Posts Tagged ‘boots’

I know that when surfers plunk down sixty bucks on a pair of wetsuit boots they are not making a lifelong committment.  I am fully aware that these boots, and even the gloves and suits for that matter, are consumer products with a shelf life in alignment with the average Hollywood relationship.  I also hypothesize that there is some grand marketing plan behind it all; with a CEO looking at the prototype, asking his team of designers, “are you sure that these boots will fall apart after six months of normal use? Because that will truly alter my bonus and our bottom line if they don’t.”

None the less, and maybe because I am a cheap SOB, I feel like these products should offer more of a return on the investment.  Afterall, when they are through being useful, the rubber generally ends up in a landfill, free to release toxic compounds for generations to come.  So why, as a half-awake buyer, should I not anticipate a long and happy marriage with this costly gear?

So fast forward to my second season in my Infinity 7mm boots.  Snug as a bug in a rug when purchased, but more torn than a pair of Union Solider boots during the Crossing of the Delaware, as the second February came closing in. 

I knew I was in trouble given their current state of repair and the 36 degree water temperatures.  So I borrowed a bottle of this product that is essentially rubber cement glue on A-Rods vitamins, slathered every hole in my gear, and paddled out for a friendly Sunday surf session.

As soon as the waves wrapped around my ankles I knew I was in trouble.  My boots took on water, or should I say ice water, faster than an oil company raises gasoline prices.

Still, I decided to play through the pain.  I was suited up, and the waves were glassy and fun.  About an hour into the afternoon my foot began to throb mercilessly.  I will spare you the dramatics, and let you know that I dodged a few more waves and then grabbed one for home.  

The glue did help with this hole... I think...

The run, I mean limp, up the beach was excruciating.  The rock solid sand, coupled with the ice and snow, made matters worse.  By the time I reached the car I was cursing these blasted boots, and the glorified Elmer’s Glue. 

Sure my digits were intact, right down to the smallest toe, but my session was cut short, and that is the point right?  For sixty bones you might think I could get a little bang for my buck.

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With the first days of May arriving I think we can safely say that New Jersey surfers will be able to store the winter gear away soon.  Gone temporarily are the 38 degree water temperatures and the 6mm O’Neil Psycho II wetsuits.  Soon we will be frolicking in 3mm suits without hoods.  Not long after that we may even grab a few sessions in our shorts! 

In the meantime, I am going to share a simple repair that you can use for your boots and gloves if they have developed holes like mine have.  This fix is cheap and easy.  If you surf in the winter, you know that even a small tear in the fabric of a wetsuit can spoil a session, so here is what I suggest. 

Can You Say Frostbite?

Go to your local hardware store and buy a tube of clear silicone plumber’s caulk.  Coat the areas that have torn thoroughly, beading the caulk.  Next, let the fix dry for a minimum of 48 hours. 

A $4.00 Fix

  

When that is done you can finish the seal with a piece of duct tape.  If you are fashion forward, you may want to stay away from that final move, but really, who cares? 

This will seal the deal.  I have used this trick to keep me from having to buy both new boots and gloves, saving myself over $120.00.   That is a head start on my next board, the Merrick Pod, which is an expenditure I would much rather make!  

Once the repair is complete start to think about storing that gear away.  With any luck we will not need it again for a little while.