Wetsuit Care, Drying and Storage

I’ve read it’s best to let your wetsuit drip dry inside out between sessions after rinsing. I’ve been good about observing that recommendation, since that’s usually the way I fight my way out of my wetsuit anyway when all is said and done.
I noticed one of our suits from last year that was hung up in the closet on a hanger like we usually hang them:

Normal way most people hang up wetsuits

The downside is I noticed that the heavy duty hanger I used kind of left a “lump” in the shoulder. I’m sure this won’t be noticeable after wearing it a while, but is does remind you how heavy neoprene really is.

Shoulder lump

I was trying to think of a better way to hang up and store my suits inbetween wearings, and for seasonal storage.
For inbetween wearings, nothing’s worse than letting it dry in the sun. It will actually break down the polymers of the neoprene. I hang mine in the garage after rinsing, but that’s usually on a hanger, which is now even more weight subjected on the wetsuit’s shoulders with the combination of the heavy neoprene and water. I thought clipping the arms or legs up might work, but I didn’t want to leave impressions in the neoprene. Then I thought the zipper may be a good option. It’s strong, it has it’s own hanging hole, and if I zip it up slightly before hanging, it will bear the weight much better:

Zipper shown zipped up slightly

I used an ordinary shower hook, ran it through the metal hole on the tab on the zipper, and there you go, a simple hanger:

Wetsuit hanging from a shower hook on the zipper tab

This is far stronger than depending on the neoprene to manage the weight.
Now, for those who have zipperless suits (I do too), make a sling out of some 1/2″ nylon webbing tape, put grommets in either end and string the webbed tape loop up onto the shower hook, only suspend your wetsuit on the loop between the crotch (yeehaw- hope you’re not wearing the suit at the time). This will distribute some of the weight over the suit, but will still allow the appendages to be free enough to dry.
For storage, I really recommend getting a closet suit cover that’s pretty big. I’ve gotten some off of Craigslist for next to nothing, and they show up at Goodwill new from time to time (Target donates a lot of overstock). If you get a big sized one, you can hang (off of hooks, not hangers!) 3 or 4 suits or vests. This will help them from getting sunlight on them, protect them against damage from other junk in your closet. If you throw a couple of those silica gel packs in the bottom before you zip up the case- you know, those little desiccant pouches that are in everything from medications to shoes- those will help keep some of the moisture from making your wetsuits funky next season.
But then, you already had the lock on Funky, right? Dig it.

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