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Around The Surfing World

Peeing In Your Wetsuit

90% of people pee in their wetsuit. The other 10% lie about it.

Ah yes, the age old question of peeing in your wetsuit.  Is it bad?  Will it attract sharks?  Does it ruin my wetsuit?  All very important questions to be asking yourself.

The bottom line is many people surf for over an hour at a time, and often after drinking copious amounts of coffee in the morning.  And nobody is going to get out of the surf just to go to the bathroom and get back in the water.  The obvious solution – since you’re already in the ocean – is just peeing in your wetsuit.

Bonus: on very cold winter days, peeing in your suit will give you about 20 seconds of warmth.

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Is Peeing In Your Wetsuit BAD For Your Wetsuit?

There is some debate about whether or not urine can damage neoprene wetsuits. While some people believe that urine can break down the neoprene material and cause it to degrade over time, others argue that this is a myth and that urine poses no real risk to wetsuits. The truth likely lies somewhere in between. Urine is slightly acidic and can contain trace amounts of ammonia, which may have a small effect on the neoprene if it is left in contact with the material for extended periods of time. However, the amount of damage is likely to be minimal, and most wetsuits are designed to withstand the rigors of regular use, including exposure to sweat, salt water, and other substances. Ultimately, the best way to care for a neoprene wetsuit is to rinse it thoroughly with fresh water after each use and avoid leaving it in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

In other words, urine will not deteriorate the neoprene of your wetsuit nor damage the glue unless you leave it basking in urine constantly.  However, urine WILL make your wetsuit stink to the high heavens.  If you want to pee in your wetsuit, I highly recommend giving it a damn good rinse afterword.  If you pee in your suit and leave it steaming in your trunk, you’re going to have a very unpleasant situation on your hands.

If you don’t have time to rinse your suit with fresh water after your session, I highly recommend either running the beach shower or a bottle of water through your suit after your session, or doing the old shorebreak flush by pulling open the neck of your suit and allowing the ocean to give it a big old flush of fresh saltwater – cold but sometimes necessary.

Does Peeing In Your Wetsuit Attract Sharks?

This has been a hotly debated issue for quite some time, with the theory going that urine will attract sharks in the area.  However there is currently NO advice from shark experts stating that you shouldn’t pee in the water.  According to the University of Florida, urine has no impact on sharks attacking you or it would be in their list of ways to avoid shark attacks.

Considering 98% of surfers pee in the ocean there would be a LOT more shark attacks on surfers if urine was something that attracted sharks.  So, pee without fear.

Don’t Pee in your Friend’s Wetsuit

Just don’t.  Please.  Although if you lend someone a wetsuit, assume they will pee in it.

If you buy a used wetsuit, or rent a wetsuit, assume it has been peed in.


Hayley Gordon

Hayley Gordon has been surfing for over 20 years. Riding both shortboards and longboards, she's traveled the world to surf but mainly sticks to her two home locations of San Diego and Long Island.

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