Repair Tips

Get some urethane glue!

Buy Repair Adhesive               Stormsure Clear | Ruby Fresh OWSStormsure Neoprene Queen | Ruby Fresh OWS
You'll need it at some point...

1. Re-gluing dots at the internal seam joints.

You may not know that you can easily re attach the 'dots' if they start lifting - those little round pieces of material placed at the junction of neoprene panels to stop the stitching unraveling.

  1. It's simple - set your clothes iron to a cool temperature, the Silk or Nylon setting is about right.
  2. Place the tip of the iron on the dot and hold for about 3 - 5 seconds, depending on the thickness of the neoprene below the dot. You will see the glue melting and re-flowing into the nylon lining material of the wetsuit. The dot will once again be glued in place.
  3. You should make it a practice to keep an eye on all the internal dots to make sure they are not lifting because if you don't, the larger problem occurs, which is the unraveling of the stitching (because the dot has fallen off) and subsequently it is likely for the seam to completely split apart. So watch out for the dots!
Wetsuit repair dot | Ruby Fresh Open Water Swimming Wetsuit Repair - Iron | Ruby Fresh Open water Swimming
 A dot lifted  Ironing a dot back down
No Dot Unravelling | Ruby Fresh Open water Swimming
A lost dot and subsequent seam / stitching unraveling



2. Fixing nicks and cuts caused by finger nails and fingers.

Unless you are ultra careful it is almost inevitable you will at some point cut / nick the outer layer of your wetsuit, either with a finger nail which is easily done by male and female, or with the pads of your fingers if pulling a little too hard. Sometimes even when using gloves. Don't be surprised if it happens as it is unfortunately a 'thing' with the fragile nature of a #38, #39 and especially #40 grade Yamamoto neoprene wetsuits.

New users of swim type wetsuits are often caught out worst with just how delicate the neoprene outer layer is, especially if they already have experience of putting on a surf type wetsuit, and think it will be the same. It's not! We've had plenty of calls about damage on the first time of putting a suit on!

But fear not, fixing these small nicks and cuts is relatively easy and definitely something you can do your self. These small points of damage do not affect the performance or life of your wetsuit if you get on to them quickly.

  1. You will need some urethane glue
  2. Squeeze a small blob of urethane glue onto a piece of paper or cardboard (scrap paper, old letter, or anything smooth).
  3. Open up the nick by bending the neoprene back on itself to make the damaged cut as wide as possible. 
  4. You will need an implement to apply the glue deep into the cut. Match heads are surprisingly useful, as too are the bamboo sticks with a sharp point used for making kebabs. Cocktail sticks even.
  5. Spread the glue onto both sides of the cut and into the corners especially. Get the glue onto all the surface areas. Attention! You don't need too much. It's almost surprising how little you actually need. See next point.
  6. Allow the cut to close up. This is an important bit - bend/double this repaired area of the wetsuit over such that the repair is on the inside of the doubled over suit. This concave shape keeps pressure on the glued section. It is at this point you will find out if you have applied too much glue as it will be squeezed out of the repaired cut. 
  7. As long as it's not a massive globule of glue, it's best to simply leave it as is. Trying to wipe off the excess glue results in a worse and unsightly mess. If you get it right, often it's nearly impossible to even see the repair, or the only tell tale sign might be a small crescent of glue to show the spot.
  8. Leave the repair without moving for 10 - 12 hours, so do the repair in a place where it won't be unwittingly disturbed by someone.

Tip: if doing multiple nicks/cuts in different spots on the wetsuit at the same time, it is possible to get each area 'bent/doubled' over whilst the glue cures with the use of some handy dandy clothes pegs, or prop the bent over section against a heavy item or a stack of books. It's a form of art!


Neoprene Repair - finger nail nicks | Ruby Fresh Open Water Swimming  Finger nail cuts - Fixed | Ruby Fresh Open water Swimming
The dreaded finger nail nick Same cuts - Fixed
Example of slightly too much Urethane Glue | Ruby Fresh Open Water Swimming Concave clamping | Ruby Fresh Open Water Swimming
An example of slightly too much glue Showing the repair area held in a 'concave' shape to keep the repaired cut closed.


3. Using 'Neoprene Queen' for tears.

If you have a large tear in your suit, it may be fixable with Neoprene Queen, either on its own, maybe with additional hand stitching (if you have the skills and necessary tools), or the use of an internal patch.

Neoprene Queen Wetsuit repair | Ruby Fresh OWS

There are some situations where a patch may be needed for repairing a wetsuit if the damage to the wetsuit is too large to be repaired with glue or stitching alone. In general, stitching is a good option for small tears or punctures in non-critical areas of the wetsuit, such as the arms or legs. Stitching can be effective in closing the gap and preventing further tearing, backed up with a line of glue on the outside surface to provide waterproofing and further repair strength.

On the other hand, glue can be a good option for larger or more complex repairs, particularly in areas such as the seams or torso where hand DIY stitching may not be as effective, and where the repair may also be backed up with a neoprene patch such as an off-cut from an old suit.

Neoprene Queen Wetsuit repair | Ruby Fresh OWS
This is best explained by the following YouTube video from Stormsure:


If a large repair is required beyond the scope of your skill set or a completely new panel is required, a new sleeve or shoulder section for instance, in New Zealand, Ruby Fresh uses the services of Seaquel Wetsuits whom we recommend strongly.

Seaquel Contact Details Here