Here are a few tips about caring for your wetsuit. If you have spent hundreds of dollars on a new wetsuit then you want it to last (at least until the fashion changes and black is not 'in' anymore!)
1. Do not use petroleum based lubricants such as Vaseline and others. These will start to corrode your wetsuit and make it weaker. If you need to put some sort of gel around the neck for chaffing then purchase a proper glide type product.
2. Take care putting the wetsuit on. You might be nervous before an event or rushed, ready to get to the swim start. Finger Nails are the enemy! Take care. There are a number of videos on you tube that show you various methods of putting a wetsuit on such as this one.
3. After you come out of the swim you are probably not focused on wetsuit care just cursing that you can’t get it off quick enough. One simple piece of advice – instead of throwing it on the ground in a ball of wet mush, throw it over the bike rack where your bike is. It will hang and dry out making it easier to carry home. It also provides a good marker to where your bike needs to go when you return from your ride.
After a Race (or Training Session)
1. Clean it! Rinse it in fresh water after use – get the grass off and all the sea bits and pieces you might have picked up.
2. Dry it inside out. Keep away from direct sunlight or heat.
3. Check that there is no damage picked up during the race. Repair if necessary. There is neoprene cement to help
4. Don’t put the wetsuit on a hanger unless it is the correct size (very large). A large plastic suit hanger is best. A small hanger can cause the wetsuit to lose its shape.
5. Best to store the wetsuit flat if possible – one fold max.
6. Store in a cool dry place. In the wardrobe is fine. Avoid damp places such as the garage or laundry.
Following these simple tips will mean the wetsuit will last many years and make the payment seem better value for money. Of course as your swimming and race times get better you’ll want to upgrade to the top shelf wetsuits to really swim faster.