A few weeks ago, I posted a video on how to put on your wetsuit including one trick that will make your wetsuit woes disappear. If you have not watched the video and read the blog, it is worth a quick look before reading on. In response to this video, though, people were complaining that it’s not putting on the wetsuit that is the issue. It is taking it off.
The main problem people experience is that the extra neoprene gets caught around the ankles. So it becomes a pain in the butt to take off. This is especially common for cheaper wetsuits which have thicker and extra neoprene down towards the ankles. The number one tip that I have therefore is to trim your wetsuit.
Yes, you read correctly–take a pair of scissors and cut your wetsuit. This will remove the extra neoprene and help your wetsuit glide off. Don’t worry it will not ruin your wetsuit. It might make the resale value drop a bit. But who likes to buy used wetsuits anyway given what we know people do in their wetsuit at the start line of races when the line to the portajohn is too long. I like to trim the legs of my wetsuit to just under the calf muscle where the beefy part drops off and turns into the Achilles tendon. This is about ¾ down from the kneecap to the ankle. To get the exact place, I put on my wetsuit, then take a Sharpie and draw a line around this section. I then take off my wetsuit and trim the legs.
Lastly, when taking off the wetsuit, I pull from the inside straight down instead of trying to pull my ankle up. Once I get the bottom of the wetsuit over my ankle, it slides right off.
Others swear by sprays and oils designed to help. But I have found that after a short swim these wash off and become pointless. If it works for you, then great, but I personally have not had any luck with them.
I will of course have a video demonstrating this whole process coming out in the following weeks, so stay tuned!
Chris Hague, Tri Swim Coach