Whether you are an avid surfer or a passionate scuba diver, taking care of your gear is essential for both performance and longevity. Among all the equipment you may own, your wetsuit is perhaps the most important. Not only does it keep you warm and protected from the elements, but it also allows you to fully enjoy your water adventures. To ensure your wetsuit remains in optimal condition, there is one secret weapon you should have in your arsenal: wetsuit conditioner.
Why Do You Need Wetsuit Conditioner?
Wetsuit conditioner is a specially formulated product designed to protect and care for your wetsuit. It offers a multitude of benefits that can significantly extend the lifespan of your gear. Here are the top reasons why you should incorporate wetsuit conditioner into your routine:
1. Maintain Flexibility:
Wetsuits are made from neoprene, a synthetic rubber known for its excellent flexibility and insulation properties. Over time, exposure to saltwater, chlorine, and sunlight can cause the neoprene to stiffen and lose its elasticity. By regularly applying wetsuit conditioner, you can prevent your suit from becoming rigid, ensuring maximum mobility and comfort in the water.
2. Enhance Durability:
Wetsuits are subjected to rigorous use and abuse. Frequent wear and tear can result in the development of small tears or holes, compromising the effectiveness of your gear. Wetsuit conditioner acts as a protective layer, sealing and reinforcing neoprene fibers to minimize the risk of damage and increase the overall durability of your suit.
3. Prevent Odors:
We all know that a used wetsuit can become quite smelly over time. The combination of sweat, saltwater, and bacteria creates the ideal breeding ground for unpleasant odors. Wetsuit conditioner contains antimicrobial agents that help eliminate bacteria and prevent the buildup of funky smells. Keeping your wetsuit fresh and odor-free will not only enhance your comfort but also ensure you are ready for your next water adventure.
4. Protect Against UV Rays:
The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be harmful not only to your skin but also to your wetsuit. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause neoprene to degrade, resulting in color fading, cracking, and reduced insulation properties. Wetsuit conditioner contains UV inhibitors that shield your suit from the damaging effects of the sun, preserving its vibrant color and structural integrity.
How to Properly Use Wetsuit Conditioner
Now that you understand the importance of wetsuit conditioner, let’s dive into the proper steps to ensure its effective use:
1. Rinse Thoroughly:
After each use, rinse your wetsuit with freshwater to remove sand, salt, and any other debris. This step is crucial as it prevents the buildup of harmful residues that can damage the neoprene.
2. Apply Wetsuit Conditioner:
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply the wetsuit conditioner evenly all over your suit, paying extra attention to high-wear areas such as the knees and elbows. Gently massage the conditioner into the neoprene to ensure optimal absorption.
3. Let It Soak:
Allow the conditioner to soak into the neoprene for the recommended amount of time specified by the product instructions. This will ensure that the conditioner effectively penetrates and protects your wetsuit.
4. Rinse and Dry:
Thoroughly rinse your suit with freshwater to remove any excess conditioner. Avoid using hot water or harsh detergents, as they can degrade the neoprene. Hang your wetsuit in a shaded, well-ventilated area to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight and heat sources, as they can further damage the neoprene.
5. Store Properly:
Once your wetsuit is completely dry, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Hanging it on a wide-shouldered hanger will help maintain its shape.
In conclusion, taking care of your wetsuit is paramount for a great water experience. Incorporating wetsuit conditioner into your routine will not only extend the lifespan of your gear but also ensure maximum comfort and protection. By maintaining flexibility, enhancing durability, preventing odors, and protecting against UV rays, wetsuit conditioner becomes your best ally in preserving the quality of your wetsuit. So, the next time you gear up for an aquatic adventure, make sure you treat your wetsuit with the care it deserves and enjoy the benefits of a well-conditioned suit.