Wetsuit care: 7 critical things NOT to do when drying your suit

Wetsuit care is a hot topic for us at EXIT Watersports. The majority of our products have been created to keep your wetsuit in a tip-top state. If you surf, windsurf, kitesurf, wild swim, or indulge in other watersports in cold water a wetsuit is essential. So making sure it lasts is worthwhile. Not only will wetsuit longevity be kinder on your wallet it’s also better for the environment.

Look after your wetsuit and it’ll look after you!

In this post, we talked about seven things you SHOULD do to keep your wetsuit fresh and ready for use time and again. For this article, we’re flipping things on its head and focusing on seven things to avoid doing if you want your wetsuit to stand the test of time.

A good quality wetsuit is essential

Before we get into the nitty gritty of this post we’ll just mention and reiterate how important it is to use a good quality wetsuit. A wetsuit is your main barrier of protection against cold water, and to some degree, colder air temperatures. Wetsuits come in all shapes, sizes and thickness. Depending on the time of year you may have to wear more rubber or alternatively be able to shed a little.

Want to wing foil in winter? A good quality wetsuit is a must if so.

Summer weather and sea temps in the UK can mean doing away with that 5mm+ winter wetsuit. But this being the Northern Hemisphere there’ll still be the need to wear some rubber. Even on the warmest of days. 

EXIT Watersports wetsuit care products

The best way to look after your wetsuit is to dry it properly and in the right way. The EXIT Watersports XRAIL is a great little product that allows this. Its cantilever design means the XRAIL can be erected in almost any location. Especially if you pair this with the SUX suction up specifically designed for the XRAIL. If you end up with a hole in your wetsuit, or perhaps a small tear in the neoprene you may find a use for the FYX neoprene repair kit. Have a look at all the EXIT Watersports products over in the online shop here. Now on with the list of what NOT to do when thinking wetsuit care.

1. Don’t remove your wetsuit on gravel or rough surfaces

Getting in and out of your wetsuit whilst standing on gravelly or rough surfaces is one of the easiest ways to scuff up your suit. Or even put a hole in it. The abrasion caused isn’t good for wetsuit care – especially some of the more modern smooth skin style wetsuits. These are easily damaged if you’re not careful.

Using the EXIT Watersports BUX wetsuit bucket to stand whilst removing your wetsuit is a good idea. The soft material of the BUX means it shouldn’t brush against rough surfaces. Plus, your suit can drop straight in before you chuck it in the car or van. Wet gear is then kept separate from dry clothing.

2. Don’t wash your wetsuit in hot water

We understand why some surfers wash their wetsuits in hot water. The thinking is that this helps kill bacteria that may be clinging to your rubber. Unfortunately, hot water isn’t great for wetsuit care – glue and seam thread can fail. It can cause materials to perish.

Instead, a cold water rinse following your session is a better idea. Then hang via the EXIT Watersports XRAIL in a shaded but airy place. Air drying is also best for your suit.

3. Don’t hang your wetsuit in direct sunlight

Plenty of surfers we know do this. Yet the harmful rays of the sun will do your wetsuit zero favours. Over time the suit’s neoprene will break down and you’re more likely to see the material fail and become holed.

Also, warm or hot sun can melt the suit’s glue. As well as making the suit lose its flexibility. Wetties that have been dried in the sun often have a slightly crispy texture. Which when in use can make it feel stiff and immobile. Instead, dry using the XRAIL in an airy and shaded spot.

4. Don’t leave your suit in the boot

If you’re in a rush it’s understandable things may get forgotten. Leaving your suit in the car or van, piled in a moist mess isn’t ideal. At the very least it’ll be damp (and possibly cold) when called for next time. As well as the saltwater starting to corrode the stitching and glue.

As soon as you’re able grab your wetty, rinse (as described above) and hang in a shaded but ventilated space.

5. Don’t fold your suit when wet or damp

One of the reasons the EXIT Watersports XRAIL was created was to avoid folding wetsuits – whether damp or dry. Folds in the neoprene can mean your wetty doesn’t perform correctly when worn. The neoprene, over time, can also crack along the fold. This isn’t great for wetsuit care.

The XRAIL design means wetsuits are draped rather than folded which increases the longevity of your suit.

6. Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean your wetty

Using any kind of harsh chemical cleaner to give your wetsuit a scrub down is a no no. The toxicity of these cleaners will break down the neoprene of your suit and leave it falling to bits in no time.

Much better is to use an all natural deodoriser which won’t harm your suit. Body oils and whiffs do collect on the surface of neoprene. So it’s definitely worth doing this from time to time. Just not every day or after every session.

7. Don’t put your wetsuit in a tumble dryer or washing machine

This is a big no as putting rubber in the washing machine is both dangerous and detrimental to the overall lifespan of your wetsuit. It’s even more the case if you try and dry your wetty in a tumble dryer. Being hotter this may cause the rubber to melt. Which may in turn clog up your machine’s filter.

It’s really not a good idea to do either of these things. You may as well burn your wetsuit! As we’ve said right through this article, using a product like the XRAIL to hang and ventilate your wetty after rinsing in cold water is best practice. 

Summing up

Hopefully, by following these steps you’ll keep your surfing and watersports more affordable, by not having to fork out for a new wetsuit every few months. And your suit’s performance will remain intact for multiple seasons.

For more info on any of EXIT Watersports products hit up the online shop here. If you have any questions please get in touch.

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