How to Take Off a Wetsuit

At one time or another, we've all been hopping around on one foot in the cold, fighting to peel our wetsuit from our skin, only to collapse in a heap on the floor in defeat. Although wetsuits are designed to be skin tight with suction stronger than an octopus' tentacles to keep you warm, it doesn't mean that you need to wrestle with it each time you want to take it off.


Triathlon athletes have to whip off their wetsuits in seconds to save precious time when racing, and with a bit of know-how and practice, you'll be slipping out of your suit in a flash!


What Body Glide Should I Use? 


A vital part of an easy wetsuit removal starts before the suit goes on, with a dash of body lubricant. Place it in critical areas where your wetsuit sticks, such as the wrists,ankles, knees, and for the ladies, the hips are also troublesome areas when removing your suit.


Don't slap on any old thing; petroleum-based products will rot your wetsuit, while water-based products will dissolve in the water. So, invest in a reputable wetsuit skin lubricant to assist in the wetsuit removals as well as to protect your skin and suit. We recommend the Gear Aid Neo-Slix wetsuit lubricant. Spray generously onto the skin before jumping into your wetsuit!


How to Take Off the Top of Your Wetsuit


It starts with the zip; undoing the velcro and zipper can prove a challenge if you don't have a buddy to help. But if you are solo, don't worry, as most wetsuits come with a long pull string to help you undo the zip. Be careful not to yank it down with too much force, as that can damage the suit.

Woman using the zip to undo her wetsuit

Next, roll out the shoulders, chest and upper arms until you are at the elbows. If you find you come to some resistance when you reach the wrists, then add a little more of your Neo-Slix to whip out your hands.


How to Remove Your Legs From a Wetsuit


That's the easy bit over and done with, and now we are on to the real challenge, the legs! Navigating the removal of your wetsuit from your legs can be challenging to say the least, with many falls, bumps and frustrations when it gets stuck. In one swift movement, pull the wetsuit down to the calves; you want to do this quickly as once the water drains out from inside the wetsuit, it will stick to the skin and be harder to remove.


How to Remove Your Feet from the Wetsuit


What you do next will depend on the activity. If you are participating in a triathlon, those vital seconds when removing your wetsuit really matter! For a super-speedy removal, use one foot to stand on your wetsuit and with the other foot yank it out quickly. You may need to use your thumb to release some suction.

Triathletes ready to race

If you aren't racing against competitors and have a few more seconds to spare, you might not want to risk the damage to your suit that standing on it could inflict. Try sitting or leaning against something for balance while hooking your thumb through the ankles to pull the leg out and avoid any tears from sharp stones and twigs.


These tips and tricks are sure to aid you in the struggle of removing a wetsuit but remember wetsuits rip easily, even the high-end ones, so taking the extra time and care to take off your wetsuit carefully could save you years of wear and tear. 


If you want more advice on caring for your wetsuit or what is suitable for you, you can visit our blog for more information or contact the Wetsuit Centre team.