Wetsuit drying can be a problem if you only have one suit and want to get back in the water as soon as possible, without having to struggle to put on your suit when it is cold and wet inside! Here are 3 tips that will help you get your suit dryer, quicker!
For all drying methods listed below, you will need (at the very least) to rinse your wetsuit thoroughly as salt will destroy it very quickly if you do not! The best way we know of cleaning your neoprene ‘second skin’, is to soak it in warm water for around fifteen minutes. Occasionally, a gentle shampoo with a proprietary neoprene shampoo will be beneficial.
1. The Rinse and Squeeze Method
Sounds ominous, but is actually very simple, effective and can cut drying time to just a couple of hours. Rinse your suit thoroughly, hang it on a wetsuit drying hanger inside out. Preferably, hang it outside in the breeze but out of the sun.
After around twenty minutes, you can squeeze the pooled water out of the arms and legs. Working from shoulder to wrist on the arms and top of leg to ankles on the legs, squeeze out as much of the water as you can.
Allow another twenty minutes and then repeat the process.
Leave your suit on your wetsuit drying hanger for at least another hour, after which time, it should be comfortably dry and you are good to go!
2. The Big Fluffy Towel Method
Lay a couple of large bath towels on the floor and, after rinsing your suit, place it inside out on top. Now, you have two choices as to how to proceed – either:
- Roll up your suit inside the towels, pressing firmly. Kneel on the roll when completed, shifting your weight along the roll to give your suit the maximum squeeze.
- Place another large towel over your suit and walk all over it to squeeze out the water.
Once it is as dry as you can get it, hang your wetsuit on your drying rack until needed.
3. A Wetsuit Drying System For Indoor Drying
During the winter, in cold weather, or for those who live in apartments without an outdoor drying space, a wetsuit drying system that works efficiently is vital. Remember that ventilation is important as the suit needs airing as well as drying.
A bathroom is an obvious choice as your drying hanger can hang over the bath or in the shower, to catch the drips. For good ventilation, open the window or turn on the extractor fan.
If you can invest in a dehumidifier, these are an excellent way to speed up the drying process indoors. You can use them in a small room or walk-in closet but make sure that you leave the door or a window ajar for some ventilation and remember to put a drip tray or similar, underneath your hanger or drying rack. Dehumidifiers are a good choice because they do not use heat.
Tumble-drying is probably not a good idea (even if some surfing forums have posts saying that a low-temperature tumble dry, never did their suit any harm), as using temperatures above 30oC can damage the seams by weakening the glue. This will shorten the life of your wetsuit.
However, popping your wetsuit in the washing machine and spin-drying it (without using a wash cycle) is probably quite a good method of getting the worst of the water out before placing it on a wetsuit drying hanger or drying rack.