One of the more under thought of tools used in surfing is the wetsuit. When you think of surfing you think of riding a wave on a surfboard. What about what you wear? Most of the time, especially in California, a bathing suit is not warm enough to surf in. So we resort to the use of a wetsuit. Wetsuits are a great thing to have, but, unfortunately they can be up in the higher price range. They can be anywhere from $50 to $600. So you are going to want to take care of them well for maximum life-time and quality of this under-valued piece of equipment.
So we should take care of it. One of the main ways is washing it. YOu should ideally wash it after every surfing session (use). This instructable will guide you through all of this.
Step 1: Preparing Your "washing Station"
Now you are going to need to find a place to wash your wetsuit. This would ideally be a bathtub because it provides temperture control on the water and the water is clean/"fresh".
Fill up the bathtub with cool-lukewarm water. DO NOT USE HOT WATER, hot water will reduce the flexability in the neoprene in your wetsuit, therefore reducing the quality and lifespan. You don't need to fill up the bathtub too much with water. A couple of inches will work.
Next, put your wetsuit into the water, you can just dip it to make sure that it is all wet. It is useful to have some wetsuit cleaner and conditioner to use everyonce in a while. It should have directions on the back. Put the amount in the water as needed (refer to the back of the container for directions). Now that you are ready, lets get to the washing.
Step 2: Washing Your Wetsuit
You should rinse your wetsuit a little bit in the water to try and get as much sand off as possible. Now you are going to want to wring lightly and/or knead your wetsuit in the water. Once you have done this a couple times then you should flip it so it is now out side out instead of inside out (or vice versa). Then repeat this. Then flip it so it is once again inside out. Then you can just rinse it out once again, wash out the bathtub and your done washing.
Step 3: Drying Your Wetsuit
Now you need to dry your wetsuit before the next time you use it, right? So you are going to get a hanger that has the hook with the triangle shape under it, like mine, but NOT A WIRE HANGER. You are then going to put the legs through the triangle and hang the wetsuit "in half" (refer to picture). DO NOT HANG FROM NECK, this will stretch out the neck.
Also, sown in the comments I got a great tip from Jobar007, So thanks to him. He said that you can hang the wetsuit in different spots every time you hang it, to minimize creasing. For example, One time after you wash your wetsuit you hang it in from the chest area, while another time you would hang it from the belly area.
You should also dry the wetsuit inside out. This reduces the UV damage that is inflicted on the wetsuit, and plus, then its more comfortable to put in on next time.
Now, for where you should hang it. Ideally you should hang it outside but out of direct sunlight, which will cause UV damage, which ages the neoprene.
Step 4: Storing Your Wetsuit
To store your wetsuit,you should have a place where you can put it that is preferably well ventilated. You should not put it in a place that will receive extreme temperatures, especially where it gets hot. You shouldn't store your wetsuit in the boot of your car if you are going to leave your car in the sun where it can get hot.
A couple other things,
You cannot use a washing machine or a dryer to help clean your wetsuit.
You shouldn't bleach it.
and try to keep the neoprene as fresh as possible.
Now that you've got a clean wetsuit, go out and surf again.