Spray skirts can last a long time with proper care but rock hits, paddle strikes, and general wear can tear the neoprene. Most spray skirt tears are quick and easy to fix at home using products from our repair collection.
Things you'll need:
- An Iron
- A sharp pair of scissors
- Gear Aid Aquaseal + Neo Contact Cement for Neoprene
- Gear Aid Tenacious Tape Iron-On Neoprene Patch
- Latex or nitrile gloves
- Clamps to hold the tear open when glueing (optional)
You'll want to figure out some way to hold the tear open while you apply glue and let it cure. We used a few clamps for weight to hold the tear open. Use your scissors to clean up the edges of the tear if the edges are tattered. You can also use a utility blade if that's easier.
Applying the glue:
Paint the glue onto both sides of the tear. Wait five minutes. Paint another coat of glue onto the tear wait ten minutes. There is a glue brush in the cap of the Aquaseal Neo can.
Mending the tear:
Lay the skirt flat and carefully press the glued edges back together. Go slow and work carefully to be sure both sides are aligned. After the tear has been joined pinch the joint together for a minute or two then let it cure for ten minutes.
This step is optional but recommend. Adding tape patches will reinforce the seam and protect it from abrasion. Take a look at your completed repair/s inside and out to get an idea what shapes you'll need to cut out to cover them with tape. Preheat your iron to Acrylic, low or delicate. Don't go above 275°f. Patches will not stick to the silicone grip strips on the inside of IR skirts. Don't worry about patching the inside if you fix a tear in the grip strip areas.
Cut your patches to overlap the repairs by 3/4". Pro Tip: Round the corners.
Place the neoprene patch over the repair with the coating down. Place the heat shielding paper (included with patch material) over the patch. With preheated iron, press the neoprene patch down with firm even pressure for ten seconds. Lift and rotate the iron and apply another 10 seconds. Allow to cool for a few minutes before handling.
Inspect your work:
Take a look at your repair. The patch should be fully bonded to the fabric below. If it looks like it's not fully bonded go back and do a second heat application.
Repairs can only be done on a fully dried skirt. If your skirt is wet let it dry before attempting a repair.
If you don't have a tear that goes the whole way through you can apply a patch to that area for extra abrasion resistance. Think of neoprene seam tape as a sacrificial layer that can be worn through and replaced over time.
If you have any questions about repairing your own gear or sending gear to IR for repair, please reach out to our customer service team. We're here to help.