View Full Version : Need some dry suit help

04-18-2017, 11:18 AM
Found an ad for a barefoot international dry suit in my size on craigslist. Turns out the guy lives on my lake, on my street! Walked over but found he had sold it already but he had an O'Niell suit available with some small holes in the seals. He said it would be usable as-is, but would leak. For $50, I figured I couldn't go wrong. I already had the boat in the water and was itching to get out there.

First off, I don't know the age or model of the suit. The fabric looks clean and not worn. It does not have suspenders as the online description of the Boost mentions, but has an internal gasket at the waist (not sure if that's typical?). I put some marine Goop on the holes that night and took it out the next day.

I couldn't believe how much easier it is to don and shed a dry suit compared to a wet suit! Should have gotten one of these years ago. Even with conditioner on a wet suit, this was far easier.

So after hanging out in the water, one ski set, and one surf ride, and then making adjustments to the lift and removing the prop (maybe in the water for 30 mins total), my jeans were very damp from the knees down and my sweatshirt from the elbows down, but I was still plenty warm. Is this considered acceptable performance given the known holes and usage? I could certainly live with it like this for a while, but I doubt they'll last if I were to try barefooting in it. Both the ski's bindings and the neoprene boots I use for surfing cover the ankle seals, and my gloves cover the wrist seals. How much drier would it be with new seals?

04-18-2017, 12:35 PM
I had a leaky one last fall. I would wear a wetsuit underneath it and it worked well.
I ended up sending mine in for repair and they replaced it for me.
They should be able to replace the seals for you. Def take a pic and email the guys to make sure they can accommodate you. I found them to be a pleasure to deal with. Good Luck!
email: info@oneillwetsuits.com
Atten Repair
1022 Bay Marina Drive Suite 140B
National City, CA. 91950

04-18-2017, 01:12 PM
you can buy the seal and replace them yourself or send them in to have them done like Jasonz said. I always get a little wet around the ankle, wrists, and neck on mine if I have a take a few wipeouts skiing or wakeborarding so I think a little seepage isn't unusual. One trick I read online that worked great if you are trying to find a hole in your drysuit is to get some plastic cups and stick them down the legs and arms of the drysuit until they get all the way to the end of the seals so they completely seal off the openings. Then get an air compressor and start filling the suit with air from the neck that you have all bunched together with your hand. You basically fill it up like a huge balloon and then you can listen for leaks. It sounds a little crazy but it really works great.

04-18-2017, 07:08 PM
Thanks for the tips, guys. Looking at some DIY guides, it doesn't look like much of a project. Looks like it's mainly just a matter of finding a source for the right seals and glue.

Are holes in the seals a common failure, or more just age breakdown? How long do the seals typically last?

04-18-2017, 07:38 PM
Seals should last a long time. Pull from the fabric and not the rubber and talc the seals (baby powder if you can handle the smell) makes it easier to put on and take off. Wax the zipper periodically. If you get slightly damp all over, that is from perspiration since you are also keeping moisture in. I've gone five years about two dozen times a year with no problems.