different drysuit question??

Ok I went through the archives looking and can’t find it. I just got my brandi new drysuit(PALM-Stikine Canyon). It fits me great But, How do you trim the gaskets? Is there a best way? What is the best fit? How tight should they be? I know this is important and I don’t want to screw it up.

Thanks: Shawn

a way
put the gasket over something to gently stretch it then cut 1/8" max off,try it out for awhile. Traffic cone is nice for neck,can or skinny water bottle for wrist. Do not take off too much.

neck gasket only (at first)
Not sure about Palm. But, my eq. manufacturer suggested that only the neck gasket be trimmed. Wrist and ankle gaskets should wait until you have tried the suit a number of times. Then, if the ankle or wrist gaskets need to be trimmed, do it sparingly.


hey before you trim your gasket try sretching it first. Try a pot or a mixing bowl and let it sit on that over night and you may not need to trim it.

Stretching will work, but…
It will destroy a great deal of the seal’s elasticity, impeding its ability to grip and seal.

Better to trim judiciously, a little at a time until you’re comfortable. It may surprise you how loose-fitting a neck seal can be and still be effective. I have trimmed hundreds of seals in a former job, and found that a good pair of sharp scissors and a steady hand are all that’s required. Just be sure not to leave nicks or risers in the edge when you’re done. The edge doesn’t have to be laser-straight, just smooth.

We tried putting the seals over a form and slicing, but found that the tension created by the form caused the seal to split when sliced.

Scissors rule.

Just trim it if it’s too tight. I tried stretching initially. I had over a large can for days. Didn’t get anywhere with that. I could get a larger can (if it fit through the opening at all) and would probably succeeed in destroying the elasticity of the latex if anything.

Trim judiciously, try and trim again if needed. It’ll work fine.


Thanks guys
I appreciate the help. From what I got from the archives 303 after use, and talc just before is also best. The suit did not come with booties but I think I may add those later. Any good suggestions there would be great too.

Thank you again and Good Journey’s


Here’s some trimming instructions
You want the seals to fit comfortably, to be sure that they’re not cutting off blood circulation. It’s an easy process and not nearly as critical as some would lead you to believe. Here’s the procedure I use most of the time:


Trimming Latex Seals

In a pinch, I’ve done it with nothing more than a Swiss Army knife and a soda bottle. The procedure is the same regardless of whether you’re trimming neck, wrist or ankle seals.

The first thing you need is a plastic bottle or jug that’s a snug fit in the seal you’re trimming. You don’t need to stretch it a lot, but you want a tight fit. The bottle should have a smooth surface. Next, you need a very sharp knife, such as a utility knife with a new blade or a single edged razor blade.

  • Insert the bottle into the seal.

  • If the seal has trimming rings molded in, great, if not, you’ll need to mark the seal for the amount you want to take off. I suggest taking off 1/4" at a time until you get close, then 1/8" until you’re happy with the fit. For marking, I’ve used a drafting compass set at 1/4" to make a line parallel with the edge of the seal. Believe it or not, pencil actually will show up on a black latex seal, if the lighting angle is right. You can also choose to just eyeball the cut, which is surprisingly easy. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

  • Mark the point where you plan to start the cut. This makes it easier to finish it. You can mark the seal, the bottle or both.

  • Place the garment on a flat surface (floor, counter, hood of your car, etc.).

  • Begin the cut. Roll/twist the bottle as you cut, keeping the blade in contact with the seal at all times.

  • When you get close to your starting point, use your non-cutting hand to separate the cut portion from the seal, so you can see where you need to end the cut. Continue cutting, ending exactly where you started.

  • You should be able to pull away the cut-off ring. If there are any places where you didn’t cut all the way through, carefully go over them again with the blade. If you see any rough areas or small pieces of latex sticking out from the cut edge, trim them off.

  • Repeat as necessary.

    BTW, you should save the cut-offs, as they make great rubber bands. :wink: