Friday, October 22, 2010

Winter and Wetsuits - What To Do

Time for my annual rant about what to do at this time of year with your triathlon wetsuit. If it's still rolled up in a ball in the trunk of your car and been their since your last race - shame on you. Actually, no - keep that up, cause you are going to have a to buy a new wetsuit sooner! :-)

Seriously, I realize that there are still a few races going on, Ironman Florida etc . . but for many the season is done. Winter may not be here, but it's around the corner. This is the time of year to carefully check your wetsuit over for finger-nail cuts and any problems with the seams or zippers. Get the finger-nail cuts fixed now and if there are other problems with your suit, get them looked into now! This saves you the stress, and anxiety of rushing around and trying to get the suit repaired the day before your first race next spring.

Check your wetsuit out thoroughly both inside and out. On the ouside, check for finger-nail cuts and other nicks in the smooth skin surface. On the inside, check all the seams over carefully.

If there are problems with the suit, take it back to where you bought the suit. You did buy your wetsuit from a reputable triathlon shop or wetsuit retailer, right? The dealer should be able to help you out as a first step. If the suit is still under warranty - 2 years for most other suits and five years for Nineteen wetsuits, check to make sure whatever the problem is, is or is not a warranty issue( finger-nail cuts are not covered under warranty).

Next step is getting the repairs done. Either the shop can help you, or they may direct you to a local dive or surf shop that does wetsuit repairs. Make sure that this other shop is experienced working with triathlon wetsuits. Get the repairs done now! Only attempt self-repairing the suit - typically finger-nail cuts, if you absolutely know what you are doing If it's a warranty issue, the suit may need to be shipped back to the manufacturer - which will take some time. However, better to get this all done now when you have the time! You will now be ready for that first race next spring or that first open water swim and not all in a mad panic.

As for storage: If you have not done so already, give your wetsuit a good rinsing with fresh water in the shower and a wash and rinse with a mild soap, and then let it hang up to dry - inside out on a form fitting hanger( the type that good men's suits are hung up with). Once dry turn it right side out again and then hang it up - again on the form fitting hanger in a cool dry place for the winter. You can also lay it flat on the floor under a bed - but if you have small pets ( dogs or cats) I would not suggest this.

Please see more care and maintenance tips for your wetsuit at the following page on the Nineteen Web site:

Hope this helps.