Drysuit wrist gaskets

Once latex wrist gaskets are stretched, do they stay stretched or does the latex revert to its original shape?

Thanks very much.

They continue to fit
I never noticed that they stretched. If that does start happening noticeably, a closer look is likely to reveal that the gasket has a weak point along the edge and is close to ripping.

Thanks…I should have
done a better job with the question.

When wrist gaskets are too tight and cut off your circulation, the manufacturer’s advice is to stretch (not cut) them. What I don’t know is if once the gasket is stretched so it can be worn comfortably, will it stay stretched?

Take the time to get used to them
Honestly, in all the gaskets I have ever used there is only one where I finally had to cut a ring off to make it comfortable, and that was an extremely thick older Stohlquist neck gasket While it felt tight, it never left me short of oxygen.

The Kokatat gaskets are quite lightweight, maybe too much so for someone like me who seems to melt down the neck gaskets. I am hard pressed to figure out how they could actually cut off circulation unless you ordered the wrong size altogether, which would be a moot point because you body would not fit into the suit anyway.

I wouldn’t actually on purpose stretch any Kokatat gasket. Just wear it and you will get accustomed to the feeling.

Latex is
devious. the stuff has a gene for self destruction.

if stretching find an object sixed to your wrist or less…a stale


stick it in n leave it there.

when you inspect for stretch the gasket will dissolve when touched.

send an email to George Gronseth asking for advice.

latex will loosen over time somewhat so it does stretch a bit with use. Neck gaskets are the only ones that may need trimming.

I’d contact the manufacturer
If it’s cutting off your circulation, and it doesn’t stretch, it’s always going to cut off your circulation. I’ve cut a ring off mine with no negative results.

Here is some informed commentary on wrist gaskets:




There is no getting used to gaskets that cut off your circulation, but there are consequences, as I found out before trimming mine. It seems the conventional wisdom regarding “stretching” is that it also weakens gaskets by introducing microscopic tears. So if you’re hesitant to trim but need relief, I’d call the manufacturer. What’s important is that you have full use of your hands in all conditions and that the seal is snug enough to be waterproof.

Wrist gaskets vs neck gaskets
I wonder why it is good to trim neck gaskets but not wrist gaskets.

On both my first (Stohlquist) drysuit and my second (Kokatat) drysuits I trimmed neck gasket rings. I vaguely remember also trimming one ring off either the wrist or ankle gaskets in the Stollie; I can’t remember which although it was probably the latter. Had no problems, whichever it was. But the gaskets in the Stollie were thicker rubber than in the Ktat.

I would wear the suit with wrist gaskets untrimmed a few more times before deciding. Then, if still horribly tight, cut ONE ring off and see how that feels.

second what PaddleDog52 said…
Second what PaddleDog52 said about stretching. When you stretch latex (or just about anything elastic), it loses some of its elasticity. So it still tries to recover back to its original size, but only recovers partially back. So stretching a gasket will make it a little looser.

That said, I have generally been unsuccessful stretching a gasket enough to make it comfortable for my large wrists and neck. I have trimmed both neck and wrist gaskets. Downside to this is that over time, what was comfortable starts to stretch out and become loose. The challenge is to make it just barely comfortable enough so that it still stays effective until the gasket’s life is over, and then needs to be replaced.

That’s good news.

– Last Updated: Jun-23-16 11:19 AM EST –

No problem with the neck gasket; that was trimmed for me.

Wrist gaskets are size small and interfere with circulation. Same thing happened on a loaner suit.

Am stretching the wrist gaskets now and if they stay relaxed, I'll be one happy camper as I really don't want to play with scissors and the gaskets out of fear I'd botch the job and take too much off.

Thanks for the suggestions - excepting the baguettes which are better served with something savory (not latex) and a bottle of wine.

One size fits…few
The problem is that the seals installed on dry suits have to fit the smallest person that is likely to buy the suit. If you happen to have small wrists or neck for your body size, they may fit you with little or no trimming. However, if you have normal to large wrists and neck, you can expect the seals to be uncomfortably tight and require trimming.

We can get into the trim vs. stretch debate, but suffice it to say the Kokatat is the only company I’ve seen that recommends stretching instead of trimming. Even the manufacturers of the seals recommend trimming, which is why the seal have trim rings molded into them.

Wrist seals most definitely cut off blood circulation if they’re too tight. Overly tight seals can also cause aches in the wrists and arms. Also, they don’t need to be tight to function. Properly fitted seals should be able to be lifted off the skin easily by pinching them with just the thumb and forefinger.

That’s simply untrue
While YOU may be able to get away without trimming YOUR wrist seals, that is not true for everyone. Even XL seals are too tight for me and require trimming.

Latex seals stretch very little, so unless they’re close to a comfortable fit, stretching doesn’t work. Attempting to stretch them excessively damages the latex and shortens the life of the seal.

Trimming is very simple

– Last Updated: Jun-25-16 11:40 AM EST –

If the seals are very tight, trim off 1/4" to start. If they're still too tight, take of 1/8" at a time until they're comfortable.

If you're going to do this with scissors, use high-quality sewing scissors to ensure that you get a clean cut. I prefer to stretch the seal over a plastic bottle and use a NEW single-edge razor blade or a NEW blade in an X-Acto knife, utility knife or carpet knife. However, in a pinch, I've done it in the field using a discarded water bottle and a sharp Swiss army knife.

Stretch worked, but maybe
just temporarily. Wore the suit Friday and the wrists were okay. Didn’t wear it Sat. or Sun. as the temp both days was close to 90F. Figured a cold dunk was better than collapsing from heat exhaustion (I’m a cool weather gal), plus there were loads of ACA/BCU instructors around who like practicing with crash dummies.

When I got back home last night, slipped on one of the arms and wrist gasket felt like it had tightened. Will check them out later today and if I’m back to square one, then definitely will trim using a new razor and Frog tape to help cut a straight line.

Appreciate your definition of properly fitted seals. My neck gasket fits that way - due credit to Marshall who trimmed it for me before shipping the suit. I’d like the wrists to fit the same way.

I have a kokatat and just replaced
my neck and wrist seals a couple of months ago.

Stretching hasn’t worked for me. I have to trim all seals. here is how I do it. I use a new razor knife blade and the gasket stretched over a glass jar or hard plastic cup, and try to make a continuous cut all the way to where I started without lifting the blade. Sometimes I have to lift so I try to start back without making a nick in the edge. I wear a magnifying visor I use when doing close up carving or wood burning to help my aging eyes. I have to take 3 rings off my wrist and neck gaskets, but always do so 1 at a time and try the new fit. I will even leave them a slight bit tight and wear the suit that way for a paddle or two. However so far I have had to trim again. Hope the stretching works for you, but trimming isn’t a big deal if you have to do it.

I don’t understand why
people are afraid to trim but have no reservations about stretching gaskets. Makes no sense.

Because this is what Kokatat

– Last Updated: Jun-27-16 6:52 PM EST –

states on their website:

"Wrist gaskets are not designed to be trimmed: try stretching the wrist gaskets over a form (can or bottle) before using the garment."

I figure they know more about this stuff than I do, so I'll give stretching a shot. If the latex doesn't stay relaxed, only then will I trim a tiny strip.

of your wrist is? Looking for a tape to measure mine.

Six inches.
Size small drysuit.

Plan A is stretch. Plan B: Bottle, fresh razor blades and maybe some tape so I can manage a straight line.

fair enough
No offense, but as you can see here, plenty of people have trimmed wrist and neck gaskets. If it were me, I’d call them and ask why they discourage the practice.