Storing Wetsuits

I just received a wetsuit for my 10 week old daughter, but I don’t think it will fit for more than another year or two. Any suggestions for keeping it in good shape.

Store it in a cool, dry place out of direct sun. Lay it flat, hang it on a wetsuit hanger(do they make’em that small?) or roll it, just don’t fold it.

Spray it with silicone spray before you stow it away


If you hang it up on a hanger try just folding it in half and hanging from crossbar of hanger rather than from the shoulders. I’ve seen lots of suits wear out in the shoulders from that.

Also rinse in a bucket or bath tub with an ounce or two of cream rinse (for hair)helps keep the rubber from cracking. Smells better too.

What I have had luck with is this;

Wash in fresh water with a cleaner/disinfectant like Pine-sol.

Rinse and rinse again in fresh water. Let dry, ideally not in direct sunlight.

Store in a covered container, inside out ( the nylon-lycra lining prevents cracking to some extent) . Avoid folds, as neoprene tends to crack when folded: I just chuck suits into a Tupperware or Rubbermaid box, kinda random-like, same box as you’d keep in your trunk or truck to carry wet wetsuits in and it’s also a good container to use when you do the wash and rinse thing.

Keep away from heat, chemical or exhaust fumes and ozone: garages are a bad spot. Cellars are good.

I’ll also note that this is a good time to check the suit over, maybe fix any seams that are starting to go, before storing it.

hope that’s of use


After surf session, take off and toss in pick-up bed.

Wait, no that won’t really work will it.

Doc’s advice was perfect. Mine was just humour.


Actually… all that was what I reccomend. What I actually do is something else again…

like chucking it in the bed of the truck…


Let it dry inside out … always. That way nothing grows inside causing rashes or dematitis.

To get it off you gotta turn it inside out. Leave it that way and rinse it thoroughly with fresh water. Standing in the shower and doing it before you soap yourself up works great.

Just put it on a wetsuit hanger and let it drip dry. Then put it some where that there is good air circulation out of the sun. Once it’s dry hang it up in a dark closet. The lest light it sees the longer it’ll last.

Once in a while you can fill the tub up with warm water and put the cheapest hair conditioner in you can find. Just let the suit soak for a couple of hours and then rinse it with cold water. This will soften and condition the suit nicely.

It’s been my experience having more than one suit and rotating them makes for good longevity.

Mahalo, Rich

P.S. Got a tube ride that lasted over 3 seconds at Sharks Cove this morning. Whoooooooow!! Way deep --Stoked!!!

Thanks for the suggestions, I should treat my own so well. My baby’s suit is new do you still think I should wash it before store it.

A good hanger is important. Take some pipe insulation, split it and put a hole in the middle. Get a plastic hanger and put the hook thru the hole in the insulation. Use some electrical tape to hold it on the hanger. I keep my off-season wetsuits indoors in a closet and put a big plastic trash bag over the hanger to cover it. Make sure it’s clean and dry before storing. Dive shops sell wetsuit detergent, soak and handwash with some in a plastic trash can and rinse well. Never dry a wetsuit in the sun.

TMC, no you do not need to wash it if it has never been used. Here is Santa Cruz O’Neill has a deal where he will take back kids suits, to resale, and give you a cut on eather a new suit or give you one of the used suits free. Of corse the suit has to be an O’Neill to begin with. Great deal for kids. If you are from close to Santa Cruz don’t forget about this. Everyone else has given you great ideas on how to keep it in good shape, and if you do this you can get more for it as a trade in. I find that washing my suits out in warm water seems to make them last a little longer.

living in the northeast we get the great treat of wearing 6/4 winter suits for a good five to six months. Then we get to gradually bring down the rubber. I used to store all of them in my closet on hangars, now I am too lazy so they are all just balled up and thrown in a big rubbermaid storage container. Works fine for me, i actually just keep it outside, its waterproof. Nothing better than come february and having to put on a freezing cold rip curl ultimate elasto, trying to squeeze into that will cure any hangover. I especially like wet booties that have ice inside from my last session…oh so good on the toes