Adjusting Drysuit Gaskets
New drysuit gaskets or seals may feel too snug and have to be adjusted. But don't jump to conclusions: you don't want to make them so loose that they allow water to seep in. Before you trim them, put the suit on and go paddling. Just wearing the suit for a while will stretch the gaskets a little bit, and you may find that you become accustomed quickly to the snugness.
But if wearing the suit makes your fingers or toes go numb or tingly, or if you feel dizzy, your face gets red, or you have difficulty breathing, take the suit off immediately. You will need to make adjustments.
Trimming Drysuit Gaskets
These instructions apply only to latex gaskets, like the ones on Mythic Drysuits. For neoprene or silicone rubber gaskets, refer to the manufacturer's instructions.
Please read these instructions carefully before you begin trimming. You can't uncut a gasket if you make a mistake, and replacing them is time-consuming, somewhat costly, or both. If you have questions, please contact us: we're glad to help.
The process is the same for the wrist and neck gaskets. Mythic drysuits do not have ankle gaskets, but the same instructions apply to ankle gaskets on brands that have them.
- Turn the drysuit inside-out. The gaskets have concentric rings molded on the inner surface, and these serve as cutting guides. It is much easier to follow the guides if they're on the outside.
- Use sharp scissors with long blades. Do not use a knife, a razor blade, or dull or short scissors.
- Trim carefully to the first guide ring. We strongly urge you not to cut more than one ring at a time. Be extra careful that the start and the finish of the cut meet perfectly.
- Turn the drysuit rightside-out and try it on. The gasket should feel gently snug, but not uncomforable.
- If the gasket is too tight, repeat. Remember, cut only one ring at a time and try it on each time.
Why We Don't Recommend Pre-Stretching Latex Gaskets
Some manufacturers recommend pre-stretching latex gaskets by placing them over a ball or a bottle for a day or two. We think this is a bad idea. Latex is stretchy because the rubber molecules are nicely coiled and twisted in their relaxed state. If you pull on them a little bit –just enough to wear the drysuit – they will spring back to their original shape when you release the tension. But if you stretch the molecules too far and hold them that way too long, they won't spring back entirely. That loss of resiliency impairs their ability to keep water out. That's why we do not recommend pre-stretching latex gaskets.