit up as you go. Similarly, take as much care whilst taking it off. Work in the reverse and, as before, take your time. Try not to pull too much on the suit if it’s being stubborn, as this can result in torn neoprene, blown seams and a costly repair.
- Once it is off, leave it inside out to dry, as this will cause less stress on seams. As soon as you can, rinse out any saltwater with cold, clean, fresh water help preserve the seams as well as the as performance and elasticity of the neoprene.
- Once clean, leave your suit to air dry inside out, but keep it out of direct sunlight which can dry out the neoprene. When wet, rather than hang it by the shoulders, hang it by the waist using a large plastic coat hanger or a washing line to avoid damaging the shoulders. Golden rule - never wash or dry your wetsuit in a washing machine or tumble dryer as this is a sure-fire way to destroy your wetsuit.
- Once fully dry, store your wetsuit in an area away from direct sunlight that is cool and dry. A large, wide non-metal hanger that supports the shoulders properly is ideal. Never store a suit that’s wet as this may result in mould forming or it becoming stretched when hung.