How many times have we rubbed against something or by simply adjusting our wetsuit we have nailed a nail creating a cut?
This is a problem that has a very simple and very cheap solution. It is important to repair it so as not to lose the qualities of the wetsuit and so that it does not break even more, in addition to the aesthetics.
Neoprene is used in many types of diving equipment and is a fairly resistant material, but a rub against a rock or simple wear and tear takes its toll.
In this post, I’ll guide you through repairing your wetsuit when it gets damaged. Keep in mind that these tips can also be applicable to surfing, spearfishing or freediving wetsuits.
I show you how to do it step by step and always have your semi-dry or wet suit as on the first day.
Why Repair Your Wetsuit?
Because you will extend the life of it, even better if you like the suit and it offers you a lot of comfort when diving. So if it cracks or breaks, try to fix it (if you can, of course). But if you see that the hole is too big, or too expensive to repair, you should just get a new wetsuit.
What Do You Need to Repair Your Diving Wetsuit?
The materials we are going to use are cheap and easy to find, most of them can be find at home.
1. Support to work with
It would be useful to have, for example, a glass or some cylindrical object turned upside down. We will use it to keep the cut open.
2. A spatula
You can use some sticks, a paintbrush, some sticks for the ears… We will use it to introduce and extend the glue.
3. Two weights
You can use a pair of weights or any two heavy objects. We will use it to maintain the neoprene where we want without moving.
This is what we will use to glue the two parts together to repair the cut. It is called by different names such as liquid neoprene or neoprene adhesive. There are also many brands, such as Cressi, Mares, Scubapro or Neoprene 24. The important thing is that it is of good quality and sticks well.
5. Additional Glue
You might need a special glue called Aquaseal. There are many different brands, but this is usually the one preferred by many dive centers to repair their own equipment.
This glue is special for equipment that is in contact with water and is even suitable for repairing booties, the silicone of diving goggles or a puncture in an inflatable kayak. When it dries, it will remain as a kind of silicone that is quite resistant and flexible.
How to Repair a Wetsuit with Aquaseal Step by Step
- Check that you have all the material you will need and that it is ready in our work area.
- Open the cut of the wetsuit, make sure it is completely clean and dry. If not, it will be necessary to clean it and let it dry until it meets the necessary conditions.
- Prepare a glass or cylinder on the work table and place the cut part of the wetsuit on the upper area.
- Grab weights or heavy objects and place them on both sides of the cylinder on top of the neoprene. The goal is to keep the cut open so that the suit does not move out of place.
- Open the glue and with the spatula put a first layer in the two parts of the cut or crack. It must not be a very thick layer, make sure it is well spread and it is only inside the cut.
- Let the glue dry for 3 or 4 hours with the cut or crack open. To check that it is dry you can touch it with your finger.
- Apply the second coat of adhesive, exactly the same as the first.
- After letting it dry for 15 minutes, you can now put the two parts together and apply pressure with your fingers by pinching the two sides for a few seconds. Make sure that it is well bonded and that the crack is completely closed.
- Let it dry for at least one hour before using it.
- Now all you have to do is put on the neoprene and jump into the water to enjoy.
- Let it dry at least 24 hours, and if it can be 48 hours, even better.
- Try to make the repair in the shade.
- The cleanliness and dryness of the area to be repaired is very important.
- Use the weights of your belt to put it over the suit (not over the glue) and leave it immobile while it dries.
- Use neoprene patches for tears in cuffs and ankles.
- Apply a thin layer if it is just a minor neoprene tear.