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Wetsuit Care Tips

Whatever suit style you decide on, we also suggest getting a "rash vest" to wear under your suit if you are going to be moving around a lot, otherwise you get wet suit "hickies" on your neck, armpits and other areas of high movement and tight fit.

Rash vests look good on the beach and in the water. These swim shirts are made of a soft material which you could wear all day long, not just for surfing and swimming, but also on land on their own or under your hoodie.

Rinse well after use

After your swim rinse your clothes and wetsuit well. Regardless if it is chlorine from the pool, salt and sand from the sea, or mud from a lake, it all can rot your suit.

Take a shower in your wetsuit to rinse the outside. Then take it off and rinse the inside. Now put it on a hanger in a well ventilated space.

Don't use any shampoo. It can damage the wetsuit or your Lycra rash shirt.

Delicate Smoothskin Wetsuits

Most wetsuits have a soft outer nylon fabric cover. Smoothskin suits do not. The advantage is that when you're out of the water it just runs off, avoiding evaporation chill. The downside is that it is more delicate and can get damaged.

If you really want to protect a smoothskin suit when you go scuba diving, wear a one-piece nylon stingersuit over the top of the smoothskin suit. That way you are less likely to rip or tear it on rocks or when taking the scuba gear on and off. This cover suit would have to be slightly larger than your wetsuit, as a well fitting nylon suit over a 3mm wetsuit may still be slightly too tight.

Alternative Protection

Protect the outside of your wetsuit with old clothes instead of a diveskin. Wear a long sleeve top and jeans or cargo pants over the wetsuit. It may create a bit more drag but is more robust than a stingersuit or diveskin, and has pockets for small stuff and keys.

Reader Comments

Neoprene Protection

by Troy, Cork, Ireland

After reading this web site I began protecting my precious wetsuit with old clothes. For snorkeling, coasteering and canoeing this is a great idea.

In the past I often messed up a good wetsuit on the rocks or in the boat. Now I wear old jeans and a hoodie or tracksuit. It all works out just fine. The different pockets come in handy at times.

For surfing this didn't work at all. The clothes are just too heavy when waterlogged. It's good fun for a while, but you don't catch many waves.


by Jim Barratts, New Orleans

I have heard of divers wearing a sweat shirt and jeans over their wetsuit when diving oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. That way their wetsuit doesn't get torn by the barnacles when they get pushed into a leg by the current. I wear a hoodie and jeans over my wetsuit when I go diving or snorkeling.

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