Before you get stuck into trying to repair your wetsuit, you need to establish if it can be repaired or if it’s ready for the bin.
If it’s cracked and has gone stiff, your wetsuit is finished - sorry. Go and treat yourself to a nice new one. However if you have a rip, split seam or a hole in your wetsuit, you can fix it. It’s pretty easy, and I’m going to show you how to do it.
Before you start, make sure your wetsuit is clean and clear of salt. Once you have cleaned the wetsuit, rub the area you’re going to fix with alcohol so you don’t have any grease on it. This will help your neoprene cement to stick.
Large rips or seam splits
A large split or a coming apart of a seam will require you to sew it before applying any cement. Failure to do this will cause it to come apart again.
A nylon thread is the best choice, though you can use a strong dental floss. You don’t have to use any kind of special stitching, just hold the two edges together and sew it as best you can (try to keep your stitches close together for strength).
Once your sewing is completed, you need to make it watertight by applying neoprene cement. Apply two coats to each side, allowing it to dry between coats. Be careful not to stick the insides of wetsuit together.
Small rips and holes
For small holes and tears you don’t need to sew, just use neoprene cement to stick it back together. Alternatively you can use a patch - available in all good wetsuit repair kits.
That’s it! Once you have successfully repaired your wetsuit, pat yourself on the back, sit down and enjoy a nice, cold (or hot if your prefer) beverage. I find that a nice, cold beer does the trick.
Before you part with your hard earned cash on buying a new wetsuit, read Ali Mason’s guide on how to repair your wetsuit. You can visit Ali’s website for more information about mens wetsuits.