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Trimming neck gasket


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OK, here's today's possibly stupid question: In trimming neck gasket of dry suit, do you do it right on the line, a hair above, or a hair below...or does it matter as long as you do it neatly and carefully? Do people prefer sharp scissors or a razor?


In the past Suz had trimmed a few for me using very sharp scissors. She had cut between the lines. I think that she said that the key is to leave the cut smooth without any nicks that can run.

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I don't think there is any neck-size guideling for trimming neck gaskets, but I think that is because of personal preference. The neck gasket should fit snug without cutting off circulation or breathing, and for each individual this will be different. I recommend applying 303 and giving it a stretch first (maybe overnight?), then try it on to see how tight it is. If it is too tight, trim off one ring (cut between the rings), stretch again (maybe another night?), and give it another try. Repeat until you get it as comfortably snug as you can, since you can always trim it again later. I recommend doing this over a period of some time not only to give the rubber a chance to stretch, but also becuse irritation from trying it on can make it feel tighter than it actually might be..

With my first gasket, I tested the fit and trimmed it without first treating it with 303. I cut it down probably farther than I should have, and it was chafing my neck pretty bad. It wasn't until after I wore it that I treated it with 303 and what a difference that made!! Always remember to treat you gaskets prior to trying them on. Also be aware that it is possible to actually harm yourself from having a neck gasket too tight. After a day paddling with a new gasket replacement I ended up with a bruise on my neck and had trouble talking for a little while - definitely needed to trim more off! When you think you have the fit right, I highly recommend wearing the suit around the house for a while to verify, instead of finding out a mile off the coast that it is too tight.

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Rob has a good point about the consequences of overly tight gaskets. My suit came back from Kokatat with a new neck gasket and I trimmed it tight thinking I'd adjust as needed. Well never got around to trimming until after some big water training where I was consistently nauseous to the point of retching. Trimmed one more ring and haven't had this problem since.



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