I just got a drysuit and need to know what to put on the gakets to protect them and what not to put on them. Thanks
303 protectant is the best thing.
Sunscreen, at least some kinds, are said to be harmful, and some bug dopes may be harmful. If you use 303, it may help keep some of the other stuff from getting at the gasket.
There is also a McNett Corporation product called Aquaseal formula Seal Saver. It contains silicone. I have used it and I have not had problems, but I rely mainly on 303.
So, ask us what to do to loosen the gaskets, because they’re probably too tight.
loosen the gaskets
Ok so what do you do to loosen the gaskets. The ankle ones are too tight. Do I trim them?
stretch them first…
I stick soda bottles in them a few days and see if it makes any differance. If it is still unbearable, trim them but be careful. If you knick them while trimming, they will tear.
Thanks for the info!
Any oils or petroleum-based products will degrade the latex.
my esteemed teachers
have taught me not to stretch gaskets but to cut them. The logic is this. After you stretch a gasket it turns greyish black rather than jet black. This greying is a result of microcracking (checking) of the gasket material. Once checked the material degrades much faster. Instead or stretching over a large form, my esteemed teachers and I use moderate stretching (over a form not much bigger than our necks. Then we trim (a little bit at a time)to a point where after fifteen minutes of wear you do not notice the neck gasket. Might want to get a bit used to wearing the thing before the last cutting if you are new to drysuits. I have found this system to work, know a dozen dry suit users who have never had uncomfortable neck gaskets, and heard no complaints from those who are careful about cutting.
edit I just read you post more carefully. Still believe in cutting wrist and ankle gaskets, and believe big time in latex booties! Even more in goretex but $$$$. Warm and dry feet are the nazz.
My two cents
It’s really easy and quick to do. If you need instructions, email me and I’ll send you some.
303 and talcum powder
The former on the outside and the latter on the inside. Powdering the seals makes them DRAMATICALLY easier to put on. Seal damage and failures invaribly occurs when putting the suit on or taking it off. Powdering reduces the stress on them, improving their longevity.
Trim with a ribbed can.
This tidbit comes from years of scuba diving in drysuits, but carries over to paddling drysuits as well.
I agree with the previous poster, try to place bottles, cans, tupperware or other objects in the Gaskets (seals) in an effort to stretch them before cutting.
IF you decide to cut, place a ribbed can (scalloped) in them and use the grove of the can as a guide for a razerblade or exacto knife. If you try to trim the seals with scissors you’ll end up with nicks and jagged edges. These will eventully tear.
Corn Starch instead of Talcum
Another little tip from years of scuba diving. If you use Talcum powder (I use it for scuba, but not for paddling drysuits) be sure it’s designed for that exact purpose. If you use normal talc it has perfumes in it that will destroy the gasket (baby powder for example is a really bad thing).
What many divers do is buy one shaker bottle of talc for drysuits and then REFILL the shaker with corn starch when it’s empty.
I’ve been using cornstarch for years. I’m still scuba diving in an OS Drysuit that is almost 10 years old (aprox 300 dives on it).