How to Shrink a Wetsuit

How to Shrink a Wetsuit

Whether you have recently lost weight, purchased a wetsuit that is slightly too big, or inherited one that is too large for you, shrinking a wetsuit can be a useful solution. However, it is important to know that not all wetsuit materials can be easily shrunk, and attempting to do so may damage the suit irreversibly. With that in mind, here are a few methods you can try if you need to shrink a wetsuit.

1. Use hot water: Fill a bathtub or large basin with hot water, ensuring it is not boiling. Submerge the wetsuit for about 10-15 minutes, then remove and hang it to air dry. Repeat the process if necessary.

2. Dry it under the sun: Hang the wetsuit outside on a sunny day. The heat from the sun can help shrink the material. However, be cautious not to leave it out for too long, as excessive heat can damage the wetsuit.

3. Wash it in a washing machine: Check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the wetsuit can be machine washed. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach. Once washed, reshape the suit by stretching it gently while damp and hang it to dry.

4. Take it to a professional: If you are unsure about shrinking the wetsuit yourself, take it to a professional tailor or wetsuit repair specialist who can adjust the suit to fit your size.

Now, let’s address some common questions regarding wetsuit shrinking:

Q1: Can all wetsuit materials be shrunk?
A1: No, not all wetsuit materials can be shrunk. Neoprene, the most common material used in wetsuits, can be shrunk to some extent, but other materials may not respond well to shrinking methods.

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Q2: Can I use a hairdryer to shrink a wetsuit?
A2: It is not recommended to use a hairdryer, as excessive heat can damage the wetsuit.

Q3: Can I shrink a wetsuit more than once?
A3: It is possible to shrink a wetsuit more than once, but repeated shrinking attempts can weaken the material and decrease its lifespan.

Q4: How much can a wetsuit shrink?
A4: The amount a wetsuit can shrink depends on the material and original size. Generally, you can expect a 2-5% reduction in size.

Q5: Can I wear a wetsuit that is slightly larger than my size?
A5: It is not recommended to wear a wetsuit that is too large, as it may affect its insulating properties and restrict movement.

Q6: Can I shrink a wetsuit too much?
A6: Yes, excessive shrinking can lead to discomfort and restrict movement. It is important to ensure a proper fit.

Q7: Will shrinking a wetsuit affect its buoyancy?
A7: Shrinking a wetsuit should not significantly affect its buoyancy, as it primarily depends on the thickness and type of neoprene used.

Q8: How long does it take to shrink a wetsuit?
A8: The time it takes to shrink a wetsuit depends on the method used. It can range from a few minutes to a couple of hours.

Q9: Can I shrink only specific areas of a wetsuit?
A9: Yes, you can focus on specific areas by applying heat or hot water directly to those parts.

Q10: Can I shrink a wetsuit that has been used for a long time?
A10: Yes, you can attempt to shrink an older wetsuit, but keep in mind that the material may have already stretched and may not respond as well to shrinking methods.

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Q11: Can I still sell a shrunk wetsuit?
A11: Selling a shrunk wetsuit may be challenging, as the altered size might not fit potential buyers. It is advisable to disclose any alterations made before selling it.