Wetsuit Repair 101: How to Fix Common Issues at Home

Your wetsuit is an essential piece of gear for water activities, providing warmth, protection, and comfort. However, regular use can lead to wear and tear. Instead of replacing your wetsuit at the first sign of damage, you can often fix common issues at home. Here’s a guide to help you perform basic wetsuit repairs and extend the life of your wetsuit.

1. Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before starting any repairs, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Neoprene cement
  • Wetsuit repair patches
  • Seam tape
  • Scissors
  • Brush or applicator
  • Heavy-duty sewing needle and thread (nylon or polyester)
  • Wax paper or plastic sheets

2. Repairing Tears and Holes

Small Tears and Punctures


  1. Clean the Area: Rinse the damaged area with fresh water and let it dry completely.
  2. Apply Neoprene Cement: Use a brush or applicator to apply a thin layer of neoprene cement to both sides of the tear. Let it dry for about 5 minutes.
  3. Press Together: Carefully align the edges of the tear and press them together. Hold firmly for a few minutes.
  4. Reinforce if Necessary: For added durability, place a piece of wax paper on either side of the repair and apply pressure using a heavy object. Leave it for several hours or overnight.

Larger Tears


  1. Clean and Dry the Area: Ensure the area around the tear is clean and dry.
  2. Apply Seam Tape: Cut a piece of seam tape slightly longer than the tear. Apply neoprene cement to the tape and the wetsuit around the tear. Let it dry for a few minutes.
  3. Attach the Tape: Carefully place the tape over the tear, pressing firmly to ensure good adhesion. Allow it to dry completely before use.

3. Fixing Seam Damage

Loose or Split Seams


  1. Assess the Damage: Determine the extent of the damage along the seam.
  2. Apply Neoprene Cement: Brush neoprene cement along the split seam and let it dry for a few minutes.
  3. Reinforce with Seam Tape: For added strength, apply seam tape over the repaired area, ensuring it adheres well.

4. Repairing Zippers

Stuck or Malfunctioning Zippers


  1. Clean the Zipper: Rinse the zipper with fresh water to remove any salt or debris. Dry it thoroughly.
  2. Lubricate the Zipper: Apply a zipper lubricant or a small amount of paraffin wax along the teeth. Move the zipper back and forth to ensure smooth operation.

Broken Zipper Teeth


  1. Replace the Zipper: If the teeth are broken or the zipper is beyond repair, it’s best to replace the entire zipper. This can be a complex repair and might require professional help if you’re not confident in your sewing skills.

5. Fixing Loose or Detached Seals

Wrist, Ankle, and Neck Seals


  1. Apply Neoprene Cement: Clean the area where the seal has come loose. Apply a thin layer of neoprene cement to both the wetsuit and the seal. Let it dry for a few minutes.
  2. Press Together: Carefully align and press the seal back into place. Hold firmly for a few minutes.
  3. Reinforce if Needed: For a more secure repair, use seam tape over the edge of the seal.

6. Preventative Maintenance Tips

To keep your wetsuit in good condition and minimise the need for repairs:

  • Rinse After Use: Always rinse your wetsuit with fresh water after each use to remove salt, sand, and chlorine.
  • Dry Properly: Hang your wetsuit to dry in a shaded area, avoiding direct sunlight which can degrade the neoprene.
  • Store Correctly: Store your wetsuit flat or on a wide hanger to prevent creases and maintain its shape.
  • Regular Inspections: Periodically check your wetsuit for any signs of damage and address them promptly.


Repairing your wetsuit at home is a cost-effective way to extend its life and ensure it continues to perform well. With the right tools and techniques, you can fix common issues like tears, seam damage, and zipper problems. Regular maintenance and prompt repairs will keep your wetsuit in top condition, ready for all your aquatic adventures.

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