Wetsuit Care Guide

How to take care of your new wetsuit

Here at Surfdock we know how exciting it is to get a new wetsuit. For those of you who don’t have much experience with them, these are our top tips for wetsuit care to make sure your wetsuit stays in good nick for as long as possible:

Getting in and out of your wetsuit

You might find it easy to put your wetsuit on, but if not, here are some tips. You should open and hold the wetsuit at the hip to get into the legs first (if your wetsuit is a chest zip suit, pull up the inside of the hip through the neck to create a wider opening). Once you have pulled up the legs to the hips, put on the right and then the left arm. Zip it up or pull the neck piece over your head if it is a chest zip wetsuit. Make sure that you have it pulled up all the way (knee pads on the knees, not shins, all the material pulled into the hips and then further up into your chest, arms pulled up properly, not all the fabric in the wrist). If it feels tight in the upper body, take the material in the front of your belly and pull it away so it makes an air bubble that you can move up and let out through the neck, that should release tension in the chest/shoulders and stop tugging in the neck.

When taking off your wetsuit it will be inside out. If you have a chest zip wetsuit, pull one shoulder with the opposite hand down to the elbow and then pull out the arm. Once that’s done it should be easy to take off the other arm. Roll down the wetsuit to your hips and then roll it down the legs extracting one leg/foot after the other.

Avoid taking off your wetsuit while standing on gravel, grass or other rough surfaces. Instead, use a changing mat or lay down a towel to stand on.

Do not use in a swimming pool

Wetsuits are designed to be worn in saltwater or freshwater only. Regular exposure to chlorinated water will degrade your wetsuit over time.

Rinse with cold water

After every session, use cold fresh water to rinse out any saltwater, sand or dirt.

It’s important you do NOT wash the wetsuit in hot water, to dry it in direct sunlight or to leave it in the boot of your car for long periods of time because excessive heat damages the neoprene and glues and reduces the fabrics stretch, flex and durability.

Never use a washing machine, dryer, iron, bleach or professional dry cleaner.

Use a wetsuit cleaner

To keep your wetsuit smelling fresh, don’t use standard detergents, invest in a wetsuit cleaner. These won’t be damaging to the material and will leave your wetsuit with a nice clean smell. Eco versions are available.

Hang it up to drip dry

Hang to dry and store in a well-ventilated area to avoid mould. Do not store the wetsuit folded.

This could be in your shower/bathroom or your shed if you have one. Use a wide hanger (specialist ones are available here) and fold the wetsuit at the hip. Don’t hang it up by it’s shoulders, this will stretch the neoprene. Do not use a clothes line or wire hanger.

Avoid long exposure to direct sunlight, the hot press and the washing machine You might laugh, but we get asked this all the time. Direct sunlight is great to speed up the drying of your suit and for short amounts of time that isn’t a problem. Leaving it out for long stretches will take its toll on the neoprene. As will the hot press and the washing machine, so don’t do it!

And last but definitely not least: Do not pee into your suit!

Seems obvious, but can’t be said often enough, peeing in your suit is not good for the neoprene, avoid it if you can.

To sum it up, if you treat your wetsuit kindly, i.e. rinse it frequently, don’t overstretch the neoprene, give it air and space to dry and give it a good wash with a specialist cleaner from time to time, it will pay you back with years of use.

How to ship or post your wetsuit

In the unlikely event you need to post your wetsuit or return it. Please save the original packaging your wetsuit arrived in until you are sure you are satisfied with your wetsuit. The wetsuit packaging is designed specially to prevent any damage during shipping. Damages can be caused to wetsuits when incorrectly handled. We cannot accept a wetsuit that is incorrectly handled for posting. Please use a box (for example the box it arrived in) and not an envelope/bag to ship your wetsuit as that may not protect the wetsuit in transit. We have more information about this in our returns policy.

We recommend to follow the steps below when packing up the wetsuit.

  1. Place wetsuit in its plastic packaging and put it front side down on the ground.
  2. Fold arms down towards the waist and behind the body.
  3. Fold legs pointing up towards the neck and behind the body. Do not fold the wetsuit through the middle of the chest panel or back panel to avoid creases