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Care & Maintenance

Our Advise

Oceandry Drysuits have been part of the dry diving business in NZ for 21 years, along the way we have learnt a thing or two about repairing, maintaining and caring for your drysuit well, to get the maximum life span out of it.

We want to share what we have learnt with you, as some people are getting incorrect information.

Firstly though a few things to consider if you are yet to purchase a drysuit.

1

Where is the suit made?

Can valves and zips be serviced and repaired in NZ, more suits now come into the country that cannot be, it can be costly for international freight, and a long wait with no suit.
2

What undergarment is required?

Do you require an expensive undergarment to keep warm in a bag suit.
3

What fabric is being used?

Quality of the fabric, whether you choose a neo or bag suit you want the shell of your suit to be good quality, hard wearing and long lasting. Cheaper neoprene may collapse within 2 years and bag suits can delaminate, also during the winter months. Latex or neoprene socks will not last as long as a pair of good quality boots.
4

What fixtures are being used?

A couple of things to be weary of due to the fact that they are not normally able to be replaced or repaired in NZ are suits with heat sealed tape on the inside seams, where the suit folds over time the tape will crack, this is very hard, near impossible to fix.  Curved and horse shoe shaped zips are also difficult to have replaced in NZ, also plastic zips are not widely available and tend not to last as long as other zips.

CARING FOR YOUR SUIT

All drysuits require occasional maintenance and repair but by doing some homework and choosing a suit of good quality then maintaining it well you should expect a 10-15 year life span. All products to care for your suit are available from good dive shops and Oceandry.

WASHING YOUR SUIT

This should be done even after diving in pools.  Chlorine will destroy your suit if not rinsed off.  Rinse the outside of your suit with fresh water and place on a drysuit hanger with zip open out of sunlight to dry, UV rays are harsh.  If salt water has gotten inside it is recommended to turn your suit through and rinse with fresh water.

Once your suit is fully dry in and out dust latex seals with French chalk.  Unlike talc French chalk is completely natural with no additives it prolongs the life of latex seals, and works by neutralising the latex to stop it returning to its natural liquid state, this is why latex gets sticky as it ages.

Lube your zip and store ready for your next dive.

CLEANING AND LUBING YOUR ZIP

Firstly if there is a build-up of old wax have the zip closed and use a small toothbrush (or similar) with warm soapy water to get rid of this. Any green oxide can be wiped with white vinegar and a cloth, ensure you use fresh water to rinse the vinegar off and avoid getting vinegar on other parts of the suit.

When the zip is dry open and apply oil formulated for zips (such as BDM zip oil) to the inner teeth of the zip.  These small teeth are the main seal of your zip.

Close your zip and apply zip wax up and down the outer teeth, our zip wax is specially formulated with lanolin and natural bees wax, the lanolin provides lubrication and the bees wax holds the lanolin on the zip for multiple dives.  After 10-15 mins open, close then open and store away on a drysuit hanger.

It is good to do this once per month if using your suit regularly or storing for a long period of time.  Only use products designed for zips and DO NOT USE SILICONE OR CRC.

THE WRONG WAY TO STORE YOUR SUIT

Is upside down by its feet.  Any moisture inside the suit (and it doesn’t take much) is trapped, evaporating up into the boots then condensing back down and around it goes causing rot mostly confined in the lower legs of the suit.

Instead invest in a good quality wide shoulder hanger.  Store your suit with the zip open, the wide shoulders of the hanger will help keep the suit open to allow good airflow.  The other advantage of a wide shoulder hanger is that it stops shoulders compressing on neo suits.

Tin sheds and fridges/freezers create ozone, so if you can avoid storing your suit in these types of areas.

SEALS & Valves

You should use a natural based lube when fitting and removing your hands from wrist seals, this will prolong their life.

To make it easier to get in and out of your neck seal first apply a dusting of French chalk to the inside.

Valves should be serviced annually by a drysuit specialist.

PACKING FOR TRAVEL

Lay your suit flat, with zip closed and inflation valve at 3 or 9 o clock and cap on, start at the feet and roll up to the neck then fold arms over forwards only.

This practice is the best way to protect your zip from damage as the zip is strongest closed especially when travelling or on the boat when it can’t be hung up.  Please don’t pack your suit in the same bag as your weight belt.

Products We Recommend

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Oceandry Zip Wax

Apply to the outer teeth of your zip.  Our zip wax contains a high content of Lanolin oil, the Lanolin lubricates the zip and the wax holds the Lanolin on the zip.  If you notice a build-up of old wax clean it off with warm soapy water and a toothbrush or nail brush.  Use in conjunction with BDM zip oil to keep your zip sliding smoothly and easily.

BDM zip oil

Apply to the inner teeth of your zip.  The inner teeth of your zip are the main seal of your zip, BDM oil has salt dissolving crystals to clean and lubricate the teeth.  How often you lubricate your zip will depend on how often you use your suit.

French Chalk

Use a dusting of chalk on Latex seals when clean and dry after diving to prolong their life.  Latex has a memory and in its original it is a liquid, it tries to return to its original form and this is why they get sticky and gooey as they age, the chalk helps neutralize this reaction.  Some people also like to use French chalk to help when fitting seals.

Super Lube

A biodegradable lube to help your hands slide easily through your cuffs.

Basic Hanger

The wide shoulders of this hanger will help stop the shoulders of your drysuit compressing, also helps keep suit open when stored to ventilate and help get rid of any moisture.  Made in China

Deluxe Hanger

Drysuit hanger with extra wide plastic moulded shoulders and a stainless steel hook.  Made in the USA