Tumble Drying a Wetsuit
Anyone who has ever had to put on a cold, wet, smelly wetsuit will know that it isn’t a pleasant experience. It is usually accompanied by howls and much swearing, especially when performed on a cold winters morning in a windswept car park. We’ve all been there and it isn’t nice.
However, I can’t remember the last time I had to do it as I now always tumble dry my wetsuit before putting it on. I can’t tell you how much nicer it is, especially if it has just that second come out of the tumble drier. I usually tumble dry it in the hot setting so not only does it come out dry, but it is piping hot too. Sliding into a hot wetsuit is just so nice, and the extra heat not only warms you up, but it also makes the suit more supple so getting into it is easy.
I know the care instructions on a wetsuit will advise against this, but I’ve been doing it for years without any problems. In fact, it is probably much better for the suit than drying it on the line in the sun where the UV rays will degrade the neoprene.
I’ve just checked my ‘Toy Box’ on Forces-of-Nature where I track my ‘extreme’ sports sessions and equipment usage and my current wetsuit, a C-Skins Wired, is now 4 years old and has been used at least 230 times and is still keeping me warm in the sea. It won’t have been through the tumble drier after every session, but must have been dried at least 100 times and will have had quite a few wash cycles in the washing machine on a normal 40ºC wash as well.
I highly recommend it.