Frequently Asked Questions
WHY SHOULD I WEAR A CUSTOM-FIT WETSUIT?
Because they are custom-made to fit your body shape perfectly, our custom-fit wetsuits are warmer, more comfortable and last longer than off-the-shelf wetsuits, which are designed to fit a "standard model" - i.e. another person who is unlikely to be exactly the same shape as you. Let's break that down.
Wetsuits work by trapping and insulating a thin layer of water between your body and the wetsuit, which your body then heats up. That thin, warm layer of water trapped against your body keeps you warm during your dive. If your wetsuit is too loose in places, it will let pockets of cold water flush into your wetsuit while you dive, making you cold (and making your body work much harder to keep you warm). A well-fitting custom wetsuit fits snug against your body, minimising flushing.
A wetsuit that's too small will restrict your movement and you won't be as comfortable as you should be; e.g. if your wetsuit is too short in the torso or the chest it can restrict the movement of your arms while you dive.
A wetsuit that's too small will also wear out sooner because of the extra stress you're putting on the suit and seams, which causes the neoprene to thin-out sooner and the seams to break down faster.
WHO MADE MY WETSUIT?
Every one of our wetsuits is made from start-to-finish at our workshop in Auckland (New Zealand), using 100% Japanese Yamamoto neoprene which we buy directly from the Yamamoto Factory in Japan. This gives us complete control over the quality of the materials we put into our wetsuits and the manufacturing process. We design the wetsuits, we look over your measurements, we make your pattern, we import the neoprene, we cut the neoprene, we screenprint your suit with our logos, we sew, glue and construct your wetsuit, we package it, and we send it to you. This makes us quite different to other wetsuit brands, who typically get their wetsuits manufactured in China using inferior Chinese or Taiwanese neoprene, and lack knowledge or control over the materials that go into their wetsuits and the standard of the workmanship that creates them.
WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT JAPANESE YAMAMOTO NEOPRENE?
Yamamoto neoprene is well-known to be the highest-grade, warmest, lightest and most durable neoprene in the world. It is unique because it is made from limestone (sourced from Kurohime Mountain in the Niigata Prefecture, Japan), whereas Chinese and Taiwanese neoprene is made from petrochemicals. The special cell construction of limestone-based neoprene makes it 99.7% water impermeable, i.e. it doesn't soak up water. This makes Yamamoto neoprene a whopping 30% warmer (for the same thickness) and lighter than Chinese and Taiwanese petroleum-based neoprene, which absorbs more water and so holds less warmth. Yamamoto neoprene is also highly durable and abrasion-resistant, and has great cell-memory (i.e. it holds its shape over time), meaning our wetsuits last longer. The Yamamoto neoprene we use for our dive range is also coated with Yamam
oto's special Titanium Alpha metallic alloy coating, which increases your heat retention and warmth by an extra 20% (compared with non-Titanium-coated neoprene). This means you can wear a thinner, lighter suit while obtaining the same warmth.
CAN I SEE & FEEL YOUR WETSUITS SOMEWHERE?
You can come and visit us at our workshop in Auckland to see and feel samples of our wetsuits and materials or to get your measurements taken for your custom wetsuit. We are here Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm and are happy for you to pop in any time, no appointments necessary.
CAN YOU MAKE SOMETHING THAT'S NOT ON YOUR WEBSITE?
Our workshop is a manufacturing plant for all things neoprene. We manufacture many different and unusual items from neoprene for our customers, e.g. boat engine covers, neoprene furniture covers, sports straps, fender covers, prosthetic covers, stubbie holders and camera covers. We also manufacture custom wetsuits for non-diving sports like surfing and snorkelling. We love taking on new projects and seeing how we can help you solve a problem. Send us a message and let's discuss what we can do for you.
HOW DO I CARE FOR MY WETSUIT?
Taking good care of your wetsuit will help extend the life of your wetsuit. Seaquel wetsuits are made from the highest grade, most durable, 100% Japanese Yamamoto neoprene, but getting the most life out of your wetsuit requires a bit of care on your part too.
Rinse your wetsuit in cold, fresh water after every use. Don’t rinse it in hot water – in hot water neoprene loses some of its flexibility and so will your wetsuit. Don’t put your suit in the washing machine, don’t use any bleach products, and don’t dry clean.
You should dry your wetsuit as soon as possible after you use it. The best way to dry a wetsuit is to turn it inside-out, lie it flat or hang it on a special wetsuit hanger, and put in the shade. Do not dry your wetsuit in the sun – UV rays can damage the neoprene and cause it to age much faster. Drying the suit inside out means less damage from UV rays, plus the inside of your suit will be dry the next time you put it on. Don't hang your wetsuit on a normal clothes hanger as your suit will be very heavy when wet, and the weight of the wetsuit will cause the neoprene to stretch-out and degrade along the shoulders. You can buy special wetsuit hangers that are designed to be especially thick and wide, taking some stress of the shoulders. Do not dry your wetsuit in the tumble dryer.
Store your wetsuit in a cool place out of the sun. Either lie it flat or hang it on a wide plastic coat hanger. Don’t fold your wetsuit or leave it scrunched up on a pile, as it will cause the wetsuit to crease and will damage the neoprene. Don’t leave your wetsuit in the car – cars are very hot and the heat will damage the neoprene, causing it to age faster.
WHAT IS HECS STEALTHSCREEN TECHNOLOGY?
The HECS Stealthscreen Wetsuit is the only wetsuit in the world that acts like electrical camouflage, making you appear less threatening to marine life. The patented HECS Stealthscreen technology embeds a carbon fibre mesh within the fabric of our wetsuit that effectively blocks your body's natural electrical output. That means you can get closer to marine species more than you ever imagined.
THE PROBLEM: Many marine species can detect human energy fields.
Many marine species are known to be sensitive to the electrical signals given off by living organisms and science is discovering more relevance to these fields in many more species every year. The human body generates electricity during muscle movement - particularly the heart and large muscles like glutes, lats, and quads. Even though the human energy signature is small, it can still be detected by marine species who take flight when approached.
THE ANSWER: HECS Stealthscreen Patented Technology
To address this electroreception problem for diving professionals, HECS Aquatic developed a patented Stealthscreen technologythat incorporated the “Faraday cage principle" into the fabric of the wetsuit. The HECS Stealthscreen Wetsuit contains a mesh of conductive carbon fibre which neutralises the human body’s electrical fields. The HECS Stealthscreen Wetsuit conceals the human energy field, allowing you to get closer to marine life more than you ever imagined.
To find out more about how the HECS technology works, watch this video by New Zealand shark scientist Riley Elliott (a.k.a. the Shark Man) comparing HECS-lined Yamamoto neoprene with ordinary Yamamoto neoprene:
HOW DO I GIVE YOU MY MEASUREMENTS?
After you complete your purchase you will be prompted to send us your measurements.
If you live locally you are welcome to come to our workshop to be measured by one of our team. You can swing by any time Monday - Saturday, 9am - 5pm (no appointment necessary).
Otherwise, it's easy to take your measurements at home using our measurement form. You will need a 150cm measuring tape (you can buy these cheaply from the supermarket) and a friend to take your measurements. It's very but it's not necessary to use a professional tailor. (In fact, we'd prefer you didn't.)
You can fill out the measurement form any time after your purchase by visiting the
HOW IT WORKS page.
You can choose to enter your measurements using our online form, or you can download a hard-copy of the measurement form, fill it out in pen and email it back to us once it's complete.
Please follow our measuring tips and instructional video carefully to give you and us the best chance of getting the correct measurements. And if you have any questions, pick up the phone or send us an email.
HOW LONG TILL I GET MY WETSUIT?
GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME
If you've ordered a custom wetsuit, it takes around 4 - 6 weeks from the date you send us your measurements for us to create a unique pattern for you and manufacture your wetsuit at our workshop
When we receive your measurements we will check over them to make sure that everything looks OK. If any measurements look a bit out of place, we will get in touch with you and ask you to check the measurement again.
We typically fulfil accessories orders within 1 - 2 weeks. However, please be aware that not all items are in stock and may need to be manufactured for you, in which case it may take a bit longer for us to fulfil your order. If you need your item(s) urgently, please contact us first so we can check that we have it in stock.
DELIVERY LOCATIONS & COSTS
You can either pick up your item(s) from our workshop or have them delivered to you. We deliver to NZ, Australia and Worldwide. If you are having your item(s) delivered please allow a few extra days for delivery.
New Zealand: We deliver via courier within New Zealand (1-3 working days) for a $10.00 flat fee
Australia: We deliver via International Air to Australia (3-6 working days) for a $60.00 flat fee
Rest of the World: We can deliver to any DHL location. Please contact us and we can let you know an estimate of delivery costs and payment options
HOW TO TRY ON YOUR NEW CUSTOM WETSUIT
If you have an open-cell wetsuit (typical for free dive wetsuits), you must put a lubricant through the inside of your whole suit before trying to put it on. Low-perfumed, water-based lubricants are best (not oil-based). We use diluted dishwashing liquid. The inside of open-cell wetsuits is delicate and will likely tear if you don't use enough lubricant.
Put your wetsuit on from the bottom-up, making sure to pull it up properly at every step and that the wetsuit isn't twisted. Pull it up over your knees (making sure the knee-pads line up over your knees without any wrinkles behind your knees), your thighs (making sure it's not bunching around your crotch) and the torso.
Your wetsuit should be snug, but not so tight that your range of motion is limited. Try your wetsuit on at least twice. It’s important to understand that your suit will loosen up and feel more comfortable once it’s wet.
WHAT IF MY CUSTOM WETSUIT DOESN'T FIT?
First, make sure you're trying it on properly. See our guide to putting on your wetsuit in the answer above. If you're still not completely happy, get in touch with us as soon as possible.
We try our best to make sure that you have all of the tools you need to give us the best and most accurate measurements possible, and we carefully look-over all of the measurements you give us to see if anything looks out of place before we make your pattern. However, sometimes we have small problems getting the perfect fit the first time around. If your wetsuit doesn’t fit like you think it should, we will do everything necessary to re-make and alter the wetsuit to make sure it fits you properly. We pride ourselves on our customer service and go out of our way to make sure that each one of our customers is happy. If you are not happy with how your custom wetsuit fits, please contact us within ONE MONTH of receiving your wetsuit to discuss what we can do.
CUSTOM WETSUITS: Because your custom wetsuit is made especially for you using your unique body measurements, we cannot accept “change of mind” returns for custom wetsuits, and will only accept returns where your custom wetsuit does not fit you properly or is covered by our warranty policy (below). If your custom wetsuit does not fit you properly, we will do everything necessary to alter your wetsuit to make sure that it does. If you are not completely happy with how your custom wetsuit fits you must get in touch with us within ONE MONTH of receiving your wetsuit to discuss what we can do.
ACCESSORIES: We do not accept "change of mind" returns on these items. However, if your item does not fit we will happily exchange it for a different size, provided that you get in touch with us within 1 month of receiving your item. The items must be returned to us unused and in a re-saleable condition. Please package the item carefully, and in particular do not scrunch it into a small box as this will crease the neoprene.
We make each one of our wetsuits at our workshop in Auckland and we watch over every stitch. We are proud of the quality of our products and the standard of manufacturing and we stand by them with a 2 year warranty for defects in materials or workmanship.
This means that, if you bring your suit to us within 2 years of your purchase, we will repair any defects in materials or workmanship at no cost to you. If we are unable after a reasonable number of attempts to repair your wetsuit we will provide either a replacement or a full refund.
Typically a defect in the materials or workmanship covered by this warranty would be something like a defect in the gluing, stitching or neoprene. The warranty does not cover damage from using the wetsuit, e.g. rips, cuts or scuffing from rocks or getting caught on the boat, colour fading, tears from putting your suit on without lubricant, damage from improper washing, storing or drying, or general wear and tear.
Before you send your wetsuit to us, email email@example.com with photographs of the damage. This way we can tell you whether the damage is likely to fall under the warranty before you send the suit to us. Alternatively you can bring the wetsuit in to our factory in Auckland any time during opening hours (Mon - Sat) and we will take a look at it.
If your wetsuit is outside of the warranty period, or the damage is not covered by the warranty, we can usually still repair your wetsuit at a reasonable cost.
We repair ALL BRANDS of diving, freediving, spearfishing, surfing and ocean swimming wetsuits. Because we have full manufacturing facilities at our workshop in Auckland we can usually perform most repairs, and usually at a reasonable cost. Repair, don’t replace, is part of our mantra. We want you to wear your wetsuit for as long as possible (whether it's a Seaquel wetsuit or not) and fix things rather than throwing them away. We try our best to repair wetsuits for as long as they can be repaired cost-effectively. We do the official warranty repairs for Ripcurl, O’Neill, Patagonia, Blue Seventy, Swim T3, Hurley, Billabong, Beauchat and Mares.
Typically repairs take around 2 weeks from the date we receive them for them to be returned to you. However, if you need your suit urgently for an event or holiday, we can usually make a special effort to have your suit back to you sooner if you tell us at the time.
To get your wetsuit repaired, either drop it in to our factory at 15G Porana Road, Glenfield, Auckland, or follow the steps below to courier your suit up to us:
1. Make sure your suit is clean and dry.
2. Put the suit in a cardboard box or courier bag.
3. Write your name, phone number, email address, return address (so we can send your suit back to you), a brief description of the repair needed and the date you need it returned by (if sooner than 2 weeks) on a piece of paper and put it in the bag with your suit.
4. Courier the wetsuit to:
15G Porana Road
We perform alterations to ANY BRAND of wetsuit. Is your wetsuit too big, or too small? Is it too long or short in the arms or legs? Too tight in the neck? Do you want to convert your long-sleeved swimming wetsuit into a short-sleeved one? Do you want to add a knife pocket, scupper or loading pad to your spearfishing suit? Because we have full wetsuit manufacturing facilities at our workshop, we can help you out.
We can usually alter your wetsuit without needing you to come in to the factory. If you are wanting a size alteration, give us a call before you send us your suit and we will let you know what measurements we will need to perform the alteration.
To get your wetsuit altered, either come and see us at our factory at 15G Porana Road, Glenfield, Auckland, or follow the steps below to courier your suit up to us.
1. Make sure your suit is clean and dry.
2. Put the suit in a cardboard box or courier bag.
3. Write your name, phone number, email address, return address (so we can send your suit back to you), a brief description of the alteration needed and the date you need it returned by (if sooner than 2 weeks) on a piece of paper and put it in the bag with your suit.
4. Courier the wetsuit to:
15G Porana Road