A good suit, especially in winter, can really make a difference. Wearing a warm but sufficiently elastic suit to leave a good freedom of movement is at least as important as having the right equipment. Yet we do not always take care of our wetsuits as we should and this unfortunately often results in malodorous neoprene and above all that deteriorates early. Surely you have in mind the unpleasant feeling of putting on a wet suit on a cold winter day, because the suit has not had time to dry from the session the day before. Personally it is one of the things I hate most, so over the years I have developed some small tricks to avoid it as much as possible and at the same time prolong the life of neoprene.
How to wash the suit
First of all, after each session it is important to wash the suit with fresh water. Remove the salt, rinsing the suit with fresh water helps it dry first. It is sufficient to rinse the suit in the shower or in the tub, or in a tub if you have a garden. This also helps to preserve the neoprene and avoid bad smells. If despite washing in fresh water your suit has a bad smell, maybe because the season is particularly humid and you have not dried it as I will explain to you now, you can disinfect it by adding a little napisan or other disinfectant from the washing machine to the water, without exaggeration. I recommend you do not use bleach or the like for any reason. At the end of the season or, if necessary, the suit can also be washed with a little neutral, non-aggressive liquid detergent. Choose one for delicate items and take care to rinse the suit thoroughly. Eventually in the specialized surf shops or on amazon there are specics.
How to dry the suit
Once rinsed the suit can be spread, preferably backwards. Being full of water and heavy it is better that it drips in half on a hanger and NOT hung by the shoulders. This will prevent it from deforming and will preserve the neoprene in one of the areas most subjected to wear and tear. Obviously the suit should not be laid on the radiator, nor in front of the fire. However, you can lay it in the shower or on the terrace if the external humidity is not excessive. In our parts, in winter even if you roll it out at home, hardly a 4/3 wetsuit will dry in one night. You can then squeeze it gently several times, so as to help the water flow out ... personally I have experienced that the spin of the washing machinecan do this job for you without inconvenience. How to do it is very simple but you must have a washing machine that allows you to select a gentle spin program (maximum 1000 rpm, but 800 are already more than enough). The suit will come out of the washing machine well squeezed and not too scrambled. On some occasions I also tried to do a cold rinse directly in the washing machine, selecting a delicate program and I must say that I found no problems. The only thing to watch out for is that it does not start, perhaps by mistake, a wash program for cotton or any hot program because it could ruin the suit. I also recommend adjusting the intensity of the centrifuge.
After the spin you will see that your wetsuit will be much quicker to dry and at this point, hung up and left to dry overnight will definitely be ready for the next morning's session!
However, even if you are not able to have your dry suit, you will notice a small accessory that could be useful to someone. In practice it is a hanger with integrated hair dryer that dries a wetsuit in a few hours! (if you plan to do the same with your hair dryer let it go ... this has the right temperature and power, with your risk you only risk doing damage).
How to repair the suit
In the case of small lacerations it is important to repair the suit as soon as possible, and above all before a small hole turns into an irreparable gash! If the cut is caused for example by a fin or something else that has torn it, once repaired you will have no problem. If, on the other hand, the suit begins to give way to the points subjected to greater stress, eg. the seams, you can repair it and maybe make it another season, but the failure is often synonymous with the fact that the time has come to move to a new wetsuit. However, considering that the repair is really easy and cheap, it is worth trying in any case.
How to repair a wetsuit?
Nothing could be easier: just a tube of liquid neoprene. It is a kind of glue, inside the tube there is neoprene that once solidified becomes one with the suit. It is found in surf shops but often also in the decathlon. If you don't feel like looking around, of course there's also amazon: liquid neoprene on amazon