I was getting dressed for a whitewater run a couple of weeks ago and I ripped a hole in the latex bootie of my drysuit. My old drysuit was getting a little tight around the middle anyway, so I decided it was time for a new one. In the past, I have always bought the NRS Extreme, but they didn’t have my size, so I ended up with the Kokatat Legacy instead. Everyone always raves about Kakatat quality, so we’ll see.
I forgot how tight the gaskets are when they are new - especially the neck gasket. I know the gaskets will stretch a little, and having it tight around my neck doesn’t really bother me. The problem I have is getting the neck gasket back over my head when I take the suit off - it is really hard.
So, a quick survey - who here trims the neck gasket on their drysuit? What is the best way to do it - scissors or razor blade?
This is a very old debate going way back within the pnet days.
‘To circumcize or not? To be or not to be? That is the question…’
So once more, everything old is new again. Whether it’s a suit or just the gaskets.
And even though I’ll stretch out a new neck gasket by wrapping it around a small clean cooking pot for a day, I too always vote…
Use a pot and follow lines on gasket. Cut two off the start then wear it for 20 minutes and see how it feels. You can even use painters tape so you can see the ridged lines. Slide the blade flat slowly around and you’ll get a nice line. Zero reason to be uncomfortable with a gasket. Even the wrist may need trimmed.
Pot or cardboard tube anything that let’s position gaskets so it stays aligned while you cut it. No reason to rush just go slow it’s easy. Even a hobby knife can work if you’re more comfortable with it.
just say no to trimming! Stretch the gasket around something and leave it that way for a while. If you are not doing hardcore ocean or great lake paddling then just get a semi drysuit which is cheaper, much more comfortable and less prone to failure. I rarely wear my full drysuits anymore. As far as ripped footies, that’s what duct tape is for.
I trimmed the neck gaskets on both the drysuits I have owned, using scissors.
The Kokatat rep actually started the trimming process for my second drysuit. She cut one ring off and said to try it like that before trimming another ring. Which I eventually did.
Same thing I had done on my first drysuit.
Use sharp scissors, don’t rush, and trim only one ring at a time. Then wear the suit before deciding whether another ring should be trimmed.
There are aids to guide your trimming (pots, bottles, etc). I didn’t use any, and neither did the rep. But she was very experienced at it. If you have a suitable pot and sharp razor, that might be easier.
If you merely squash the neck flat and cut in a shallow arc across, there will be two little pointy spots that you’ll have to depointify. Ask me how I know.
I did it - not too bad once you get going. Razor blade on a 4" can of ice tea. I found the more I stretched the gasket the harder it was to see the rings. Maybe just my bad eyes, but this worked fine - just tight enough that it stayed in place
I took one ring off to start - it was still really tight, rolled over on top of itself, and I still had a hard time getting back over my head. So I took off a second ring an it seems just about right - tight enough to allow for some stretching with use but it lies flat and I can get it back over my head without too much of a struggle.
Its funny that NRS seems to be the only manufacturer/retailer that says not to trim. I’ve always had NRS drysuits and I never had to trim them. Don’t remember them being particularly tight when they were new. This Kokatat had to be trimmed - I couldn’t have worn it the way it was.
Different question - why do you think all the manufacturers have gone back to fabric booties. I’ve had both in the past, and I do think the latex booties last longer. Is it a supply chain issue with latex?