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When To Know It’s Time To Replace Your Wetsuit

   April 10th, 2023   Posted In: Articles  

How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Wetsuit

Sometimes wetsuits can be like your favorite pair of shoes. Loved, worn, and worn some more. So much so that the soles are probably hanging on for dear life. This scenario is probably what your favorite wetsuit is looking like. Which leads us to the question ‘How do I know when to replace my wetsuit?’. The short answer is when you see rips, cracks, tears, and severe wear. 

Maybe you’re thinking, ‘But I don’t want to replace my wetsuit, Lauren’. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it could possibly be time to do so.

Below are a few signs that it’s time to part ways with your old wetsuit and consider purchasing a new one. 

When Do I Replace My Wetsuit? 

Listen. There are moments in your wetsuit’s life where it’s perfectly acceptable to repair wetsuit holes here and there. But when your wetsuit starts looking like a block of Swiss cheese because of too many holes/tears, it’s time to re-evaluate your cherished suit. At that point, your suit won’t even be able to keep you warm because it’s letting too much water into the wetsuit. A little bit of water is great and that’s ultimately how wetsuits work. But too many holes open the floodgates and you could get bogged down with the water. 

Too many holes and tears are just one of many signs of when to know it’s time to replace your wetsuit. Keep reading for the rest!

when do i replace my wetsuit

Signs It’s Time to Let Go

Essentially, the biggest sign that it’s time to replace your wetsuit is when your current one no longer works to keep you warm. I briefly touched on that above, but there are other factors that can contribute to a wetsuit’s loss of warmth. 

  • Broken or cracked seams
  • Cracked Neoprene or smooth skin panels
  • Thinning neoprene
  • Dry rot
  • Fit

Cracked Seams & Neoprene

Another indicator of knowing when it’s time to get a new wetsuit is when you see cracks in the seams, neoprene, and smooth skin panels. Broken seams also contribute to the need of replacing a wetsuit because durable seams are what holds your wetsuit together. Once there’s major breakage or non-repairable cracks, the wetsuit will simply start to become useless. 

Also, thinning or stretched neoprene is another sign that it’s time to let the wetsuit go. Part of the reason thin or stretched neoprene happens is because the wetsuits are not stored or hung up properly. If you need a refresher, here are some great ways to store a wetsuit

Dry Rot

Those two words don’t sound nice or pretty, do they? Sadly, dry rot can happen even to the best of wetsuits. Again, improper storage and hanging techniques can prevent this from happening and extend the life of your suit. Don’t ball it up and throw it in a corner. Wash and dry it correctly, don’t put it directly in the sun to dry, and use a wetsuit-specific hanger. 


The last bit of advice we have to answer when to know it’s time to replace your wetsuit is when the fit just isn’t what it once was. Whether it’s too large or too small, it’s gotta go. Wetsuits are supposed to fit like a second skin. And if it’s swallowing you whole or suffocating you, that’s when it’s time to move on. 

Find the Next Best Thing

If it’s time to go out with the old and in with the new, find yourself a quality wetsuit retailer to help you out. And if you’re wondering what to do with your beloved worn-out suit, check out some wetsuit recycling options to prevent it from going into a landfill!

Lauren (LoLo) has been turning words into blog posts for Wetsuit Wearhouse since 2014. She learned to surf for the first time ever in Costa Rica but she gravitates more towards SUP. When she's not scouring the web for travel deals, you can find her either hiking, running, gardening, tending to her animals, or reading a good book outside on a beautiful day.

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