After Mike did his series of experiments to clean his wetsuit, we got to talking a bit about how better to dry our suits to prevent stink. The things that we figured factored into a better drying situation was warm air, dry air and air circulation. Warm and dry air are mostly up to where you live and the season. Although, it’s also important to pick a proper place to hang your suit. But the one thing we agreed we had control over was airflow.
We figured it could be helpful to have a hanger that actually opens up the suit and allows air to circulate. Most people either drape their suit over a railing or hang it on a thin hanger. A few clever surfer will hand the suit on a wide-shoulder hanger, which is better, but still no airflow inside the suit. So, I prototyped such a hanger. So far, dry time has cut in half (which means when I go out everyday the suit is about 80-90% dry in the morning, rather than about 50% dry). I suspect when summer rolls around it may dry all the way out under 24 hours. But time will tell.
Here’s what I did with my $0 budget (click images to enlarge):
- Get 3 plastic hangers – It is important to make sure 2 of the plastic hangers are the same size and shape. These two will be matched up to provide the frame. The 3rd hanger will be used for parts. (This is also a good “reuse” use for plastic hangers rather than just throwing them out.)
- Cut spacers – Take the third hanger and cut off some equally sized straight spacers. I did mine about 2 inches a piece. I made 6 of them, but 3 would be minimum. I used a Dremel rotary tool to cut them out. Although all I really did was make the plastic hot and melt apart really. There is probably a better way to do this.
- Groove the spacers – I rounded out the spacers to help them fit better. This probably isn’t necessary, but I had the Dremel out when I was cutting the spacers so I figured I’d try and make them deluxe. Besides, I had to grind off all the excess plastic chunks that had melted out of the cut, only to harden again back onto the spacer elsewhere.
- Connect the 2 “same” hangers – Use the spacers created in step 2 and bind them to the two hangers. I used duct tape. Can’t go wrong there. I considered using glue, but the duct tape was easier to get to. I wrapped the spacer once from hanger to hanger. Then I wrapped the spacer itself to secure the first wrapping. (Hope that makes sense. See pictures, click to enlarge.)
- Hang your wetsuit – Look at all that space! Air is flowing through that thing like a hurricane!
Like I said, so far it is working out great. My only concern so far is the way it stretches out the shoulders a bit on the points. I’ll have to address that on prototype #2. The other thing we are thinking about now is finding a way to keep the arm and leg cuffs opened. Mike is also thinking about hooking a fan up to his booties. Stay tuned for that!