I had some issues with getting my sleeveless wetsuit off in T1 at yesterday's Nation's Tri. That and putting on soaking wet Injinji socks in T2 were the only difficult parts of my day. The legs on my wetsuit are a little long, pushing down around my ankles, or even slightly below. I think I need to trim off an inch or two at the bottom of the legs.
I've read some posts online about trimming a wetsuit. I saw the posts from Emilio De Soto on SlowTwitch where he explained how to do this. He recommends using sharp scissors, not a razor blade.
I checked the inside of my wetsuit. There is tape covering the stitched seam that extends a few inches up from the current end of the legs. I think the tape is there so that the user can trim away a couple inches at the bottom without causing the stitched seam to unravel. So I should be OK taking an inch or two off the bottom without having to use waterproof glue/cement to hold the seam.
Anything else I need to keep in mind before I do this? Thanks.
I should add that I have an XTERRA wetsuit. And I got the idea for trimming the legs from an email that I received today from Active.com and XTERRA where they recommend trimming the legs as necessary to help remove the suit in T1. So XTERRA seems to think it's OK for a user to DIY and trim the legs.
Yes you can cut it. I confirmed this working the Xterra booth last weekend (translation: I asked Matt Ferguson and he says go for it). Think how when they make the wetsuits its basically just a big machine that slices through, sharp scissors will do the trick (I'm paraphrasing Matt-- I was not in fact smart enough to come to such a conclusion on my own).
Might ask why you are wearing iniji socks in a tri though? I just started wearing them to avoid blistering between the toes on long trail runs, but I can't imagine bothering to put them on in a tri..I can't imagine needing them (at least for my purposes) for anything less than a trail run (because you are side to side a lot more than on pavement) and for anything less than maybe 20 miles.. so just curious?
I've just gotten used to wearing the Injinji socks. They are more comfortable than the Balega socks I have. I didn't really think about how the rain would cause me problems with them since I've never done a triathlon in the rain before. Live and learn, I guess.
I've never had any problems putting on the Injinji socks in other races where it wasn't raining. It usually only takes a couple seconds.
The next time, if I see that rain is in the forecast, I'll bring different socks as a backup. Actually, I should bring backup socks to every race. And I might put the Injinjis in a plastic bag in my gear bag to keep them dry. I could use a towel to dry my feet off after the bike. (I never wear socks on the bike.)
I'll have to figure this out since I have the Half Full Tri coming up in a few weeks. Hopefully it won't rain that weekend but if it does, I'm going to be prepared for it.
Arms/Legs Too Short - Too Long
If the arms or legs are too short this is not important and will not affect your race.
If the arms or legs are approximately 3 inches too long you can cut them to the desired length (only after you decide to keep your wetsuit - it is not returnable after this adjustment is made).
To cut them simply flip them inside out and cut into the seam tape that appears over the last 3 inches of the sleeve/pant leg. DO NOT cut any more than where the tape appears, if cut more than that, the seam will unravel.
OK, I'm back...
Before cutting it, I would recommend using Trislide (I think Profile Design makes a similar product) to see if that helps with putting on / taking off your wetsuit (don't use cooking spray of any sort as those products have chemicals that can degrade the materials used to construct the wetsuit).
Also, make sure you're hiking the arms / legs up so that it is flush at the pits / crotch and you have full range of motion.
If you've done both of those things and the arms / legs are still too long and the wetsuit is troublesome to get on / off... cut away!!! Just use some long / sharp scissors (but don't run with them).
Thanks. That helps a lot. And I'll be sure not to run with the scissors afterward!
1. use sharp scissors
2. cut straight
that is all that has to be done.