How to Repair a Wetsuit
How to Repair a Wetsuit
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!