If you are new to the world of watersports, you might not know there is a correct and incorrect way to store wetsuits. They are often quite an investment, so we have taken a look at the dos and don'ts of caring for and storing your wetsuits.
Benefits Of Storing Your Wetsuit Correctly
Unsurprisingly stuffing your wetsuit in a bag and throwing it in a cupboard or hanging it by the neck outside is not the best way to store your wetsuit. Storing your wetsuit properly both in between surf sessions and when you pack it away for the change in season can bring a range of benefits. These are:
- Increase the longevity of your wetsuit.
- Ensure the fit remains the same.
- Prevents the breakdown of the neoprene.
- Allows the suit to function at its optimum level.
Wetsuit Storage And Care Don'ts
Although your wetsuit might seem like a sturdy piece of kit, there are still a number of things you can do to decrease the lifespan of the wetsuit and increase the risks of tears and punctures. Things you should NOT do are:
- Ball it up and leave it that way until you next use it.
- Store it damp.
- Leave it in direct sunlight.
- Use detergents or soaps when washing it.
- Handle with sharp nails or objects as they easily tear.
How To Store Your Wetsuit When You Get Out Of The Water
Your wetsuit is at its most vulnerable to destruction when you are fresh out of the water, and without proper wetsuit care, your wetsuit will deteriorate are a much quicker rate.
The first thing you will need to do when you return home after a surf session is to properly wash your wetsuit with fresh water. Saltwater and sand can corrode the neoprene, so letting your wetsuit dry out with the salt still sitting in the neoprene will cause it to degrade and therefore reduce the thermal protection it provides you.
Check out our guide on how to wash a wetsuit for more detailed instructions.
Next, you will need to ensure you properly dry your wetsuit. It is recommended that you dry the wetsuit out of the sun, as the UV rays can also degrade the neoprene of the wetsuit.
The best way to dry your wetsuit is on a wetsuit hanger, as these are designed for this purpose and will sport your wetsuit correctly. However, if you don't have one available to you, then drip-dry your wetsuit on a thick plastic hanger that can support the weight of a wet wetsuit. Using a plastic hanger is imperative, as a metal clothes hanger can damage the neoprene foam, and increase the risk of tearing.
Why is Using A Wetsuit Hanger Important?
When you hang your wetsuit up by the neck or throw it over a railing, you risk deforming your wetsuit. They have been designed to fit the shape of the human body, and the more you wear your wetsuit, the more it moulds to your specific body shape. When you hand it in an improper way, you stretch out areas that should be tight, causing you to have a wetsuit with baggy areas.
Having an ill-fitting wetsuit will result in cold sea water flushing through easily and increases the risk of tearing.
The Best Places To Store Your Wetsuit In Between Uses
It is unlikely that you will want to have your wetsuit out and on show in your home, and luckily the best place to store your wetsuit is out of sight, in a cool, dark place.
As we said above, UV rays can damage the neoprene as well as overly warm places. So avoid storing your wetsuit in areas such as water heaters, cupboards or kitchens. The best place to store a wetsuit would be a garage or closet, somewhere that doesn't suffer from mould and doesn't get too humid.
How To Store Your Wetsuit For The Seasons
Chances are that you have multiple wetsuits, a lighter summer wetsuit and a thicker winter wetsuit. Storing them for an extended period of time needs to be done correctly to maintain the quality of the wetsuit. Don't just stuff it in the corner of your junk cupboard.
We suggest extensively washing it with a decent wetsuit shampoo to remove all the salt and urine from the fabric of the neoprene, and then drying it fully before storing it. This will allow you to come back next season to a fresh wetsuit rather than a musty one.
Again, store it in a cool, dry and dark place on a proper wetsuit hanger. This way to can protect your wetsuit fully.
Why not check out our range of winter wetsuits and discover your perfect suit in time for the pumping winter waves?