Wetsuit care made easy
So you’ve chosen your triathlon wetsuits, paid for it and taken it home. Short of admiring it lovingly, how can you look after it so it stays the distance, season after season? Wetsuit care needs to be high on your list. If you take these few simple steps, your suit will stay in great condition during the triathlon season and over the winter. Here’s what we recommend:
Guard against chafing, but don’t use petroleum jelly-based lubricants (like Vaseline). The neoprene of your wetsuit won’t react well to it and may perish. Instead, use one of the products which have been carefully developed for use with wetsuits. They’re readily available in most online triathlon stores.
Gently does it when putting your triathlon wetsuit on. Leave yourself lots of time, so you don’t have to rush it. Try not to use your fingernails, instead try pulling small sections of the neoprene up using the pads of your fingers. Rather than trying to pull the whole thing up in one go, do it small section by section, easing the suit on.
After every training session and race, rinse your wetsuit in cold water. One easy way is to hold it over the bath or shower and direct the shower-head inside the suit and down the arms and legs. Then put your triathlon wetsuit on a large plastic coathanger and hang it up to dry over the bath. You may need to turn it inside out after a while to ensure both the inside and outside are dry. Make sure there are no kinks in the neoprene and the cuffs aren’t turned up.
Check your wetsuit from time to time. You’re looking for tears, nicks and any areas of damage. If you spot anything, repair it with special neoprene glue, available from online triathlon stores. A small dab will seal most minor tears. If your triathlon wetsuit gets seriously damaged, contact the manufacturer to see if they can repair it (most will).
Wetsuit care post training
Once you’ve trained and raced for the final time each season, put wetsuit care high on your list of things to do post swim. Rinse it thoroughly and make extra-sure it’s completely dry. Then fold it flat and store it somewhere cool, dry and away from pets and pests. Under the bed, on top of the wardrobe or in a cupboard…just remember where you put it.
Check your wetsuit over before the triathlon season starts. A few weeks ahead of your first open-water training session of the year, get your suit out from its winter hideaway and try it on. Hopefully it will still fit, but you never know! It should be in the same condition, but check it over just in case. Now’s the time to repair any damage and make sure it still fits well. And, if it doesn’t, you’ve got a great excuse to do a spot of wetsuit shopping!
Follow these tips for taking care of your triathlon wetsuit and it should last you many years, providing you with lots of happy seasons in the open-water.