We’ve all been there, you come to the end of the season and slipping into your wetsuit becomes the worst part of your routine as it begins to feel loose and irritating. The sad fact is, it’s probably too late to save your favourite suit at this point so we’ve compiled this short list of wetsuit TLC top tips for delaying this fate as long as possible. Follow this guide to keep your wetsuit better for longer and save yourself from the heartache of kissing goodbye to it (and your money) after just one season in the water.
The vast majority of modern wetsuits are made from neoprene, which is a prime material for keeping you warm and flexible in the water but it is delicate and requires some tender love and care to stay at peak performance. We all have one of those friends that can’t step out of the shadows on a sunny day without factor 50, well neoprene may not be quite so sensitive but it’s certainly the case that you should try minimise the amount of UV your suit comes into contact with. UV rays cause the neoprene to lose its flexibility but more worryingly, it causes the material to age, leaving it brittle and stiff. Using the sun to dry a wetsuit is not recommended, even though it helps to speed up the process. This predicament was key in the design of The Dry Bag as we realised we needed the best wetsuit storage solution possible. Thr Dry Bag wetsuit carrier blocks the damaging UV rays while the black material absorbs the heat creating a tumble drier affect to speed along the drying process. Storing your suit away from sunlight while out of use is also a good idea.
Clean it. Sounds simple but after a hard day in the water, we find ourselves putting off washing our wetsuits until the morning. Leaving your suit covered in sand and sat in a wet heap is a terrible idea – even if it’s only for one night while you rest your weary limbs. Our second top tip is to rinse down your wetsuit with cold fresh water after each use and then hang it to dry as soon as possible – no prizes for guessing where we think the best place to hang it is! By doing this you remove all the salt, dirt and debris that sits within the seams and pores of the material reducing the long-term damage to the wetsuit. The next step is to hang the garment in the Dry Bag to gently let it drip dry.
Finally, finding a wetsuit (same can be set for drysuits) that fits just right is a difficult task, we’ve even spoken about it in one of our previous blogs because of the easily made mistakes and traps we fall into! Therefore, when you find one that feels right you have to look after the shape of the suit and preserve the perfect fit you have endeavoured to find. Our final tip is to make sure you hang your wetsuit folded in half from the waist and use a wide hanger when drying your suit, this way you’ll avoid ruining the sleek line of your suit and keep your fit tight. Also, when storing your wetsuit avoid stuffing it into a crumpled heap in a drawer, this will also permanently warp its shape and ruin the tight seals that keep you dry and warm. The Dry Bag hanger reduces the stress on wetsuits during drying and reduces the risk of ruining that perfect fit.
No wetsuit will last forever unfortunately but taking these small steps each time you take your favourite wetsuit out for a spin will help to minimise damage and maximise the lifespan of your much-loved suit. This a core reason we developed the Dry Bag range of products as we know any wetsuit or drysuit is an investment which you want to get the most out of.