Wetsuit repair is a great way to extend your wetsuits lifespan. If your wetsuit is just plain old, if it got stiff, pale and hard from all the sun and UV rays and the neoprene is starting to crack there is not much you can to. This kind of damage is not repairable. But if you have torn it on some rocks or wherever, then this can be fixed without problems and it will be as good as new.
Repair in a shop is pretty cheap and they do a great job sealing the hole in your suit. Still – if the hole is small and you don’t want to lose time and/or money taking it to repair shop you can also repair it yourself.
What Kind of Wetsuit Hole or Tear Can You Repair at Home?
The simplest hole to repair is a hole that is so small that you do not need any additional neoprene to cover it up (you can just glue the neoprene back together) and is not much more than an inch (or maybe two) long. Anything bigger I recommend that you take it to wetsuit repair shop. Also – if the stitches are torn and the seams are opening up I also suggest you take it to the repair shop.
How to Repair Your Wetsuit?
Things that you will probably need to fix your wetsuit:
- Alcohol (for cleaning)
- Short-bristle brush (1/2” bristles)
- Neoprene cement (you can find it at most surf shops)
- Something heavy to weight the repaired area
If you buy a special wetsuit repair kit most of these things should be inside. Or you can get a tube of liquid neoprene that is used for wetsuit repairs (among other things) and get the rest of the stuff yourself.
- Clean the wetsuit and the hole of any dirt, wax, salts etc…
- Make sure it’s dry.
- Clean it with alcohol and wait until it evaporates.
- Use the brush to put neoprene cement on all wetsuit surfaces that need to be sealed back together and wait 5 minues, make sure that you keep them appart.
- Repeat the process and leave for 10 minutes.
- Firmly press the surfaces together and apply even pressure, use a book, a rock or something…
- Wait a few hours (~6 hours)
- PS: Be careful not to glue the whole wetsuit together!