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January 28th, 2016
Posted In: How-To
Do you need to repair a wetsuit? Damage can occur either in the smooth rubber (smoothskin, smoothie, sharkskin, etc.) or in the nylon laminate and this is usually the result of pulling too heard when putting the suit on or by catching or pinching the surface of the wetsuit with your fingernails.
While we make every effort to ensure that our products use the toughest materials available, you should be aware that as a performance product, wetsuits are not bullet proof and small tears do occasionally occur. Should a tear or fingernail cut happen, repairing it yourself is a very simple five minute job.
You will need some type of wetsuit cement or wetsuit adhesive. Cements work faster for tears, but tend to be more expensive. Check out our wetsuit repair products.
Repairing Tears in Smoothskin
-Some sort of applicator (small paint brush, Popsicle stick, strip of rigid plastic)
-A clean, dry wetsuit
Be sure to follow all safety precautions on the repair products packaging and use in a well ventilated area!
Fold the wetsuit over at the point of the cut so that the cut opens up to reveal the two surfaces that need to be glued back together.
Apply a thin, even layer of the cement or adhesive to both surfaces. Continue to hold the cut open while the glue begins to cure. Do not rejoin the surfaces immediately while the glue is still fully wet. This is especially important if you are using an adhesive repair product.
Flatten out the suit so that the two surfaces come together.
Pinch the two surfaces firmly together.
The cement will only take 1 to 3 minutes to dry (depending on room temperature and humidity). Wetsuit adhesives will take longer to dry (a few hours.) The adhesives look glossy when wet and will become matte when dry. Once it appears dry, check it by gently touching the glue surface. It will feel only slightly tacky and will not stick to your finger. Regardless of the glue type used, it’s best to allow your repair overnight to fully dry.
Small holes and tears (less than 1/2″) in the nylon laminates can be repaired similarly. Larger holes or holes penetrating all the way through will require a piece of scrap neoprene and potentially stitching, most likely requiring professional repairs.
Questions about wetsuit repair? Give us a call or send an email!
Where do I get the aqua seal?
We sell the repair adhesive and all-purpose patch kit here: https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/SEARCH.html?q=aquaseal.
Thanks for asking and have a great one!
My dog chewed a nice size hole in my wetsuit eho can I contact to have it repaired?
Oh no! Sorry to hear that happened! We highly recommend you get in touch with Diane at Blown Out Wetsuit Repair. She does mail order repairs and her number is 831-475-4942.
i have a tear on the inside of my hood. it doesn’t go all the way through but, its only two years old so i would like to repair over replace. will these products work well on an application like that? thanks
I have a tear in my hood that doesn’t go all the way through and was wondering if this could be fixed with these products? i am hoping to repair it over replace it. thanks!
Yes, the cement will definitely fix the tear in your hood. But, if the tear is pretty large, we suggest getting a neoprene patch. Hope that helps and thanks for asking!
You can find Aquaseal here: https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/SEARCH.html?q=aquaseal.
legs too long 0n 7 mm. can i cut them and then what would i bind them with?
Thanks for asking. First, what kind of wetsuit is it that you want to be shortened? If it is a traithlon style suit, it is possible to trim those – they are made to be trimmed to customize leg length. If it’s any other style wetsuit, it will probably need to be done professionally. Otherwise, seams may unravel and need to be stitched or glued. Hope that helps!
My new smoothskin got ripped and opened up a 10″ inches “all the way” cut… 🙁 can a patch and a seal cement will hold??
Not easy to say but its on the behind area…
Sorry to hear about that. From the way it sounds, that cut is too big to be repaired with a patch and seal cement. Thanks for asking!
I ripped out the elbow in my 6 mil going through cold water canyons. I need to patch the hole on the one elbow and potentially reinforce the other elbow. Is there a patch I can sew on then seal the sew points by iron on patch or glue? The patch needs to be 6 mil… (I do where elbow pads and knee pads, btw) Where do I buy?
Hey J! You’re probably going to need to find a similar wetsuit to cut a piece from to patch a large hole. I’m not aware of a location to buy thick scraps for this purpose. If it is a small puncture hole, that could be pretty easily handled with some Aquaseal and/or an Ironmend patch.
https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/wetsuits/category/wetsuit-accessories.html#/?_=1&filter.zillabrand=Gear%20Aid&page=1 Hope this helps!
Hi do you sell the neoprene patches?
Thanks for asking. We do sell this Iron Mend Repair Patch Kit: https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/PROD/16110.html#.WJyCzvJWUV0. But, if the hole on your suit is too thick or too large, we do not sell neoprene patches thick or large enough to cover it. Hope that helps!
The seam has come apart at the calf of my wetsuit. Could I use the aqua seal on that area?
Depending on how bad the seam has come apart, it might need to be restitched. If it’s a small area, you could patch it with the Aqua Seal but if it’s not very small, then it’ll definitely need the stitch re-done. Hope that helps! Thanks for asking.
HI Lauren, i saw a product in a Surfshop in Aus, to make old wetsuits flexible again, do you know anything like that?
Unfortunately I don’t know of a product of that nature 🙁 However, it does sound super neat! If you find the name of it, please share, we’d love to know what it is! Thanks!
I do minor mends for a watersports centre. Struggling to put on big bottom patches (cut from old wetsuits). I’ve tried glueing then stitching with dental floss, but they tend to come undone. Any ideas please?
I have a hole about the size of your fingernail in my wetsuit, although I’m not sure how thick it is. It’s just below the abdominals and above the navel, on the grippy rubberised surface. It is roughly oval, and there is a space so you can see straight through to the skin, and there is still some of the material in there, so there is a kind of circular hole with two straight forward tears leading up. Do I need to get hold of some kind of neoprene and patch it as well as sew and stitch it?
If the hole is in the smooth skin of the wetsuit, we recommend just using an adhesive which doesn’t need any patching or stitching. You can try either the O’Neill Wetsuit Repair Cement: https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/PROD/0146.html#.WV5MeVGQyUk or try using Aquaseal: https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/SEARCH.html?q=aquaseal. Hope that helps. Thank you!
I needed something to repair cracks in the glued seals (over the seams). Do you recommend any product? TY
We recommend either of these products to repair cracks in the seals: 1) https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/PROD/10114.html or 2) https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/PROD/0146.html.
Hi! Will neoprene cement work on a damp Wetsuit? If that is not ideal, will it hold for a temporary fix until we can fully dry it? Hoping to catch some waves tomorrow and Saturday. Thanks so much. You rock!
Hey Sally. I don’t think it will hold (but never tried.) Can you hit it with a blow dryer or blow a box fan on it for a few hours? Chris
Hey Lauren, the first day I went out with my wet suit I got a tear and I was wondering if I could just stitch it back together and then put cement on top or should I just put cement on top?
If the tear is just a slice (not missing a chunk of material) you can just use cement. If you are missing a chunk of material, you may need to patch it with a section of neoprene. Stitching shouldn’t be necessary in most cases. Thanks!
Can I shorten the sleeves and legs of a neoprene suit myself? The suit is new I just got it but I only have 2 weeks before my trip and can’t rely on exchanging it.
If you have some experience sewing, this should be possible. However, I would not recommend just cutting the sleeves or legs without hemming – the nylon laminate may start to unravel.
Hey, the left knee on my patagonia wetsuit has a small hole developing. What is the best method to repair the knee?
We recommend using Aquaseal or a similar neoprene adhesive. If larger, consider using a scrap piece of neoprene as a patch!
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