Hang it high to dry – neoprene best practice tips

Wetsuits – the clue’s pretty much in the name. Rubber garments designed to be worn in the brine are produced with the purpose of getting wet. Some come in ‘semi-dry’ form (as is the case with NCW’s front zip offerings) but ultimately you’ll need H20 inside your rubber to get it working at its optimum.

For those not aware wetsuits, wetsuits boots, neoprene gloves and all the accessories we wear in the ocean work like central heating systems. Water lines the void between skin and rubber and the wearer’s body heat (created through energetic activity) heats the liquid. Neoprene adds a layer of insulation and keeps the warmed water layer in place, ensuring the user is snug and toasty.

At times there will be a degree of ‘flush’ – if a surfer gets nailed and ‘washed’ there may be fluid passing through and exiting, allowing a new layer in. Here at NCW, however, we work hard on our seals to ensure this is minimal. For as long as possible we want that initial layer to remain where it is – doing its job efficiently.

Our booties, gloves and hoods work in exactly the same fashion. In fact, most wetsuits and wetsuit accessories are the similar across the board (with varying degrees of performance from brand to brand).

North Coast Wetsuits 5/3mm wetty

It’s worth pointing out, however, that starting with a wet wetty is recipe for disaster. We see time and again users leaving rubber in a pile after their last session. Only to be retrieved when the next pulse of swell shows up. It’s no wonder sessions setting off on a cold foot are less than pleasant.

We recommend any piece of NCW rubber be thoroughly dried before use. That means placing in a moisture free environment where your garment can drip unhindered. As long as the atmosphere is arid there’s no reason your kit shouldn’t be ready for the following day. This is imperative during winter (more so than summer) – there’s nothing worse than clambering into icy neoprene pre-dawnie. It’s then worth bringing your rubber up to room temperature before use. If this is done every time you’ll be laughing and getting the maximum from your neoprene.

Stay tuned for more tips over the coming weeks…

Check out more products in NCW’s shop – www.northcoastwetsuits.co.uk/new/category/wetsuits/