Frequently Asked Questions

Q) My zipper broke, can you fix it?

A) Yes, almost all vertical back-zip wetsuits us a #10 zipper, and Terrapin can either repair or replace these. The cost will depend on the type of damage being repaired. Here are examples:

– If the slider came off the teeth without any teeth being damaged, and without the internal mechanism of the slider being damaged, Terrapin can reinstall the slider at a cost of $30 We test the zipper, once the slider is reinstalled, to ensure it functions properly and smoothly.

– If the slider came off the teeth without any teeth being damaged, and the slider is broken, or doesn’t function properly when reinstalled, we will replace the slider for a total repair cost of $32.50

– If teeth are broken or missing out of the zipper, then the whole zipper will need to be replaced. For a vertical back-zip wetsuit, this costs $100 . For a horizontal cross-shoulder semi-dry suit, this costs $165.

– We don’t replace dry-suit zippers, sorry.


Q) My wetsuit doesn’t fit, can it be altered?

A) Yes, Terrapin can alter wetsuits and semi-dry suits. The cost will be based on labor and materials. Our labor rate is $60/hr with a minimum of 1/2 hr. Here are some examples:

– To shorten the legs on a wetsuit without ankle zippers, the labor will fall under our minimum 1/2 hr charge of $30. To apply new edge binding to the cut edges is $0.21/inch.

– To remove excess width on a whole suit (arms, torso, & legs), the labor will be between 1.5 and 2 hrs. To find out how to mark a suit for such an alteration, go to…

– To enlarge a whole suit (arms, torso, & legs), the labor will be between 1.5 and 2.5 hrs.  The cost of the material added will depend on the thickness and square inches used.  For this type of alteration, we’ll need a complete set of measurements.  Instructions are posted at…

Q) Does Terrapin work on all brands of wetsuits?

A) No, there are a few types of suits we do not work on.  These include very thin triathlon wetsuits (less than 1.5 mm thickness), and very thick water skiing suits (those with portions thicker than 8.0 mm thickness).

Terrapin reserves the right to refuse to work on suits that are just too nasty for words, dirty or disintegrating into pieces, such that they would contaminate our sewing machines.  This includes all BARE Reactive wetsuits with caulked exterior seams (the caulking chips off easily). So if you send a suit for alterations, please be sure it is clean, dry, and not crumbling. Our minimum rate plus return shipping will be charged for returned suits, even if work is refused or not possible.

Q) Does Terrapin alter other neoprene items, besides wetsuits?

A) Yes, we do. We use double glue and blind stitch seaming on 3mm or thicker neoprene, and we use 6-thread flat-lock seaming on thinner material. Both of these methods are strong and sturdy, but neither are completely waterproof.  We do not guarantee seams to be waterproof/air tight.


Q) Can I purchase neoprene directly from Terrapin?

A) No, except for the neoprene or Polartec materials we use in our products and services, we do not sell the material “by the yard”.


Q) Does Terrapin repair or alter dry suits or fishing waders?

A) No, we don’t have the ability to seal the seams to be guaranteed air-tight.


Q) I am allergic to neoprene.  Are there other materials I can wear for Scuba diving?

A) Many of our clients with skin-sensitivity to neoprene report they can wear Polartec material without irritation. Polartec is made from nylon and polyurethane, but does not contain sponge rubber. Polartec has other advantages, such as neutral buoyancy, and we stock a wide range of colors for custom Polartec dive wear.  Call us for a small swatch to try a skin-test before ordering a custom Polartec garment.


Q) How long does it take to make a custom wetsuit?

A) That will depend on how many orders are ahead of yours in the queue. Once we have your complete measurements, an agreed suit design, your deposit payment, and your order is next in line, it takes about a week to make your pattern, cut and glue the suit pieces together, and ship it to you for the fitting. At that point it is mailed to the client for a fitting.  Once it is received back from the client, it takes another week to finalize the suit and ship it out.


Q) I don’t want to take measurements, can I just send you my old wetsuit to use as a “go by”?

A) No, sorry. Unless the material in your old suit and the fresh neoprene we will use for your new suit have exactly the same elastic properties, it is very unlikely the measurements from your old suit will produce a new suit that fits correctly. And let’s face it… if your old suit still fit you, you probably wouldn’t be ordering a new one, right?


Q) Does Terrapin Wetsuits have a retail store where products are sold?

A) No. We don’t sell other scuba gear, offer lessons, or fill air tanks. We do sell neoprene accessory items, like our minihoods, out of our workshop in Center Point, Texas.


Q) What are the business hours?

A) Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturdays 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, closed Sundays. To provide undivided attention to our clients, we request you call for an appointment rather than just show up.