You've picked out the perfect wetsuit, tried it on to make sure it fits like a glove, parted with your hard earned and just finished your first session with it in the ocean. Now what? Pile it in the back of the car for the next session right? Wrong!
Correctly caring for your wetsuit can prolong its lifespan and make it easier to slip into before your next session.
Nathan from Ocean and Earth explains everything you need to know about taking care of your wetsuit.
How to take care of your wetsuit
Tip #1: Take it off
Taking care of your wetsuit starts the second you finish surfing, scuba diving or any other water-based activity you might be using a wetsuit for.
When taking off your wetsuit, make sure not to take it off on a rough surface. This can obviously damage the wetsuit, potentially causing rips, tears or scuff marks.
When you are pulling the suit down, be as gentle as possible and be mindful of rings, long nails, watches, or anything else that could get caught. Catching a nail or a ring could tear your suit, creating a hole, letting water in and rendering the suit useless.
Leave the wetsuit inside out.
Tip #2: Use a bucket
After you have gently taken your wetsuit off, place it straight into a bucket or a 'wetty sac' - a specialty bag designed to make cleaning your wetsuit a sinch. The benefit of the wetty sac is once you have placed your wetsuit in there, you can pick it straight up and start the cleaning process.
Tip #3: Wash your suit after every surf
You should make it a habit to wash your suit every single time you have been in the water. This will prolong the lifespan of the suit and eliminate any nasty smells that can embed themselves over time.
Only use clean fresh water when washing your wetsuit. Leave your suit in the bucket or bag, fill it so that the wetsuit is covered and then swoosh it around, washing off all the sand and salt build up. If your wetsuit is especially dirty, repeat this process a couple of times.
See also: How to surf 101
Tip #4: Hang it out
Once you have washed your wetsuit in fresh water, it needs to be hung up in a dry environment, out of direct sunlight.
Tip #5: Leave the washing machine for clothes
Never put your wetsuit in the washing machine, the dryer, get it dry cleaned, or put any kind of bleach on it.
See also: How to choose the right wetsuit for you