How To Stretch A Wetsuit

If you are wondering how to stretch a wetsuit, then you have you have probably put on a few pounds.  Or…your wetsuit might have shrunk due to all the muscle you gained from working out.  But that’s a lie, isn’t it?  Nine times out of ten, people want to know how stretch a wetsuit because they enjoy the benefits of living in an advanced capitalistic society: A box of peanut butter chocolate mini cupcakes served with several glasses of organic beer.

To stretch a wetsuit, you will need:

  • To religiously consume double bacon cheeseburgers with curly fries
  • A wetsuit tailor
  1. Determine what happened. This question pops up a lot around the holidays and people get a little defensive. How could my wetsuit shrink? The obvious answer is you got a damn job and stopped surfing everyday. When you were active, your body craved calories to replenish itself. If you still eat like that you will definitely gain weight. The cupcake and beer diet is pretty great but don’t be surprised when you can’t pull your wetsuit over your new friend Mr. Chunk. There is one other possibility though. It will be mentioned to make your fat ass feel better. Some of the older neoprene wetsuits can actually shrink. If this is the case, soak it in freshwater for awhile.
  2. What you can do. Instead of trying to stretch a wetsuit, maybe you should start a fitness program. Make a goal weight and stick to it fatty. Change your diet to match your level of activity. Stare at your wetsuit, talk to it and promise to make things right. The only other option is to find a wetsuit tailor. These are a rare breed however and you may not find one in your area. The work they do can also be quite expensive because they deal mostly with custom built designs. If you find one nearby though, it could be cheaper than buying a new wetsuit that actually fits.
  3. What not to do. Don’t try stretching your wetsuit with hangers, weights or by jamming your wetsuit full of junk to make it stretch. While this might work, you are compromising your wetsuit’s durability and also the width. Remember why you bought a 7mm? If you stretch it into a 5mm, not even your new found blubber will protect you from freezing your chubby buns off. Plus the open cell neoprene designs are easily damaged when you mess with them from the inside. 


  • A tight wetsuit for surfing is uncomfortable but a tight wetsuit for diving can be dangerous. The feeling of constriction can mess with your mind underwater and make you think you are having breathing problems.
  • If you want to try powder or lube, pick some up at the dive shop. Some store bought powders have clay which can be hard to remove and some petroleum based lubes can cause deterioration to your wetsuit seams.
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