We've all done it. You pull the drysuit out of your car on that first chilly fall day, stoked to get out on the water - foot, foot, arm, riiip... NO! You've blown a gasket and with it all hopes of a warm, dry run. With drysuit season upon us, we thought we'd give a little 101 on the 303.
How to care for your gaskets:
1) Always store your dry gear in a cool, shaded place. Sun and heat are the enemies of latex and guaranteed to decrease their life expectancy.
2) Dry your gear right way - don't keep it in your bin/trunk/dry bag overnight. You know we're all guilty of this one. Decrease your stank and increase your gasket life, get that dry gear dry.
3) 303 your gaskets once a month. Pick a day, any day, and just do it. It's quick, it's easy, it'll save you river-side anguish in the future.
4) Wash your gear with a powder soap in a front loading machine by itself. This is the kindest cleaning method for your gaskets and will keep the fabric on your dry gear working its best - dirty pores on your dry gear keep it from breathing.
5) Flip your dry suit every now and then to keep mold out of the feet. Once again, not only are you doing the longevity of your suit a solid, you're making your paddling partners a lot happier.
6) Inspect your gaskets to see if there is any dry rot by stretching them gently and looking for cracking. Sure, this means you have to replace them, but better in your garage than at the side of the river.
Stay on top of this list and you'll (probably) get years of use out of your gaskets. That said, blown gaskets do happen, even with the best of care. If they do, give us a call or email us and our gasket pro at the shop, Justin, will be happy to fix them up for you!