There's something magical about riding the waves, feeling the salty breeze on your face, and conquering the mighty ocean. For surfers, the wetsuit is more than just gear; it's a second skin that allows us to dance with the waves no matter the temperature. However, maintaining this essential piece of equipment is crucial not only for its longevity but also for your hygiene. In this guide, we'll explore the art of keeping your wetsuit clean and fresh, ensuring every surf is as exhilarating as the first.
Rinse, Rinse, Rinse
The golden rule after every surf session is to rinse your wetsuit thoroughly. Saltwater, sand, and seaweed can degrade the neoprene material and cause unpleasant odors. Use fresh, cool water to wash away all the residue. Turn your wetsuit inside out and pay extra attention to the zippers and seams, where debris tends to accumulate.
Say No to Sunbathing
Your wetsuit might love basking in the sun, but it's a different story for the material. UV rays can damage the neoprene, causing it to lose flexibility and degrade faster. After rinsing, hang your wetsuit in the shade, preferably on a wide hanger to maintain its shape. Avoid hanging it by the shoulders, as the weight can stretch the material.
Proper Drying Techniques
Drying your wetsuit properly is as crucial as rinsing it. Avoid using a dryer or leaving it in direct sunlight. Instead, lay it flat on a clean, dry surface. Turning it inside out can speed up the drying process. Wetsuit-specific hangers with wide arms are excellent for hanging your wetsuit inside to air dry. Ensure it's completely dry before storing it.
Don't have a wetsuit hangar? Check out this great option: https://www.thehangpro.com/slidehanger.aspx
Regular Deep Cleaning
Even with regular rinsing, your wetsuit deserves a deep clean occasionally. Use a wetsuit-specific cleaner or mild, eco-friendly soap to clean it thoroughly. Soak your wetsuit in a tub of water mixed with the cleaner for about 30 minutes. Gently scrub the material with a soft brush, focusing on areas with stubborn dirt or salt residue. Rinse it thoroughly afterward.
Our suggestion for an all-natural wetsuit shampoo: https://www.paupilau.com/products/
Nothing kills the surfing vibe like a smelly wetsuit. To combat odors, consider using products like wetsuit deodorizers or odor eliminators. Alternatively, a homemade solution of water and vinegar can help neutralize odors. Spritz this mixture inside your wetsuit and let it air dry.
Once your wetsuit is clean and dry, store it properly. Avoid leaving it crumpled in a bag or the trunk of your car. Instead, store it flat or hang it using wide, padded hangers in a cool, dry place. Ensure it's completely dry before storing it to prevent mold growth.
Caring for your wetsuit is not just about preserving an expensive piece of gear; it's about ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable surfing experience every time you hit the waves. By following these tips, you not only extend the lifespan of your wetsuit but also guarantee that every surf is a thrilling adventure, free from the distractions of bad odors or uncomfortable, degraded neoprene. So, keep your wetsuit clean, embrace the waves, and let the ocean be your playground!