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Tech Tip: Question Wetsuit protection?

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by EvergreenDean, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean OK with what happens

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    Location:
    Boulder, UT
    Since canyoning in Italy, I am determined to find a good material to protect the knees and elbows of my wetsuits. The wetsuits used there have been customized with a rubbery material that is very hard but still semi-pliable on these spots. It needs to be something that can be spread on rather than sprayed, as it needs to be built up to form a pad. I did buy both the spray on truck bed liner and another rustoleum product to test, but both are spray on so I doubt they will be the solution. Anyone tried anything that worked? Ideas?
  2. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    I've used aqua seal and iron mend on my wet suits. Patches up the holes. Seems to hold up fairly well. I suppose you could use that and/or similar material underneath to build up some kind of padding, then iron/aqua seal it on. Worth a try maybe?

    I've also used Mueller and McDavid pads to protect (with or without a wet suit).
  3. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean OK with what happens

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    Location:
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    Those products are all part of my current regimen. The Aquaseal does not harden like the material they use in Europe. It simply returns a damaged suit to the same vulnerable state it came in. The McDavid/Muellers are the best add-on pads for sure. What I have in mind will become a permanent part of the suit and will hold up to a lot of abrasion. I will share results when I am done testing.
    Ram and Mountaineer like this.
  4. Nordschleife

    Nordschleife

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    The stuff used in europe is liquid rubber(latex)
  5. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean OK with what happens

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    Actually, what I have seen and used there is Polyurethane. Here is the label on the bottle, translated by Google: "Full Product Description: LacquerFlexible polyurethane which makes tear all the media on which it is applied. Applies to the parties to protect wetsuits but can also be applied on leather, canvas, jeans ... 1 liter bottle."
    I'm gonna guess that we don't allow this stuff for some EPA reason. Last night I tested polyurethane in a can, from the paint store, as well as the spray on truck bed liner and the spray on rubber leak sealant products from Rustoleum. None of them are effective. The polyurethane needs to be thick and spreadable to form the type of pad you need. They sell this stuff in dive shops over there! Will find out if they are even allowed to ship to US and if so how much it would cost.
  6. Nordschleife

    Nordschleife

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    Erik likes this.
  7. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean OK with what happens

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    Wow, you beat me to it. I found them too and and missed them by 10 minutes. Will place a call tomorrow. I think we are on to something here. Thanks!
  8. TJ Cottam

    TJ Cottam Adventure Plus

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    I wear hiking pants and a lightweight long sleeve shirt over my wetsuit. Has worked great and I've gotten years of life out of my suits. The clothes can slip over the suit a bit and prevent the suit from getting enough friction to catch and tear.
  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I try to wear the knee pads and elbow pads at all times, at least with a new suit. Somewhat warmer with them. Same with the Neo Shorts, and the Scuttlebutt - but still!

    Tom
  10. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Silicone calk. I know it seems like it wouldn't work but it works remarkably well. Identify the high-wear areas on your suit, tape or otherwise mark the area, apply calk generously and spread with pressure working into the material. It remains more flexible than any urethane based protection. Urethane is stronger, but more rigid. Flexibility/stretch are the trade offs with durability. The silicone calk is a huge step up in durability over nothing at all. I use it on my neo socks and the elbow/upper arms and knees of my wet suits.
    Sandstone Addiction likes this.
  11. Pikan

    Pikan

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    Just wondering if any of you guys have found this stuff, or something like it here in the USA. I like the silicone calk idea, but I'd like to investigate all the options before I start putting goopy stuff on my wetsuit ;)
  12. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Seems this would just wear/peal off? Great idea, as in addition Silicone has been found to not harm the environment.
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