The Fast, Simple, and Cheap Guide to Wetsuit Repair

The Fast, Simple, and Cheap Guide to Wetsuit Repair

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Wetsuit Repair Guide

So you farted too hard while surfing, and blew a hole in your wetsuit. It happens to the best of us. Or something like that anyways.

Before you start crying about your wetsuit that cost hundreds of dollars, let me step in and save you the embarrassment. (Although I’m always a shoulder to cry on, if you really need it)

Fixing a rip, tear, or hole in your wetsuit is actually really easy, and it only costs about $5-$10.

If you read my O’Neill Psycho III wetsuit review, you saw that the seams were starting to crack again. Well just a couple weeks after I wrote that review, one of the cracks turned into a hole. In the crotch. Not fun. Luckily it was an easy fix!

Before we get into how to repair your wetsuit, let’s go over how to prevent a ripped wetsuit in the first place. (Hopefully you are just reading this for informational purposes, and you don’t actually have a damaged wetsuit yet).

Wetsuit neoprene can be pretty flimsy, depending on the thickness. I need to be extra cautious with my 2mm summer suit, but I don’t worry too much about my 4/3 winter suit.

The main cause of torn wetsuits is your fingernails. When you are pulling the wetsuit on, make sure you don’t dig your fingernails into the neoprene, because they can easily poke holes in it.

Be cautious of that, and you should be fine. If you put a plastic grocery bag over your feet before sliding into your wetsuit, it will allow your feet to slip through a lot easier than without a bag. Especially if your suit is wet.

If you are a cute girl and you rip your wetsuit down the middle... maybe you should just leave it. Kind of like this.
If you are a cute girl and you rip your wetsuit down the middle… maybe you should just leave it. Kind of like this.

Repairing Your Wetsuit

The only thing you need to buy is wetsuit cement. This can be bought for $5-$10 at any surf shop, or on Amazon.
(Brand really doesn’t matter, it’s all the same stuff, so don’t pay $20 for the O’Neill cement like I saw on Amazon)

Small Repairs

If the hole/tear is small enough (like the one in my video), all you need is the cement. “Paint” the cement onto each edge of the ripped neoprene, and press the edges together for a few minutes.

The neoprene will actually act like a sponge, and soak up a lot of the cement.

Wait 5-10 minutes for it to dry, and apply another coat. I recommend using at least 3 coats of cement, because the neoprene soaks up a lot of it.

Large Repairs

If you have a long rip in your wetsuit, you will need to sew it together before applying the cement, otherwise it will probably rip again. The cement does a better job sealing than it does holding the neoprene together.

You can use regular thread, or dental floss. The dental floss will last longer, but thread should work fine too because you are putting the sealant over it.

Sew the rip (great for bonding time with Mom) and put a few coats of the cement over each side of the rip.

Let the cement cure overnight.

I’ve fixed several wetsuits this way, and it actually works surprisingly well!


  1. So I’ve got a hole in my thick winter wetsuit- not sure how thick in this place, but just above the navel, in the thick rubberised part, and it is actually a HOLE, about the size of a thumbnail. It’s oval shaped, and some of the material is still there, so that the remaining hole is roughly circular in shape. Should I try and get some kind of fabric and patch it as well as use the cement?

  2. Hi quick question, I have a neoprene water carrier (Hoopla Gorilla Bag deluxe) but I would really like to affix the team logo on it, I can have a patch embroidered with the logo, I just need to know 1) should the fabric the embroidery on be a certain kind, would plain hat canvas be Ok and 2) what glue would hold best to affix this embroidered patch to the neoprene bag. It’s is my u feratanding that neoprene is the same stuff as most wet suits, so I thought someone here could advise. Thanks!

    • Hey Lisa,
      I’m not sure, but I would guess you should use wetsuit cement to affix the patch.
      Let me know how it goes!

  3. Hi i have a swim wetsuit very thin on the shoulders it’s starting to crack on the shoulders can i apply the glue to the cracked area
    Regards Fishy

    • If it’s cracked on the seam, then yes definitely use wetsuit glue. If it’s just cracking all over the shoulder… you can try, but it might not work, and it might irritate your shoulder after. Because it gets pretty hard when it dries, not soft like neoprene.

  4. Greetings. I’m a O’Neill devotee and have the same problem you did: when they go, it’s the cracking seams (despite the fact I’m a real old biddy and pamper the suits with lots of rinsing, no sun, no wire hangers etc.)
    So my question is this: you repaired the holes resulting from the internal glue giving up, but is there a way to repair the glue itself? I’ve tried re-gluing on the surface/inside cracks, but that’s pretty inefficient. Guess getting seam tape and re-taping/re-gluing the works might do, but it sounds laborious (and possibly expensive). I’m figuring there must be a way of simply replacing the blue sealing glue, but not seeing it anywhere.
    Oh, and PS, I’ve just developed two cracks in the glue in the front section between the legs. Wanna hear about painful pinching?! DIY circumcision!
    Thanks in advance for any pointers.

    • Haha! πŸ˜‚
      Your seam tape idea actually sounds good… I had the same problem as you lol πŸ† and I had to get the wetsuit replaced.

  5. Thanks for the reply (and great site). I’m thinking if completely re-taping and -gluing is too much work or cost, I may try a complete psycho attempt with a hijacked product: spray-on industrial plastic or waterproof silicon glue plumbers use to install shower stalls. Anything is better than having an otherwise pristine suit become useless do to seam leaking or pinch-induced organ mutilation!

  6. hey brother my suit sat for 2 yrs and the seams inside are now really sticky and leave painful rubber sticky balls on my.body hair. what could i do? wetsuit glue over all seams?

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