Surfing: do you pee in your wetsuit? | Photo: Shutterstock

To pee or not to pee in your wetsuit: that is the question. There are two possible answers - find the one that suits you best.

Nearly all surfers have already peed in their wetsuits while surfing. Why? Because sometimes it's really inevitable.

You spend between one and three hours in the water, and on a few occasions, you just have to let it go.

Nevertheless, there are still some riders who refuse to admit it. They relieve their bladders in the surf.

The problem is that we drink water to stay hydrated, and then the body tends to eliminate it, especially when submerged in the ocean.

The phenomenon is called immersion diuresis - when our body is exposed to low water temperatures, it increases the production of urine.

Is it okay to pee in your wetsuit? Does it affect neoprene? First of all, let's take a look at a few scientific facts.

Urine consists of around 90 and 95 percent of water. It also contains urea, chloride, sodium, potassium, creatinine, inorganic sulfur, other dissolved ions, and inorganic and organic compounds.

The pH of human urine ranges from 5.5 to 7, which means it is slightly acidic - a neutral solution has a pH of 7. As a result, the surfer's urine can be corrosive.

Surfing: cold water make you want to pee | Photo: Shutterstock

To Pee or Not to Pee

So, now that we've concluded that pee is not 100 percent sterile, and if you're still committed to urinating in the waves, please consider the following advice.

Remember not to do it whenever you borrow a wetsuit from a friend or rent one at a busy, urban surf shop. Respect other fellow surfers and expect the same in return.

And if you've just bought a brand new wetsuit and can't really hold your pee much longer, just make sure you do what you've got to do in the water and not in the parking lot.

Urinating inside a dry wetsuit is definitely not a good idea - it will start stinking and corroding the seams and stitching of your second skin.

While in the lineup, if peeing is the only option, let some saltwater get in and drain out, avoiding lying down on your board for a long time.

Let's take a look at the upsides and downsides of peeing in wetsuits:

The Pros of Peeing in the Surf

  1. It's not healthy to hold in your knee - free it while you can;
  2. You'll feel relieved after peeing - and that's good for your surfing;
  3. Pee keeps you warm for a few minutes;
  4. It means you're hydrated;
  5. You won't miss the best waves of the session;

The Cons of Peeing in the Surf

  1. You cannot return a brand-new wetsuit;
  2. Urine is slightly corrosive, and it may damage the wetsuit's neoprene;
  3. Soaking in urine is gross;
  4. Peeing in a wetsuit can lead to a skin rash;
  5. Urine is not environmentally friendly;

Have you sinned? Make sure to rinse the wetsuit thoroughly, inside and out, using fresh water and a wetsuit cleaner.

You don't want to smell that strong ammonia odor the next time you put it on.

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