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Other Uses For Old Wetsuit?

   May 6th, 2020   Posted In: Articles  

Uses For Old Wetsuit

If you find yourself feeling chillier than normal when you’re out in the water it may very well be that the trusty old wetsuit you’ve had for the last few years isn’t able to keep up.

Wetsuits are strong and made for action but they do get worn out which means they stop keeping you as warm as they once did. Wetsuits are made from petroleum-based rubber so just throwing them away is not an option. So, what do you do with it? I’ll show you several uses for your old wetsuit.

Someone Else Can Use It

The fact of the matter is, having a wetsuit is a luxury that not everyone gets to have. Even though your wetsuit may be loose or worn and be less comfortable for you, it could provide a world of comfort for someone who may never be able to afford a properly fitting wetsuit.

There are countless ways to donate a used wetsuit. Many surf and marine organizations in the U.S., Mexico, and South America will put your wetsuit to good use. Many of them hold free surf or swimming camps for people who want to learn water sports but can’t afford all the gear. They are also given out to fishermen who need to stay warm while working long hours. Unless it is ripped to shreds, a donation is one of the best uses for old wetsuits.

Here are 3 ways to donate:

Let Someone Turn It Into Something Else

other use for old wetsuit

Old wetsuits can be turned into yoga mats like this one!

One of the best uses for old wetsuits is to recycle it and let a company turn it into something else. This is probably the best option if your suit is ripped, torn, or has big holes in it. There are countless companies out there that make great, earth-friendly products out of old wetsuit materials. Things like yoga mats, backpacks, water bottle insulators, bicycle tires, etc. Keep in mind though, this is not a donation. These are companies that are looking to make money with your old suit. The good news is many of the companies that do this are very environmentally aware and donate to causes that help planet earth.

Here are 3 recycling options:

Recycle It Yourself by Making Something

Getting creative can create dozens of uses for old wetsuits, so get out the scissors (they must be very sharp!) and the dental floss. (I’ll explain that later.)

The main component of a wetsuit is neoprene which is a very versatile substance. Not only is it super stretchy, flexible, and can withstand shock, but the linings on the wetsuit also make it pretty soft. The structure of a wetsuit makes it perfect for protecting things. Also, the main purpose of a wetsuit is insulation which means it works wonders for keeping drinks hot and cold.

Quick Warm Shower

One of the uses for old wetsuits that I loved is to make an insulating sleeve for a large bottle. The wetsuit sleeve will keep a bottle of water warm long enough to provide you with a quick warm shower after you get out of the ocean. It’s great on those chilly days when you’re taking off your suit. I have also seen surfers make custom fin protectors for their boards out of their old wetsuits so the fins don’t get dinged up during transportation.

Chart New Territory

The fact is, there is no limit to the uses of old wetsuits. Many people make things that will be used in the water. One tip here is: if you are going to make an item from an old wetsuit that you plan on getting wet, use dental floss to sew the seams. Dental floss is much stronger than thread and is meant to stay strong after it gets wet.

Everybody’s life is different which means you may want to make something totally suitable for you. If you need a jumping-off point on how to get started Hostevie is an amazing place to start. It shows you several things you can make right away like cases for Ipads and sunglasses. The best part is, it offers you step by step instructions on how to do it all. If what you want to make is not on there, the site should at least provide you with a good idea of how to start your project.

Keep It Handy For October

Finally, and this is a favorite as far as it comes to uses for an old wetsuit: Halloween! If you are like me and hate shopping and even thinking about a Halloween costume then your old suit can come in pretty handy. All you need is a few choice cuts into the suit, and some fake blood and you are now a shark bite victim! I have used this costume at least twice and it always gets a lot of comments.

Wes Severson is a fitness enthusiast and bodyboarder from San Francisco, CA who is always at Ocean Beach hitting the waves. He is also an Emmy Award-winning broadcast news writer and producer and a recording artist who goes by the name Wes Magic.

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One Comment

  • How do you loosen the glue holding the zipper in place on the wet suit. Have removed the stitching and have the new zipper but don’t want to tear the suit by pulling on the glue. Is there a way to loosen the glue? Heat? Solvent?

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