How to Repair Your Wetsuit

blueseventy wetsuits are crafted from the highest quality of neoprene available. Unfortunately this means that they are more susceptible to damage than your average surfing or dive wetsuit. It's fairly easy to accidentally rip the neoprene when getting into and out of the suit. Fingernail nicks are the most common issue and are most often seen on the legs and arms of a wetsuit.

fingernail nick in wetsuit

Small fingernail nick in a wetsuit leg.

The next most common are small tears at the seams of the suit. These are usually the result of pulling too hard when putting the suit on or by catching or pinching the seam of the wetsuit with your nails. As we make every effort to ensure that our products use the highest quality materials and craftsmanship available, you too should use the utmost care with your wetsuit to avoid accidental damage. Should a tear or fingernail cut occur, then repairing it yourself is a very simple job.

Always wear the white cotton gloves that come with your wetsuit to prevent damage from fingernails while putting your suit on. For further care information click here.

In order to repair a tear or nick you will need neoprene cement glue. We recommend Aquaseal Neo Neoprene Cement. You can easily purchase it from us, here. The Aquaseal cement comes in an easy to use tube that you can apply directly to the damaged area. 

wetsuit repair - aquaseal

 

For small fingernail nicks or other tiny repairs, a paperclip can be helpful to spread the glue and avoid a mess. If the tear is larger than 0.5-1" you may also want a small brush (such as an artists painting brush) or a spatula (which can simply be a thin piece of plastic or card).

Follow these steps to repair your wetsuit.

Step 1: 
Fold the wetsuit over at the point of the tear so that it opens up to reveal the insides of the two surfaces that need to be glued back together.

fold the neoprene back to expose the tear

 

Step 2: 
Apply a thin, even layer of Aquaseal glue to both surfaces. If it is a nick or tear that does not go completely through the neoprene and liner you can carefully fill the nick area with glue. Too much glue will overflow when you press the sides back together, too little and you won't get a complete seal. (You can always add additional coats if needed). Continue to hold the cut open while the glue dries (5 minutes). Do not rejoin the surfaces while the glue is still wet or tacky.

apply thin layer of glue

 

If repairing a small nick, the tip of the Aquaseal tube may be too wide to get a clean application of glue. We recommend using a paperclip for small repairs. 

a paperclip helps fill small tears

 

Simply squeeze a small drop of glue onto the tip of an unfolded paperclip and paint the glue inside the nick. 

using a paperclip to apply glue

 

Step 3: 
Keeping the tear open, allow the glue to dry for 5 minutes. We've found the easiest way to do this is to use a clothespin or small clamp so that you don't have to stand there holding your wetsuit for 5 minutes. The glue looks glossy when wet. It will become more matte when dry. Once it appears dry, check it by gently touching the glue surface. When dry, it will feel only slightly tacky and will not stick to your finger.

use clamp to keep tear open

 

Step 3a: 
The instructions on the Aquaseal mention applying a second coat of glue once the first has dried for 5 minutes. Apply the second coat in the same manner and allow to dry for 10 minutes. 

We've found that for smaller nicks this second coat isn't always needed. Please use your own judgement on your repair if you need one or two coats of glue. The second coat will likely create a stronger bond.

Step 4: 
Flatten out the suit so that the two surfaces come together. The bond is instant.

flatten out the wetsuit to bond the glue

 

Step 5: 
Press the two surfaces firmly together.

press the two surfaces together

 

And you're done! *
The Aquaseal creates a solid bond that will not pull apart even when the neoprene is stretched out, such as when you're putting on your wetsuit.

completed repair being stretched

Notes:

The suit can be used in the water straight away. However, the maximum bond is achieved over a period of 4 to 6 hours. Therefore, you should use extra caution to avoid putting any immediate pressure on to the repaired surface if you need to get into your wetsuit immediately.

*If you find you've completed all the steps and the tear is not completely sealed you can easily repeat the steps, to fill in the area that did not seal. We also find that it can be useful to use the paperclip to apply a thin seal along the seam of the repaired tear. Use a baby wipe or damp paper towel to remove any excess glue from the around the repair site while it's still wet. Allow the new layer of glue to dry completely. 

not fully sealed
After completing the repair process this tear was not completely sealed. We squeezed open the remaining bit of tear, added a new layer of glue and let dry.