Taking off a drysuit (wrist gaskets)

How do you guys do it without dislocating fingers?? Every time I come back from paddling I am having one hell of a time taking off the suit at the wrist gaskets. They seal and seal real well hehe. I try to jam a finger under the gasket and wiggle my wrist out of there but in the cold weather the rubber gasket shrink I guess and that makes a real PITA.

Any tricks??

my trick

– Last Updated: Nov-19-07 4:15 PM EST –

When taking off the drysuit, I unzip and get my head out. Then, I either keep my gloves on, or put them on. Then, I pull the sleeve from one arm, inside out, until the gasket flops inside out onto the glove. so then, when I pull the glove off, the gasket slides off with it.

Discovered this by accident and have been removing the drysuit this way ever since. So obviously, I'd love to hear some other tips also...:)

Sprinkle talc on your hands
and outside of the gasket and pull the sleeve inside-out?


inside out…

– Last Updated: Nov-19-07 3:28 PM EST –

As seakak indicates I always get my head out first.

My trick then is to pull the sleeves of my dry suit inside-out as I remove my wrists from the gaskets. There seems to be far less resistance doing this than trying to pull my hand straight back through the gasket while keeping the suit 'right-side' out.

You can also use cornstarch or 'gasket' powder from a dive shop on the inside of your wrist gaskets to aid in the process. Be careful of some talc powders for they are abrasive.

Inside out
Like the others, I take my head out first.

For the wrists, pull the sleeves off far enough to get the gaskets to flip inside out. Then it is pretty easy to get the fingers of you opposite hand in under the gasket to stretch them so you can pull your hand out the rest of the way.

Agree, drysuit PITA
I have large hands and identify with your problem. It takes me 10 to 15 minutes of straining, grunting and groaning to get in or out of that infernal garment. I’m about whipped just from putting on the drysuit. I have tried that inside-out business, but I was pretty sure I was going to rip the gasket off the garment. Once inside out the cuff adds pressure to the gasket on the hands and it just doesn’t pull.

Baby powder is enormously helpful and is the only thing I have found that helps. Dry your hand as much as possible, powder it up, pull 'em off, starting with the cuff. The gasket inside the cuff will reverse itself, and with an ample helping of powder, will slide off.

My suit has ankle gaskets, too, and I think those are harder than the hands. I should get booties added on. That will reduce the gasket battle by 40%!


All I want for Christmas is drysuit

I fall on my face trying to wrestle out of the ankle gaskets. Usually this is in freezing cold.

I cannot wait for a retrofit…then I can wear nice fleecy sox under the Goretex booties.

Even talc doesnt help with removal. It does for getting on.

Have you trimmed the gaskets?
If you have not trimmed the gaskets, there may be more latex than you need for a seal. I trimmed the heck out of the neck, the wrists about half as much and the ankles not at all. My family leaves the house when I am trying to get the ankles off. I would trim them too but they are the most important seal. Good luck.

Latex wrist gaskets
can be a challenge to get off especially if you have large hands and when your hands are wet and cold. I have small hands and I can get a couple fingers under the gasket and work my fingers around the gasket while pulling the gasket off slowly. I have tried to just pull my hand out but my wet hands stick to the gasket and make it impossible. Next year there will be neoprene wrist gaskets that stretch a lot more than latex and can easily be removed by just pulling your hand out. You won’t have to fight them too much longer.

new gasket material

I believe this is the third time you have mentioned the pending arrival of some new gaskets that will supposedly replace the current latex offerings.

Do you mean that one or more major watersport clothing manufacturers will soon be using these new gaskets in their clothing in lieu of latex?

  • Or -

    Does ‘someone you know’ hope to supply these to a manufacturer like Kokatat / NRS?

Yeah Don…
What’s up? You keep talking about these things, but you never back it up with information… what gives?

I had the problem with dry suit pants.
Waterbuffy had to pull them off for me. (Don’t go there).It is really kind of embarrassing to be practically dragged around a boat ramp to get the things off. I cut the gaskets down so I can take them off with no assistance.

New Kokatat’s seem easier
The drysuit angels at Kokatat replaced my suit last year (said the fabric was going bad). The new one has gaskets that seem more pliable. Both wrist and neck are easier to get off (it has booties, thank the stars). Don’t know if these are a different material, but it might be worth asking Kokatat.


I can’t handle that neck gasket , so
my jacket is water resistant, not dry.

The drysuit manufacturers
have been working with neoprene for some time now and are getting closer to coming up with a neoprene gasket that functions like a latex gasket. There are materials available and prototypes that work but it’s still in the developing stage. I apologize for these repeated post without more information but I’m limited at this time to what I can say because there have been new developments that are being protected and I just want people to know that it will get better.

Trim the seals

– Last Updated: Nov-20-07 8:44 AM EST –

If you cannot easily pinch the seal with your thumb and index finger and lift it off your skin, it's too tight. It's also reducing blood flow to your hands. There is no need for wrist seals to be especially tight. I was shown this by a paddling friend who also dives in dry suits all the time. Once the seals fit properly, getting the suit on and off is MUCH less of a hassle.

IR stohlquist and others already
do have them…my fav is stohlquists…


on my stohlquist suit
they have a heftier (thicker but easier to handle for some reason) wrist gasket material…so i just pull inside out and off…


I think restricting
blood flow to the brain could be a bigger problem and might explain some white water kayakers I know.