I have a 20-year old wetsuit, and the neoprene is in surprisingly good condition. However, several seams have torn over the years, and I have had to patch quite a few holes usinq a wetsuit repair kit. I’ll share what’s worked for me…
How to Patch Neoprene in 2 Steps:
First of all, I use a contact adhesive to glue the seams together. This cement is strong enough to patch a hole or tear without needing a patch or stitching. Plus, the supple resin holds for years even with lots of stretching. I use the brand Aquaseal Adhesive.
Second, I stick Tenacious Tape patches over large wetsuit hole in high-stress areas. For example, armpits, back or neck tears.
I start by covering the broken seam or hole with adhesive. Then, I peel and stick the wetsuit repair tape on top.
Note: Typically, I cut patches about 1/2-1″ larger than the wetsuit hole to provide sufficient support. In addition, I give the patch round edges so it doesn’t have corners that peel back.
By the way, if you need to mend a larger hole, this 6″x10″ fabric neoprene patch covers a larger area. Plus, you can cut it into many smaller pieces too.
Repairing a wetsuit seam or tear is actually a really simple job. In fact, the whole process only takes a few minutes.
Considering that wetsuit repair kits only cost between $15-25, it makes sense to fix a hole rather than spend hundreds of dollars on a new suit.
2 Things I’ve Learned When Using a Wetsuit Repair Kit:
1. I have learned that wetsuit glue is extremely sticky. I definitely recommend using some cheap disposable gloves while working with it.
2. You don’t need much adhesive to repair a wetsuit hole. However, sometimes the smaller tubes only have a one-time use. This is because the top tends to permanently glue the container shut after the first use.
Therefore, I suggest getting a container with a metal screw lid if you want to use the adhesive again in the future. For example, Neoprene Cement. This container also includes an application brush.
2 More Ways to Fix Wetsuit Holes, Rips and Tears:
Alternatively, you can use a Neoprene Queen neoprene patch kit. The package includes a neoprene rubber patch and 2 small tubes of black contact adhesive.
Many people also like Neo-Rez because it dries fast. In fact, you can use this sealant to patch your wetsuit, and then use it 2 hours later.
In addition, Neo-Rez feels more soft and supple than other wetsuit adhesives, which can sometimes feel a little rough or scratchy on the skin. This sealant has a clear color.
Whether you paddleboard, surf, swim, waterski or dive, these wetsuit repair kits can work for you. Plus, the ultra-strong adhesive holds up to frequent and heavy-duty use. =)