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Drysuits/tops - get out the 303!


Suz

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Now is the time to pull the drysuits out and give them a good look over, make sure they are clean (should of washed them before putting away..), double check the inside to make sure that you didn't grow any mold due to poor air circulation on a dirty damp suit and more importantly, 303 the gaskets!

Gaskets should be "lubed" up every 4-6 weeks and that includes during down time. I know I don't seem to do that during the off season so before you put it on and stretch the gasket, take the time to lube it up inside/outside and let it sink in, give it another helping and let it sit some more, can't hurt it... THEN use it. Do this for the dry tops and your suits it may save you from having to replace.

As a side note, I had a really old gasket hanging around, bought it for a spare eons ago before going on a trip to the UK where I wanted to have a spare. I took it out at a drysuit repair day and lubed the dried cracking gasket and by the end of the hour, it was softer and pliable again. I might not want to risk that one a suit but it tells me that we need to lube them up when we are storing them.

If your suit needs repair, better to do it now than it is to wait until November!

Suz

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If your suit needs repair, better to do it now than it is to wait until November!

FYI, no connection to Kokatat, but I recently had a great experience with them. My drysuit had a leak and needed gaskets replaced and my splash top had started to delaminate. Sent everything in to them and they sent back a brand new splash top and the fixed drysuit in a ridiculous short time. Great phone support as well. The lead time for them is most likely longer now given the season so Suz is right, do it now rather than later.

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QUOTE(Kevin B @ Sep 11 2008, 09:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
FYI, no connection to Kokatat, but I recently had a great experience with them. My drysuit had a leak and needed gaskets replaced and my splash top had started to delaminate. Sent everything in to them and they sent back a brand new splash top and the fixed drysuit in a ridiculous short time. Great phone support as well. The lead time for them is most likely longer now given the season so Suz is right, do it now rather than later.

I got my drysuit in late October ( a few years ago), on sale at KTP, and the gaskets almost instantly deteriorated and failed. I suspect its because that drysuit was on the rack in that big sunlit space for a full season or more (why it was on sale to begin with ), certainly not 303'd by the staff while on display, and sunlight does a dance on latex.

The replacement gaskets have done very well: probably spanking new when installed and they now don't spend longer in sunlight than they have to.

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I got my drysuit in late October ( a few years ago), on sale at KTP, and the gaskets almost instantly deteriorated and failed. I suspect its because that drysuit was on the rack in that big sunlit space for a full season or more (why it was on sale to begin with ), certainly not 303'd by the staff while on display, and sunlight does a dance on latex.

The replacement gaskets have done very well: probably spanking new when installed and they now don't spend longer in sunlight than they have to.

I am sure Peter is correct on that. Some stores 303 regularly and others don't. When I go to stores, I tuck the wrist gaskets back up under the suit sleeves and bring the neck gasket as low as I can.

It is very easy to know the date of birth on a drysuit gasket. Just turn it inside out and take a peek at the date stamp.

Also - when applying 303, spray on a rag and then wipe the rag on the gasket - don't just overspray the gasket/neck and the sleeves. It causes "checking" which is a term used for the blotchy spots that you sometimes see on the inside of a wet drysuit.

Suz

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Hi Suz,

Do folks know that it's important to treat the INSIDE surfaces of the latex gaskets too?

Hope to paddle with ya this fall.

Ern

Good point Ernie. It didn't occur to me to state that BOTH sides of a gasket need to be treated, not just the outside. While you are at it, use zip wax or pure beeswax and give the zipper a quick swipe.

Thanks,

Suz

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Suz, any advice as to how/where these garments should have been stored over the summer?

Either loosely folded or hung on a wooden or wire hanger in a closet with good air circulation and out of the sun.

They should have been cleaned after last use and air dried thoroughly inside and out. I dry inside first and then turn right side out to dry remainder.

Really important to put away clean and dry as the dirt and trace living things are what cause the mold to grow (along with humidity).

If you didn't wash it when you put it away, turn it inside out and check for mold in the feet. If there, wash the garment and air dry. Do not bleach!

Suz

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Any tips on washing, oh lets say, Kokotat bibs that ended up sitting for a week or so, and are now a little moldy? What should I use to wash them?

Thanks...

Find a non detergent based soap - Nikwax works well - wash inside out and then right side out in a FRONT LOADER WASHER - not a top loader with an agitator in the middle. Use the soap only on the first load and the residual soap will wash out on the next loads.

Empty them out and then hang dry inside out and then right side out. If you have socks/booties, after about an hour, the inside will drain to the toes - empty these out and continue to dry...

Mold isn't good and you want to nip it in the bud before it takes over.

Don't use bleach. If after washing, you still have mold, we can talk again.

Suz

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