Drysuit repair

Last summer I sent in my Kokatat gortex drysuit for repair because it was leaking. They patched a couple of small holes and replaced the neck gasket. Last week I sent it in again for another check, even though it is not leaking much, if at all. They tested it and say both neck and wrist gaskets need replacement. Can the neck gasket really become a problem again after only one season? They want $53 for the gasket replacements–not the end of the world. But I’m surprised the neck is a problem so quickly. Does anyone have experience with this type of thing? Thanks,


Up to two neck gaskets a year for me
You may have done something particular to this ggasket, but some people just have chemistry that degrades the latex faster. Things like sunblock will do a job on it as well. My wrist gaskets on my Kokatat with an easy 100 plus patches are still original, but I’ve lost track of the neck gaskets. Check what kind of lotions or creams you use, and use talcum powder after each use to suck up any oils you left behind. After that, you just may be someone who won’t have a long life on neck gaskets.

You may want to consider a repair kit if this is persistent.

The higher standard
Kakatat is a business who’s reputation is built on top notch standards and a sense of responsibility. If a gasket shows even the slightest wear, they have an obligation to recommend fixing it back to perfect new standards. I have used gaskets that had soft edges and a crackled appearance. I roll with them and If when I put it on, I can feel the air pressure inside the suit, I guess it’s OK. Your gaskets would probably be OK for a long time but when a manufacturer checks it they will not take chances with anything and recommend a replacement.

with Celia and Jay. Lotions, creams, bugspray, & almost any other chemical degrades latex. If you thought the gaskets seemed fine and were not a point of leakage, they might be fine. Meanwhile, Kokatat does have a responsibility to protect it’s customers in the case that a gasket is not as good as new.

I use no chemicals on my skin and usually get about 2 years of weekly use out of a neck gasket. Wrist gaskets tend to last twice that. I use care not to stretch the gaskets more than needed to get the suit on and off. Trim to fit when new, no stretching.

Neck gaskets
I’ve had neck gaskets blow after 2 wearings. No kidding. And I baby them.

If Kokatat says it’s toast, believe them. They’re one of the most reputable companies I’ve dealt with both personally and professionally.

And $53 is a good price for replacement of a neck gasket. What’s your life worth?

Paddle well!

303 etc.–probably already know
You probably already know, but it bears repeating if it only helps someone else–use plenty of 303 Protectant or McNett’s UV Tech to keep those gaskets from lifespan as long as possible.