Martin Owen and the team at Oceansuits not only repair wetsuits and drysuits, they make them as well. If you need a custom suit, Oceansuits is who you call.
An open cell wetsuit does not have an inner lining which means the rubbery neoprene goes right up against the skin. The porous nature of neoprene creates millions of tiny suction cups that stick to the skin making it impossible for water to get in. With gentle handling and lots of lubrication when doning, spearfishing and freediving open-cell neoprene suits can be a valued and lasting piece of equipment.
Since it is filled with air bubbles, neoprene is weak and tears very easily. Without an inner lining to give it added strength, the neoprene alone becomes very vulnerable to damage. Also, because of the suction-like properties on the inside of the wetsuit, an open cell wetsuit is much harder to put on compared to a closed cell suit which just slides on. Open cell suits require a lubricant to be put on before you slide it on your body. Without plenty of appropriate lubricant, you will not be able to put the wetsuit on without tearing it.
Divers inexperienced with open-cell neoprene suits often rip and tear the open-cell neoprene, usually with fingernails and toenails, when it is being donned and doffed. Even highly experienced divers can tear open-cell neoprene from time to time. Every time you pull the wetsuit on and off, any cut or tear that it may already have has an increased chance to expand and get worse. Avoid using the wetsuit once you notice any cut or tear.
Because it is so easy to cut the open-cell neoprene of your suit, you should always have some neoprene contact cement in your save-a-dive kit. Purchase some neoprene contact cement, and always follow the repair instructions exactly. There are no shortcuts.
Gear Aid Aquaseal + NEO Neoprene Contact Cement (44ml)
Our Price: $24
This is simply the best contact cement/glue designed for repairing open-cell neoprene suits. Wetsuit repair is simple and quick with Aquaseal NEO, previously known as McNett Seal Cement. This black flexible liquid adhesive is formulated to permanently bond with neoprene and other coated materials.
This no-mix open cell neoprene wetsuit glue creates a bond between the neoprene edges so strong that if pulled apart hard enough the neoprene will tear in a different place than the repaired area. This great glue really takes the worry out of tearing your open-cell wetsuit. Being black it matches the colour of open cell neoprene.
The dried glue is flexible so the joint remains flexible. Excess glue is easily rubbed off, and the joint can't be felt against the skin. The tube is convenient working size, and doesn't dry out. The fine nozzle allows direct precise application without a brush.
It's important to follow the repair instructions printed on the package exactly. One tube is good for many repairs over the course of years.
In general, the best open-cell wetsuit repair is to keep it from getting damaged in the first place. So, put your wetsuit on correctly, handle it with care, and never leave it in unsafe areas. As long as threats are surrounding it, such as nails, rocks, and reefs, your wetsuit may at one point get damaged. See also, Wetsuit Donning Guide.
Need a new wetsuit? Take a look at the new wetsuits we have available in our dive shop.
Need a new drysuit? Take a look at the new drysuits we have available in our dive shop.