and Maintenance for any dive or surf gear is important. With the
harsh effects of the salt water and environment, it is highly recommended
that everything is rinsed with fresh water before being left out
to dry. If this is not possible, we suggest carrying a garbage bag
and sealing up the suit with a cup of water so the suit won't dry
full of salt water. If you let the sea water dry on the suit, it
will eventually form salt crystals that eat away at the suit. When
the suit is completely rinsed we suggest that you hang it with a
wide shouldered hanger out of the sun to dry. When the suit is almost
dry and the limbs are still dripping, taste that water. If it tastes
salty, rinse the suit again until the salt is gone.
It is also imperative to rinse out your other gear. We have on many
occasions found salt in valves, regulators and b.c.'s that have
had damaging results. Repairs on these particular items can be very
expensive. And of course, leaving these items without care can also
cause certain dangers that we won't even get into.
There are some precautionary details that you as a diver can do
to assure longevity to your gear. Very high on that list is taking
your regulator for annual service no matter how much or little you
use it. Even if it's been on the shelf since your last service.
Then be sure to rinse it after every day of use.
The bladder of your buoyancy compenstator also needs to be rinsed
out. We have found very large salt crystals in the bladder of a
b.c. that was donated to our archive department. These crystals
turned out to be extremely sharp and may have easily cut into the
shell of the b.c. which could have been drastic.
The valves on a drysuit also need extra TLC. The inlet valve may
not always require rinsing. Just rinse with the suit, occassionally
removing it from the suit and soaking in fresh water. If the inlet
leaks at any given point be sure to rinse it well in running water
to make sure it is salt & sand free for your next dive. The exhaust
valve should be soaked in fresh water after every use. To make sure
it is working properly before placing it back into the suit, close
the valve all the way and suck on the back to be sure no air is
coming through. If so, it may need servicing. That is something
we would be happy to do for you while you wait.
If you want to give your suit some extra care, we recommend using
a water soluable silicone spray. Just make sure it is not an aerosol
as that will soon destroy the suit. Our advice is to spray inside
or the wrists and ankles of the suit when it is still mildly damp.
Letting the silicon dry on the suit will help condition the suit
and make it easier to don and doff. The entire suit can be also
be sprayed by the silicone to help extend it's life. It is also
good on neoprene drysuit seals. If your seals are latex, it is imperative
that you wash the seals with soap & water to remove finger oils
and anything else they were exposed to. Rinse the seals thoroughly.
Once they are dry, we recommend coating the seals with cornstarch.
Unlike talc or baby powder, cornstarch is a natural, non chemical
product. The easiest way to evenly distribute the cornstarch on
the seals is to make a sock out of t-shirt style cotton, with velcro
closing the open end. Fill the sock half way with cornstarch and
gently pat the seal with the sock.
Feel free to contact us with any questions about the above, or any other care and
maintenance advice! We are always pleased to help you take care
of your gear to make it last.