Trimming latex wrist seals?

I have a some trouble removing my Stohlquist B-pod from my wrists. The suit fits fine otherwise, but the wrists have to be stretched pretty far to get my hands through. Is it better to just aggressively stretch the seals over my hands - or should I trim so they come off easier? Stohlquist FAQs state that the wrists should be trimmed very little, if at all. How much is “very little”?

Do they feel tight on?
If not, I would’t trim or stretch them. It seems the wrist gaskets are usually good to go unless you’ve got some pretty big wrists.

try talc or cornstarch on your wrists
there was a lively discussion here

Seems the real enemy of latex is other goo on your skin

This is of course assuming that the difficulty is just getting the drytop on and off.

Trim them 1/8” at a time with very sharp scissors. Do not use an exacto knife as they tend to leave small nicks in the seals and that is where you will develop tears. Also stretch the seals open with your other hand when you are removing them and you will have less chance of a tear, top that with a good coating of pure talc and you should be good to go

I had the same instructions on my
Stohlquist drytop, and there weren’t any trim rings. I stored the wrist gaskets for a while with 20 oz plastic soda bottles inserted, and they eased up nicely.

I would not trim them to make my hands fit. If your wrists fit properly now, you will not do good to trim them.

I have huge hands and have found that practicing patience is the best thing to do when getting the hands out of my drysuit or drytop. If you get in a hurry and stress the gasket too much, it will tear. I’ve been wearing a drysuit for several years now and have never had a wrist gasket fail.

Perhaps the best thing to do is to wait until it’s time to do a gasket replacement and then see if you can go up a size. But again, if it fits your wrist, getting a hand out will always take some effort.

Thanks for the answers!
I’ll try leaving the seals how they are and powdering them. This dry suit has slightly tighter (or stiffer?) seals than my previous dry top, but it sounds like having to stretch hard to get over the hands is pretty normal.

not meant to be trimmed
The neck gasket is like a large funnel in shape. So, if you trim it, the circumference gets larger. The wrists and ankle seals are parallel or like a tube. Technically you will gain nothing except a little less pressure.

Powder the seals and your hands.

Excellent point (NM)

Wasn’t there a story in SK Mag
about tight wrist gaskets causing a problem, and the couple had to call off their paddle around the tip of South America.

My hands were swelling and going numb from too much pressure around my wrist until I trimmed (stretching didn’t work) the wrist gaskets on my new dry suit. Since then my hands have been find, and the gaskets are doing fine also.

However, if they are just hard to get on or off just using the talc and patience will be the better course of action.

not tapered?
Last time Ibought wrist seals the dive shop said there was no point in trimming, as they were not tapered like a neck seal, so check yours before you trim.

Not tapered.
On mine, anyway. But I think that trimming them back a little might make them easier to remove anyway.

But -

They aren’t cutting off the blood flow, just being a bit difficult to remove. Actually, the Glacier Gloves with wrist straps that I am wearing over the cuffs were causing a little constriction when pulled too tight. I loosened the adjustment on those wrist straps and all was well. And the seals go over my hands easy enough when putting them on dry…

I can deal with the difficulty of removing them, whether the powder fixes that or not. Just wondered if forcing them to stretch over my hands was not the best idea. Sounds like it is. And I notice that the rim of the seal is actually thicker than the rest of it, so not cutting it seems best.

I can’t imagine that talc does anything but make a mess when one is soaked and dripping water.

Seems to me it would just add to the misery of changing when I am standing out there trying not to freeze to death while I change clothes. :o)

A sharp blade works just fine
I’ve trimmed many seals with one and have never had a seal tear afterward. The best way to do it is to insert a plastic bottle and try to make one continuous cut by rolling/turning the bottle as you cut.

A little less pressure is the point
Too much pressure cuts off your circulation.

Talc is only useful…
…when putting the suit on. There is no point in trying to powder the seals when the suit is wet. As you said, it will just make a mess. In a pinch, just allow the sleeves and seals to invert when removing the suit.

Ditto on inverting
the sleeves and gaskets when taking off the suit.

Inverting the sleeves…
…is what I do now. What about powdering the seal on the outside before inverting? It’s not like I’m dripping wet. If it helps save the seals from damage or accelerated wear due to the stretching, I could put up with a little mess. I’m by water for clean-up, after all.

I don’t think these things are as tender
… as they’re sometimes made out to be. I’ve never been particularly careful, and at times have been downright abusive (days gone by with latex ankle gaskets) and never had an issue.

But, if you’ve got a ragged trim job, big long fingernails or forget to take a watch off (maybe), you could have trouble. But barring that, I haven’t seen it.

The moisture on your skin…
…is an effective lubricant when removing the suit. You don’t need anything else.