What to Do With Old Wetsuits | 2021 Guide [Updated]

If you’ve been surfing for a few years, it’s likely that you have a few old wetsuits in your closet. 

This could either be because you have outgrown them, they have become damaged, or the seals are not keeping water in properly anymore.

You could throw your old wetsuits away, but it makes a lot more sense to make use of your old wetsuits by recycling them, saving them to cut up and use for wetsuit repairs, or donating them to someone who needs them.

The following article will take a look at what you can do with your old or broken wetsuits that are lying around your house.

Donate Your Wetsuits to Charity

Giving your old wetsuits away to someone who will use them to their full advantage is one of the best things you can do.

There are many companies and charities around the world who will be happy to take in a wetsuit that you no longer use and provide it to those who need it.

Some of these charities include:

  1. Valpo Surf Project
  2. Ampsurf
  3. Surfpop

1. Valpo Surf Project

Valpo surf project is a non-profit based in Chile that uses surfing as a means to help young people that have grown up in violent, and drug-riddled communities better their life.

2. Ampsurf

AmpSurf is an American-based organization that teaches and aids those with disabilities to surf and enjoy a part of the surfing lifestyle that brings so many of us happiness.

AmpSurf is always on the lookout for donations of kids-sized wetsuits, surfboards, booties, hoods, and other surfing equipment.

3. Surfpop

Surfpop is based in Cape Town, South Africa and uses surfing as a means to introduce young people from surrounding townships and underprivileged communities to an alternative lifestyle.

Not only does Surfpop take kids surfing but they put an emphasis on education and proper nutrition. 

The above charities and organizations are just a few examples out of thousands of community projects that use surfing to connect with the youth and bring them towards a better life.

By simply searching around the internet or asking people at your favorite surf spot you will likely discover a similar project that is locally based in your area.

It is always a good idea to support local communities, especially when it is giving the youth a better path.


Recycle Your Wetsuit

recycled wetsuits

If your wetsuit is too damaged to be donated and reused, you could always recycle it and change it into something else.

What you do with the material is only limited by your own imagination, but some ideas could include using the arms and legs as a water bottle insulator, making a homemade wallet with the material, or using the wetsuit material as a buffer to protect your board while you travel or store it in your home. 

If you find that your creative inspiration is dead, you could always give your wetsuit to a company such as Suga, which takes old wetsuits and turns them into yoga mats.

Not only does this help reduce trash, but you will also receive a 10% discount when shopping at their store.

Another such company is Green Guru Gear. Green Guru takes donations of old wetsuits, climbing ropes, tents, and bike tires and turns them into bags, laptop cases, wallets, belts, and many additional products.

If you would like to see the material of your old wetsuit used to its highest purpose, these companies could be your answer.


Use Old Wetsuits to Patch Holes in Other Wetsuits

If you come home from the beach one day to find that you have torn a hole in your favorite wetsuit, not all is lost.

You can use an old and broken wetsuit to create a patch, and therefore repair the suit that you want to wear.

This is a fairly simple task and will only require an old wetsuit, wetsuit glue, a small brush, and a little bit of your time.

How to Patch a Wetsuit

Patching a wetsuit is a simple job that will not take much of your time. By following the steps below your wetsuit should be in working condition well before you plan to hit the waves again.

Step 1: Make sure your wetsuit is clean and dry. You should make sure that it is properly rinsed with fresh water before allowing it to dry off.

Step 2: Turn your wetsuit inside out and clean up the torn area. Cut away any nylon or cotton from the surface layer of the suit and remove a thin layer of the neoprene so that it is tapered towards the hole.

Because of the cleared area and tapering, you will have plenty of space to connect the patch and avoid stress tears.

Step 3: Grab your old wetsuit and cut a patch that is big enough to cover the entire area of the hole.

You should remove all the material from the side of the patch that will make contact with your wetsuit.

The patch should also be tapered in the same way as your wetsuit.

Step 4: Grab your chosen wetsuit adhesive and follow the instructions provided.

The glue should be placed both on the patch and around the hole in your wetsuit. Do not be stingy with the adhesive, it is likely that you will need a fairly large amount to properly secure the patch and keep it watertight.

Let the glue dry slightly before sticking it onto your suit.

Step 5: Press the patch onto the hole and secure it with a weight such as a book. Leave it for the recommended time provided by the instructions of the glue and you are good to go.

Step 6: Finally, it is time to test it out. Put on your suit, hit the ocean, and find out how your handyman skills have worked.


Conclusion

Throughout your life as a surfer, you will likely go through a few wetsuits. 

Instead of throwing these away, which would add to the trash in the world and ultimately be a huge waste, you should consider giving it away or repurposing the suit or the material for something else.

It may take you a moment to think of the best thing to create with your old wetsuit, but recycling or repurposing is always better than destroying.

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