I’ve got a tendency to push things a little too far when I’m spearfishing. And after getting washed over the rocks chasing the schools of fish swimming in the wash, I discovered two holes. One in my leg, which would eventually heal. The other I was much more distressed about. I’d torn a 4-inch gash in my wetsuit that was just a couple of months old. I needed to know how to fix a wetsuit tear fast, as I was devastated.
I’d dropped almost three hundred bucks on the best spearfishing wetsuit, and it was shredded.
- Two piece wetsuit
- Open cell inside
- Neat camouflage outside
Right leg was torn open. Not cool.
Once I got back to shore I carefully removed my wetsuit to inspect the damage. And not only a tear, there was a piece of my wetsuit missing that I can only imagine is now sitting on the bottom of the ocean. Definitely not cool. I needed a solution to fix a wetsuit tear, that would also patch over the hole, and stay strong enough for years more wear and tear.
What you can use to fix a wetsuit tear
Now I didn’t know this until I needed to fix it, but there’s a simple solution for repairing a wetsuit. All you need is a wetsuit repair kit. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a tube of special neoprene cement to glue the two sides together, and a patch to cover the hole.
Here’s what I did to fix my wetsuit tear.
Buy this. It’s without a doubt the best wetsuit glue you can find. If you’re spearfishing regularly, I’d recommend buying two. That way you’ve got a backup so you don’t need to wait for another to be shipped out if you happen to tear your suit on a holiday.
- Quick drying contact adhesive;
- Dries in less than 10 minutes;
- Comes with 5 pre-cut neoprene patches of different sizes;
- Includes easy to follow instructions on packet and tube.
Clean your wetsuit thoroughly, and let it dry to ensure the glue will stick. I left mine to dry completely for 48 hours, and then I set up shop in my workshop. Just be warned before you do this that the glue is black, so if you’ve got a nice bright wetsuit it may matter to you.
Get the glue out. Squeezing it out of the tube it’s stickier than I thought, and I used a bunch of toothpicks to spread it sparingly along both sides of the tear in the wetsuit. I left it a few seconds until the glue went tacky, then pressed the sides together. You want to do this pretty fast, the glue will set in about 10 minutes.
Once the sides were together it was time to tackle the hole that I’d made. In the kit from Stormsure there’s a few different sized pieces of neoprene already provided. The biggest one in there proved the right size, though if you needed a bigger piece you could simply order it, or take a knife to one of your older wetsuits. I’ve still got the pieces from my old one that I tore off like the hulk. I had planned to use this, but figured the patch with the kit would be a smarter option.
Cover the patch in glue, and press it to the hole. It will seal completely. I did mine from the inside (I figured this would be the best spot for it, and added a little extra glue around the edges of the hole from the outside so it sealed completely. I left it overnight to dry completely, and it was tough enough to go diving the next day.
Highly, highly recommended.
If you’re anything like me, and end up putting all of your spearfishing gear through the works, I’d advise having a tube of neoprene glue to fix the tears in your wetsuit. They’ll happen eventually, so be prepared, and don’t let it ruin a perfect day on the water!