If you are a cold-water diver, you know that a drysuit is essential to keeping you warm and dry under water. However, a drysuit is a significant investment that can cost $1,000 and up. If you do not properly maintain your drysuit, you will have to periodically service it, and that can be pricey. For example, it can cost between $300 to $500 to replace the zipper on your drysuit. YKK manufactures an airtight and watertight zipper that can be used in drysuits and in other diving gear. We would like to share the following tips on how to take care of your drysuit including how to properly maintain the zipper.
When it comes to properly caring for the zipper on your drysuit, the article, "Drysuit Zippers: The Heart and Soul of your Drysuit," says, "Before donning your drysuit...as well as removing...make sure the zipper is completely open. Otherwise, overstressing the ends may lead to damage. The same is true to aggressively putting your drysuit on or off." The article also says, "With the zipper closed, wax or lubricate your zipper along the teeth. Excessive wax or sprays will attract and retain dirt, which can damage the sealing surface."
The article "Maintaining Your Drysuit," written by H. Kell Levendorf for scubadiving.com, also adds, "Apply the wax only on the outside of the teeth so not to interfere with the zipper's inner sealing surfaces. If your suit's a rear-entry design and you need help zippering up, make sure your buddy knows what he is doing. Drysuit zippers are heavy-duty but they're not indestructible. Never yank; instead, stretch the zipper track out as straight as possible and apply a slow, steady pull on the zipper car while keeping the track off the undergarment so nothing gets jammed in the teeth."
The article "Dry Wear Care and Storage" found on nrs.com also says, "Avoid bending or crimping a dry zipper. A broken zipper cannot be repaired, and replacing one is very expensive." "When closing a zipper, line up the two halves and slide the zipper car with a smooth, steady motion. If you have difficulty, stop and determine the cause. You may need to ask for help."
YKK manufactures an PROSEAL® airtight and watertight zipper that can be used in drysuits and other diving gear. For more information, click here.