Shrink that drysuit gasket?

This is not about too-tight neck gaskets and ways to stretch them out.

I have the opposite problem. I get a little leakage around the neck gasket. I got an XL suit because I am tall, but I’m a skinny paddler with a necksize 15.5". Probably unusual in terms of XL necks.

Can I get smaller gaskets? Where?

Is installing a gasket a DIY job, or do I have to send it somewhere? Where?

TIA for any hints.

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD

If you wore a neoprene hood with a neck that would take up the gap. I know because mine is too tight with the hood.

Call Kayak Academy
George or Barb have always been quite helpful. Some of the more popular gasket brands only come in two sizes, but generic brands (< $) come in several different sizes. The Kayak Academy also sells a neck gasket kit which works very well for DIY. I have done 3 or 4 neck gaskets over the last two years, most recently last weekend. Each one gets easier. Took about 45 minutes for the last one.



– Last Updated: Mar-15-07 6:23 AM EST –

look in repairs for different gaskets.


stearoids and neck exercises?

Just thinking outside the box.


Hood INSIDE the neck gasket?
Davejjj, are you suggesting that you wear you neo hood with the neck inside your neck gasket?

If you are, you are more likely to get water infiltration in along with it being uncomfortable. THe gasket is meant to be against skin which is how it keeps the water out.

Original poster -

You can buy smaller neck gaskets from a dive shop if you can find one. The nice thing is that you can actually try on the ones they have there and find the one that fits you best. There is even variation within a size so the different larges will fit differently.

THey may even install for you if you want.

There are also directions for neck gasket changing on Kokotat’s website. I’ve only done wrists and not a neck but it isn’t hard, just a bit fiddly.


What brand? new or used?
I too use an XL and I’m 6’ 2" but not really big. I have a Kokatat. Kokatat uses a large neck gasket in their XL and Large suits. They don’t install XL gaskets in spite of requests. On a new suit, it would be plenty tight for you. So, is your suit new? And what brand? If your suit is used, someone could have cut the gasket.

Installing a neck seal is easy once you see it done. You need a ring for a neck jig. I think on the Kokatat site they have photos and instruction. Dive stores usually sell seals or you can buy one from Kokatat. NRS too. Many dive stores do that service as well.

NRS has 4 sizes, but no size guide
The drysuit is a new Bomber Gear Radiator.

I did some web searches and found 4 sizes of neck gasket available at NRS, but no sizing info. I have emailed them to ask the appropriate size.

NRS appears to have a good set of directions for installing the neck gasket, too.

It is usually not so cold that I want a neoprene hood. Mostly it’s the water that’s cold, not the air.

I lost some weight over the past year since becoming a veggie, and I think my neck might be skinnier as a result. I had to laugh at Jim’s suggestion for steroids and neck exercises, but I could probably benefit from at least the exercise part of that recommendation. I should go downtown at lunch hour, sit on a bench, and my neck will get a work out as a result of the many head-turning women I will see. Hey, if I need to exercise, I may as well enjoy it!

Thank you, all posters, for your suggestions.


Definitely a DIY
As long as your comfortable mucking around with fabric and glue, and (ideally) cutting round jigs out of 3/8" plywood. Kokatat web site has a couple PDFs on the subject. Very good instructions, including dimensions for a jig. Don’t know if dimensions or instructions change if not a Kokatat suit. Also, as stated above, Kayak Academy is a very good resourse for everything Kokatat drysuit related, including replacement gaskets.

Here’s a couple back posts on the subject.

Paul S.

If you have to use the drysuit before
you change the neck gasket, try to find a rubber band that goes over your head and feels comfy over the top of the gasket. (I found one right away.) This may be just enough to cut out the leakage.

I have a size 16 1/2-17 neck, I use their largest size and I still have to trim it. The next size down should work fine for you.