Home Fashion Is it Time? 6 Signs Your Wetsuit Needs Replacing

Is it Time? 6 Signs Your Wetsuit Needs Replacing

by Mark Mendez
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wet suit xxxl

During our upcoming “wet suit xxxl” sale, it’s the perfect time to score a deal on a new wetsuit if yours is showing its age. But how do you definitively know when a wetsuit needs replacing?

Wetsuits gradually deteriorate in key areas through repeated use. Spotting stretched-out neoprene, damaged seals and seams, degraded interior linings and worn knee pads indicates diminished performance and protection.

Read on to learn the telltale markers of wetsuit wear. Identifying these issues early allows you to proactively replace your suit before it fails you out on the water.

Thinned-Out Neoprene

Repeated stretching from use gradually thins the neoprene over time, reducing its insulating properties. Warning signs include:

  • Visible color fading in high-stretch areas like the underarms and crotch.
  • Less rebound and sagging around knees or elbows.
  • Loose bagginess in the torso, arms or legs indicating material stretch.

Thinned wetsuit material provides inadequate warmth by allowing excess water flushing. Time for a replacement.

Leaky Seals

Deteriorating latex seals around wrists, ankles, and neck allow cold water intrusion. Evidence includes:

  • Excess seal wrinkling or bagginess indicating stretch.
  • Inability to achieve a tight seal around limbs or neck.
  • Visible gaps where seals meet the suit.

Faulty seals permit cold water flushing which greatly diminishes warmth and comfort.

Damaged Zipper

A broken or malfunctioning rear zipper makes it nearly impossible to don the suit. Warning signs are:

  • Zipper teeth no longer interlocking smoothly.
  • Zipper is stuck in place and impossible to open or close.
  • Gaps in the zipper allowing water to flood in.

Zipper issues render the suit unusable. No more back-zipping yourself!

Worn Knee Pads

After repeated use, knee pads lose cushioning and abrasion protection. Noticeable signs are:

  • Faded, flattened coloration indicating compressed foam.
  • Knee pad feels paper-thin without cushy padding.
  • Fabric appears worn or frayed over the knee area.

Worn knees result in painful, unprotected abrasion from wave contact. Ouch!

Degraded Interior Lining

The smooth inner lining breaks down after repeated wear. Things to inspect are:

  • Pilling texture from fabric degradation.
  • Noticeable thin spots in the liner material.
  • Separating seams as interior stitching unravels.

A degraded interior liner loses its slick, skin-tight surface for minimizing flushing. You’ll feel the difference in comfort.

Mildew Odor

Mildew and wetsuit funk are impossible to eliminate once they’ve set in. Typical causes are:

  • Improper washing and drying promoting microbial growth.
  • Prolonged wet storage between sessions.
  • Accumulated body oils and skin cell buildup.

Bad wetsuit odors make suiting up unpleasant. Prevention is the only cure.


Retiring trusty gear is always a little sad. But identifying the telltale signs of a worn out wetsuit can help you determine when the time has come for a replacement.

Inspect your suit inside and out for stretched neoprene, leak points, damaged parts, thinning pads and linings as well as funky odors.

Addressing issues before they escalate preserves warmth, flexibility and longevity session to session. During our wetsuit sale, replace your trusty old accomplice with a fresh new wetsuit so you can continue enjoying the water in total comfort. Your new warm flexible friend awaits!

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