Saturday, 5 January 2013

How to rinse, dry and store an open cell spearfishing / freediving wetsuit

When I got my nice new open cell wetsuit I was really paranoid about damaging it, so here is what I do to keep it in good condition after using it.

Rinsing your open cell wetsuit after use

If you have been using the suit in the sea, freshwater or pool it is always a good idea to wash it in freshwater  afterwards. After a dive a put all my neoprene into a bin bag for the journey home. This keeps everything else form getting wet and helps protect the suit from damage.  I fill my empty equipment box with freshwater in the bath and wash my wetsuit in it. I don't use soap or anything, just cold freshwater. make sure you fully soak the inside and outside so no salt water is left in the neoprene. Pouring water down the sleeves / legs helps reach all the suit.

Drying your open cell wetsuit after rinsing

I use a clothes horse placed in the bath to dry my wetsuit and equipment. I dry my open cell wetsuit and socks inside out, this is the best way to do it in my opinion. I never got the inside dry properly when just keeping it the right way round. The open cell inside will not take long to dry when inside out (e.g. overnight) and then you just turn the jacket and trousers the right way round to dry the outside which won't take long and won't be dripping water by then either. Water can pool in the hood so it is a good idea to tip the hood up a few times just after rinsing. Easy.

Drying an open cell spearfishing / freediving wetsuit

Storing your open cell wetsuit

Creasing, compressing and stretching your wetsuit all want to be avoided when drying and storing an open cell wetsuit. Hanging it up is not easy to do without avoiding these problems I have found and just laying it out takes up lots of room. Folding the wetsuit is best avoided because it will make permanent creases and compress the neoprene along these creases compromising its effectiveness and keeping you warm. What  I find does the job is rolling up the trousers in the jacket and tucking the arms in. By rolling it you avoid making creases and it ends up not taking up much space for storing and transporting.

Spearfishing / freediving open wetsuit  rolled up for storage

Let me know if you have any other methods which work for you.

Happy diving

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