Looking after your wetsuit.
We can spend a lot of money on our wetsuits, and if you give them a little extra love they will last that little longer.
I’ve owned a lot of wetsuits now and I still believe you get what you pay for. There are a handful of great brands on the market that are specifically designed for our sport. These are designed to suit our riding position, slightly bent in the back with our arms out front and bent knees. By buying one specifically designed for our sport you can make those long rides that little more comfortable. Most of these brands are available from any good personal watercraft store, and if you get stuck any of the dealers advertising to the right will be able to help you out.
By looking after my current JetPilot wetsuit with the below tips has helped it last me for four years and it’s still looking like new and going strong!
Neoprene doesn’t like hot water.
Neoprene looses its flexibility in hot water, If you are like myself and like to rinse your suit off in the shower, make sure to use cold water only.
UV and Sun
If you can, dry your wetsuit in the shade, not in direct sunlight, if you do dry it in the sun make sure you put it away as soon as it’s dry. We also recommend drying your wetsuit inside out, this will help keep the flexibility and if it doesn’t dry completely when you put it back on at least the side closest to your skin will be dry.
Cleaning your Suit
Rinse your wetsuit with fresh water as soon as you can, don’t leave it setting for a couple of days. Regular care adds quite some time to the wetsuit lifespan. Do not put it through the washing machine or a dryer and definitely do not iron it as it will melt. As you sweat while out in your suit, it can collect sweat and body oils creating a breeding ground for bacteria if not looked after, If you feel your suit needs a little more than just a rinse, use a very mild washing power made specially for wetsuits and wash it by hand.
Urine also deteriorates the neoprene and leaves a terrible smell. There are special soaps for washing your wetsuit and removing the stink. Rip Curl make a product called PISS OFF
This step also works like a charm to soften up that suit that’s been in storage for a while, so it’s a good idea to do it at the beginning of a season.
A couple of times a season you can put your wetsuit in a bath of fresh cool/warm water (not hot) with a couple caps of baby shampoo. The shampoo will break down the body oils and wash away the bacteria that leads to smelliness. Rinse your wetsuit in fresh water so you get all the detergent off, then dry your wetsuit in the fresh air.
This step also works to soften up your suit that’s been in storage for a while, so it’s a good idea to do it at the beginning of a season.
Storing your suit.
Don’t leave you wetsuit in the boot of your car, or storage box on your trailer. Store your wetsuit flat, or best of all hanging on a wide coat-hanger Don’t cram it in to a small bag or drawer.
The above rules also apply to all your riding gear; life vest, tour coats, booties and gloves. If you follow these simple steps there is a chance your gear will last an extra season or even longer, which has got to leave your bank manager that little bit happier.