The Fast, Simple, and Cheap Guide to Wetsuit Repair

How To Repair A Wetsuit

Some kook ran you over while surfing, and ripped your wetsuit? We all have one of those guys in our local lineup. ๐Ÿ™„

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)

By the way, we recently came out with our own Ho Stevie! Wetsuit for $199.97 (but it performs like a $400 wetsuit). When the time comes for you to buy a new wetsuit, we would love to get you in one of ours ๐Ÿ–ค

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.

Wetsuit Repair Guide

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 Wetsuit 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 Wetsuit Repairs

Sewing Damaged Wetsuit

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!

If your wetsuit is too far gone, check out our 4/3mm and 3/2mm Men’s Fullsuits.

We’re working hard to come out with more wetsuit options soon, like Men’s Springsuits, Women’s Fullsuits and Springsuits, and more!

Hey I'm Stevie, and I started this company (Ho Stevie!) in 2014 so I could bring more value to surfers like you. I want to build the best surf gear, at the best price for you, and provide the best service. (Over 100,000 happy customers agree!) I surf with our products every day here in San Diego, and when I'm not surfing, I'm working with my team to create the most entertaining and educational content about surfing (hence this blog). Drop a comment or email me if there's anything I can help you with!


  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. Itโ€™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 itโ€™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! ?
      Your seam tape idea actually sounds good… I had the same problem as you lol ? 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?

  7. Is there a way to fix all of the cracking seams inside the wetsuit? I have the same problem that you showed in your wetsuit review for O’neil Psycho suit ๐Ÿ™ Can you glue or tape over them and not have them bother your body inside the suit? If so, what do you recommend I buy to cover over the cracking seams? Thank you!

    • Unfortunately when the seams are all cracked like that, there’s not much you can do ๐Ÿ™
      You could try using the wetsuit glue to seal the seams again, but it isn’t going to smooth them out much.

  8. Hi Stevie,
    My wetsuit is too tight around the neck. I swam in the lake today, and ended up having to unzip the top to be able to breath properly.
    Do you have a suggestion on how I can loosen the neck area.
    I do not want to spend the money to buy a new wetsuit if I don’t have to. Just need to get thru these 5 months before the event.
    Thank you

    • Hmmm no I don’t think you can make the neck area any looser. Mayyyybe cut a small vertical line from the top of the neck?

  9. Hi Stevie, thanks for all the information!

    I was sipping my 3/2 suit up yesterday and when I went to secure the zipper with the Velcro flap on the collar the Velcro and the section of collar itโ€™s attached to ripped off.

    Iโ€™m not against paying the $50 for a new collar but the local repair ship just closed for a 2 week vacation.

    Any suggestions on how to reattach that section of collar or otherwise secure the zipper (when called for) for the next two weeks?


    • Yeah I bet if you use dental floss to sew the collar, and then seal it with the wetsuit glue, it should be good!


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