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wetsuit techniques

back zip wetsuits


Putting on or taking off your wetsuit is the most likely time to unintentionally stretch and stress the seams — especially if you're rushing to catch that first wave! Superstretch, smoothie or mesh neoprenes are very soft and are easily damaged or penetrated from sharp objects such as an excessively hard jab with a pointed thumb, fingernails etc, so take your time. Wetsuit techniques such as putting on and taking off should be practiced, make sure to use utmost care and your suit will last a lot longer!

Wetsuit techniques - Entry
A good trick is to use a plastic bag throughout this process, as it makes the suit slide on a lot easier.
  1. Put your foot into the bag and then pass it through the wetsuit.
  2. Once in place take the bag off and use it on the other foot.
  3. Work the suit up into place. It is essential to have the knee pads sitting in the correct position and the crutch as high as possible before proceeding to the top half.
  4. Once the suit is pulled up nice and high and when you're ready to put your arms through, use the plastic bag again on your hands. The bag reduces any stickiness and lets your limbs slide easily in and out of your wetsuit.
  5. Pull arm through and remove bag. Repeat with other arm.
  6. To do the zip up, hook one thumb through the loop at the bottom of the zip and pull downwards. With the other hand, pull the zip cord up while arching your shoulders backwards. Do not force the zip. If it jams in the zip flap, you will need to slide it down before trying to do it up again.
  7. Once zip is up, fasten the adjustable collar to a firm, comfortable position. A loose collar will let water in and can cause chaffing.
Wetsuit techniques - Exit
Take your time. Your wetsuit will slide easily off your body. You can also use the plastic bag again if needed.
  1. Undo the zip and unhook the velcro collar. Do not use the collar as a handle.
  2. Grab onto the shoulder or upper back area, to pull the wetsuit forward off the upper body.
  3. Lift your arm, upwards and backwards to peel off.
  4. Then roll or peel off the lower body to the feet, to end with the suit off and inside out.

zipless wetsuits

Zipless wetsuits by design and material type, are even more susceptible to unnecessary stress, so use care when getting in and out of your suit. Entry into a zipless suit is much the same as any other suit, but more care is needed and making sure the suit is pulled up as high as possible is even more crucial. A zipless wetsuit may feel like a struggle, but if you are aware of the right wetsuit techniques it doesn't have to be!

Entry
A good trick is to use a plastic bag throughout this process, as it makes the suit slide on a lot easier. Take extra care when stretching the neoprene panels, especially the side and mesh panels. Use smooth movements rather than sharp abrupt movements. Remember: zip is at the front.
  1. Put your foot into the bag and then pass it through the wetsuit.
  2. Once in place take the bag off and use it on the other foot.
  3. Work the suit up into place. It is essential to have the knee pads sitting in the correct position and the crutch as high as possible before proceeding to the top half.
  4. Once the suit is pulled up nice and high and when you're ready to put your arms through, use the plastic bag again on your hands. The bag reduces any stickiness and lets your limbs slide easily in and out of your wetsuit.
  5. Pull arm through and remove bag. Repeat with other arm.
  6. Make sure the suit is sitting right on your shoulders and in the body, that the arms are in properly, and the neck and shoulder panels are flat / not bunched at the back.
  7. Lean forward and while crouched, grab the bib behind you and pull it directly up and over your head.
  8. Zip up the suit from the right hand side, using your left hand to hold down the bib while the right hand fastens and slides acroos the zip.
  9. Fasten down the dome to prevent zip from sliding open in the surf.
Exit
  1. To take your suit off, unzip the neck bib panel and hold each side of the zip, then carefully lift upwards and backwards over your head.
  2. Using the opposite hand, turn each side down over each shoulder. Give it a good nudge down each shoulder for 60-90mm.
  3. Standing at ease, put one arm down and around to your back side and take hold of the neck bib hanging down your back. Pull the neck bib gently downwards to feel the suit lower over your shoulder blades.
  4. Now go back to your shoulder and give each side another nudge down towards each elbow. Repeat the motion on each side till you get one side over your elbow.
  5. Pull out your arm, leaving the sleeve inside out. Do the same with the other arm. Remember not to rush and to gently pull the suit where needed.
  6. You will feel at ease now with both hands free. Now peel or roll the wetsuit down over your torso and lower body towards your ankles.
  7. Remove one leg from the wetsuit. Try not to stand on the body or leg and stretch it out as this can damage the rubber. Again, be gentle. Repeat with the other leg.
  8. Now the wetsuit is off and inside out. Rinse, dry and turn through the right way before storing


how to put on & take off a zipless wetsuit

 


how NOT to take off a zipless wetsuit

 

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Seventhwave Wetsuits Ltd
243 Dyers Road
Christchurch 8062
New Zealand

Phone: International + 64 3 384 7878
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Email: info@seventhwave.co.nz