O'Neill Wetsuits at 101 Surf Sports San Rafael

The wetsuit is one of the key pieces of gear for any water sports lover in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here are some tricks of the trade for keeping your wetsuit in best possible shape. We are bit fanatical about our suits so apologies for the level of detail.

  • Buy O'Neill WetsuitsAlways store & dry your wetsuit inside out. This helps minimize UV damage to the outside of the suit while also giving priority drying time to the part that will be touching your skin the next time you use the suit. Drying them inside out also helps with stink management as interior liners can get better and thorough dry time. This technique also ensures no nasty spider bites.
  • Always use a broad hanger if you need to hang it up. Narrow or wire hangers can create creases/breaks in the shoulders.
  • Never use propellant based sunscreens. Stay only with cream sunscreens. Never use “quick dry” sunscreen. The problem with the propellant sunscreen and the quick dry is the use of alcohol. Alcohol can overtime literally melt your wetsuit.
  • Try to freshwater rinse after use. Make sure to dry thoroughly for any storage. Freshwater rinsing is more likely to create stink than a wet saltwater wetsuit. It is ok to not rinse the wetsuit if you plan on using it multiple days in a row. Just do not let a saltwater saturated wetsuit dry out without a rinse. This is the single biggest trick to keeping your suit nice for a long time. Drying things with salt is called "curing".

    oneill makes great wetsuits for women

  • Do not lay your wetsuit on hot surfaces and always keep it out of the UV/sun when possible.
  • Do not use hot water to rinse your suit. Warm up to 120 degrees is ok - but no hotter.
  • Take your time putting your suit on. Do not use your fingernails when pulling a suit on.
  • Do not store your suit near auto exhaust. Like in the garage. The fumes will over time eat away at the suit.
  • Do not store in a trunk or any other area that gets really hot. Think melting glue.the best wetsuits for women are O'neill's
  • Never crease or fold the wind panels (smooth skin) on the suit. Wind panels are the slicker material usually used around the core. These panels are designed to block wind. These panels however are more fragile than the rest of the suit. Avoid using fingernails or anything sharp near these.
  • Use a changing mat when taking your suit off so that it does not get roughed up on the ground. Take your time – do not rush yank a suit off.
    • Use a changing robe. This helps you slow down.
  • Never put a wetsuit in a washing machine or a dryer.
  • No ironing. No bleaches.
  • Do not pee in your suit. Seriously this is bad for the suit and a prime source of the stink.
  • Never leave the zipper in the very bottom of the zipper channel.
  • Do not let zippers freeze – dry salty. If you haven’t used a suit in a while go and move its zipper to keep it free flowing.
  • Zippers go straight up and straight down. Never pull your zipper from and angle.
  • If you are using a suit in a pool with chlorine or bromine or any other chemical make sure to give it a solid fresh water rinse as soon as you can.how to pack a wetsuit
  • For packing a wetsuit cross the arms and then the legs and roll the suit starting from the legs. This will minimize the creasing of the wind panel if you need to pack it in luggage.(pictured at right)
  • If your suit does get stinky we recommend Mirazyme. You can get some here at the store.
    • Superstinky? Then mix one cup of White Cider Vinegar per 1 gallon of water and soak for one hour. We use this to cure stinky booty. Rinse thoroughly after.
    • Superduperstinky. Pour the White Cider Vinegar directly on the booties (not recommended for suits) and let soak 10 minutes. Now add the 1 gallon of water per cup of White Cider Vinegar and let soak overnight. Rinse thoroughly after.
    • Note your suit will smell a little like vinegar but it goes away and is way better than the other stink.
    • Baking soda is also an option.
    • Listerine can be the “nuclear option”.Buy O'Neill Wetsuits
  • Secure the collar tag on its parking space. This hook part of the Velcro can wear out snagging things it shouldn’t be snagging. The suit can also be roughed up by this tab if it is not parked.
  • Quickly fix any tears with neoprene cement. We recommend and sell Aquaseal here at the shop. Leaving a slice or tear unattended will just see them get worse quickly.
  • Consider wearing shorts over the top of your wetsuit if you are sailing, windsurfing, or kiteboarding. The non-skid used on the boards can rough up the wetsuit.
  • Never oil or try to lubricate a zipper.

We carry a massive selection of O’Neill Wetsuits and accessories. O’Neill Wetsuit Gloves, Wetsuit Hoods, Booties, and more. They basically invented the wetsuit right here in San Francisco and have been the innovative leaders since. They are still a Santa Cruz based company that is leading the way. Pictured at bottom is Jack O’Neill holding the first ever wetsuit.

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We hope you find these tips handy for taking good care of your wetsuit. Take good care of your gear and it will take good care of you!

O'Neill Invented the wetsuit right here in San Francisco.