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Should I cut an open cell wetsuit

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Obelix

Member
Nov 28, 2017
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Hi ,

I have an Omer 3.5mm open cell 2 piece wet suit.
The bottom goes way too high up, and when overlapped by the top, the suit gets too hot, and also tight.
I would like to shorten the bottom from the top to the hips but not sure how the open cell material will react to cutting.
Anyone's done this before?
Thanks
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
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Jul 14, 2005
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It is normal for the pants of spearo wet suits to be high, as a way to provide extra warmth - which you don't need apparently.

Obviously you can cut the neoprene but, if it has a protective nylon or stretchy outer fabric it might start to delaminate. You may be able to use wetsuit glue to offset that, but the result might not be pretty. Bit of a long shot but: If there is a wetsuit manufacturer, cobbler or seamstress nearby, maybe they could "finish" the edge for you, I think they might use a "surger" for finishing edges.

Is buying thinner pants an option? Sea temperatures and outside temperatures can vary, you might be glad of the high waist in Oz winter.

BTW Wetsuits tend to loose loft, warmth over time. Also your body tends to feel the cold more over longer dives (say 3-5 hours) or if fasting.
 
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Obelix

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Just noticed the typos in the subject line. ( Blush ).
Fat fingers and a small mobile screen don't mix...
Apologies.
 

Obelix

Member
Nov 28, 2017
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Thanks Mr X.

I do have a 5mm wettie for the Winter cold, so it's only needed in summer.

As you mentioned, a possible delamination is the main concern.
I cut the sleeves of my windsurfing wetsuit, and it seems OK, but that's not an open cell wetzie.
 

SubSub

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Aug 26, 2015
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Any tailor / seamstress should be able able to do a cut followed by a lock stitch or safety stitch to prevent delamination. It’s a very easy thing to do an should cost close to nothing.
 
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Mr. X

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Re. Sewing the edge, my wife confirmed that "surging" is often used to prevent edges fraying (there is a machine called a surger but some sewing machines can do an approximation of it). She thought it might be better to "add something" by which I think she means a piece of tape, perhaps glued and stitched in place(?).
 
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Jan Kaspar

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Sep 5, 2017
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Cut it and surge it yourself. Just get some elastic thread and thread a needle, sit down with some beer - you’ll want a steady hand - and have a go at it.
Worst case you cut it again 1/4” lower. Google “hand stitching - edge of fabric” or “selvedge stitch by hand” or “stitching a wetsuit with a beer” (hahah) and give it a go. Maybe even stitch through the fabric and the neoprene face that was cut so you don’t feel the threads on your belly. That would be a fancy option.
Also. If you don’t do an interlocking stitch (one that loops back and catches the previous stitch) but just a continuous “coil” stitch then you might not need elastic thread because it’ll deform with the fabric on the neoprene.
 

Obelix

Member
Nov 28, 2017
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Oh s..., I drink wine. Will that work?
May ask my wife to do it, she likes beer :)
Except that she'll tell me I would be crazy to cut a perfectly good wetsuit.

Thanks Jan. May do that. Makes sense.
 
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Mr. X

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Oh s..., I drink wine. Will that work?
May ask my wife to do it, she likes beer :)
Except that she'll tell me I would be crazy to cut a perfectly good wetsuit.

Thanks Jan. May do that. Makes sense.
:D Re. Wine, worth a try! Re. wife telling you you'd be crazy to cut a perfectly good wetsuit, I'm inclined to agree - she sounds like a keeper ;)
 
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Mar 22, 2009
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Most people find that a dab of wetsuit glue over a quarter inch of the seam should be enough to lock down and secure the thread. This should prevent a cut seam from running and having the thread pull out. You might have to keep an eye on it. Our wetsuits are designed with seams that facilitate the cutting off of the top of the pants.
 
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Obelix

Member
Nov 28, 2017
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Most people find that a dab of wetsuit glue over a quarter inch of the seam should be enough to lock down and secure the thread. This should prevent a cut seem from running and having the thread pull out. You might have to keep an eye on it. Our wetsuits are designed with seams that facilitate the cutting off of the top of the pants.
That's pretty good. My wife undid a bit of thread and used a needle to secure the end of the seam. As Mr X said, she is a keeper .
Will get some glue anyway, and secure it.
 
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Laliotisdim

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May 1, 2018
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I once bought a Beuchat wetsuit that the edges of the pants were not stitched (factory default). When I saw that I asked the seller to stitch it since he had a stitching machine, he replied that it is not necessary but he will do it anyway. I trust the guy and I believe wouldn't have had a delamination problem since then, after 2 years of extensive usage. If you think about it, the whole surface of fabric is glued underneath so it will hold even the edges.

Now, about the cutting part of your post... as other people pointed out you will lose heat faster, you also have to consider that this part seals the water out and when cut the difference will be major, also consider that the 3.5mm thickness will fall over usage. When fishing/diving for 3+ hours the colder water will eventually penetrate, plus when doing deep dives you will need to relax a lot which means less movement therefore less heat produced from your body and it is at those deep dives that you need to be worm or your body will have to spend more energy by burning valuable oxygen.

Long story short it is better to feel overheated than cold, when overheated just suck some water inside your suit, if you are overwhelmed the bottom part of your jacket (at the height of your waist left and right) will give you enough inflow, you also have the sleeves and hood option. There are options to drop your temperature but not the way around, I use a 5mm wetsuit even at 26 celsius (not recommended but still... bearable). On the other hand I had dive yesterday at 21 celsius and at the beginning I was ok but after 1.5 hour I felt the cold penetrating.
 

marco15499

Laguneros Spearfishing
Apr 4, 2011
262
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You can cut it without any problems. I do it in all my wetsuits which pantas are long johns. Just cut below your nipples and fold the pants down to the desired height. You will breath better and more important, will be able to take a dump in the water eventually...
 

Obelix

Member
Nov 28, 2017
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Laliotisdim thanks. Not stitching is an idea, but the seam cotton thread needs addressing.

Marco, thanks for this. The pants are not of the long john type, but are cut just under nipples. May try folding it down next time temporarily, and possibly not cut it at all.
This double layer around the chest is constricting.
 

vrokhlenko

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2002
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Laliotisdim thanks. Not stitching is an idea, but the seam cotton thread needs addressing.

Marco, thanks for this. The pants are not of the long john type, but are cut just under nipples. May try folding it down next time temporarily, and possibly not cut it at all.
This double layer around the chest is constricting.
I have open cell in - nylon out socks that have no stitching on top and the delamination happened almost immediately. The proper way to solve the problem is with stitching the penetrates the nylon and does not go all the way through neoprene - it is a kind of a circular stitch plus it should not be too tight to allow for stretching. However I did it with a loose through neoprene stitch. Worked perfectly. You need a nylon or polyester thread (non-rotting), a needle and 2-3 hours of your time. After you are done you will feel good about yourself. Practice first.
 
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