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.
|A dot lifted||Ironing a dot back down|
|A lost dot and subsequent seam / stitching unraveling|
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 to not affect the performance or life of your wetsuit if you get on to them quickly.
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!
|The dreaded finger nail nick||Same cuts - Fixed|
|An example of slightly too much glue||Showing the repair area held in a 'concave' shape to keep the repaired cut closed.|
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.
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.