How much piss can a wetsuit actually hold?


If you’ve arrived here hoping for scientificals around whether you should or shouldn’t piss in a wetsuit then I’m sorry. In the same light if you are looking for something of a technical nature, whereby we list brands and talk piss literage, then again I’m sorry we’re going to let you down. Where our ‘surf journalism’ may be lacking in science and technical data is made up with via a good tale.

This is a story from 20+ years ago, whilst I was at University and had just had a brand spanking new wetsuit delivered…

Pissing in a wetsuit

To kick us off let me first talk about pissing in a wetsuit. To rehash a previous argument in ‘Staying Warm Whilst Winter Surfing‘, pissing in a modern wetsuit won’t kill it. However it’s good to give your wetsuit a good fresh water rinse after a session either way to help it last longer. Pissing in order to warm yourself is also not all it’s cracked up to be as you can confuse your bodies defence mechanisms and cause a reverse effect. Blah blah blah. All arguments aside, I am of the mind that if you need a piss whilst you’re in the sea then do one. I have always had this opinion.

When I went to University I took an old, fairly beaten up winter suit. Over a few sessions the crotch seams had started to fray and there was a frustrating widening hole (likely down to over use not all the urine) that caused my junk to be exposed to the freezing Welsh seas.

Such was the problem that despite trial, no amount of DIY fixing and Black Witch application would solve the issue. I resolved that once my second year student loan came through I would buy a new one.

The second day of Threshers week it arrived. I was awoken by a knock at my door to tell me so by one of my housemates, Dan. Dan was studying software engineering, this will become relevant in a minute, but he was intrigued to know what was in the brightly coloured courier bag I had had delivered. Like a child at Christmas I tore it open and showed him my new wetsuit with a big fat hungover smile on my face.

Fairly uninterested Dan reminded me that we were hosting an after Union party that evening and did I want to go in on a whole load of Mary Jane he was ordering. It sounded like a great idea and he and I went downstairs and smoked the remnants of his last ‘bulk order’. As we sat in the living room we could see that despite having lived there for only 5 days we had royally f*cked up the shared space. In order for us to have our post midnight gathering we needed to clean up.

Like most lazy work-shy students I couldn’t be bothered but being the genius persuader Dan was (and likely still is) and the fact I was already pretty twatted, Dan convinced me that it would be a good way to break in the new wetsuit with some high volume cleaning movement.

I jumped at the chance to get my new wetsuit on and raced upstairs to my room and then back down, minging of fresh neoprene and already hot.

I was expecting to see Dan scrubbing something in the kitchen but instead found him at his computer. ‘What the f*ck mate? I thought we were cleaning up? I’m not doing it all myself!’ Due to his software engineering studies Dan wasn’t one to do trials by half, as he explained to me. So he had created a spreadsheet with multiple titles on to give the wetsuit a proper review for domestic use. It had things like elasticity and freedom of movement on there and a whole load of other stuff (bugger it, I can’t remember, it was a long time ago), but it was procrastination from the cleaning so I rolled with it and the questions he asked me.

An hour or so later, and sweating like I’d done a marathon we had cleaned the house and Dan was on his way to pick up his order.

I don’t remember too much about the night in the Union, but as was always the case when we were hosting the after party my housemates and I left 30 mins before the end to open the house and sort some pringles in bowls and to skin up a few fatties for sharing.

‘Put on the wetsuit Al, it’ll be funny’. Being drunk and hazy, it seemed like the best idea, so I did.

Over the next hour or so a load of guys and girls turned up in groups to our door to each be greeted by a very battered guy in a wetsuit.

40 or so people, very little room to move, still boozing and dancing. I needed a piss. ‘Where are you going?’ Dan’s voice from across the room. ‘I’m going for a piss mate’. ‘Nah mate’ – Dan had an idea for one more domestic wetsuit test. He handed me a freezer cold lager and said I had to down it and then wait ten minutes before I would be allowed to relieve myself.

10 minutes felt like an hour, I was bursting. In that 10 minutes word had gotten around the gathering that something amazing was about to happen, so all eyes were on the rather uncomfortable, crimson faced, steaming bloke in the wetsuit.

Enough was enough, I decided to own my fate. I signalled Dan with my eyes and opened the backdoor to the garden, walked up the stairs to the grass lawn above the patio and stood in the security lights blinding beam like I was on a stage. The crowd surrounded Dan and my other housemates now stood on the patio below. I stretched my arms out like I was Jim Morrison on that iconic poster and let go.

Furious flow would not give this liquid release the respect it deserved. It was the longest piss ever. The whole midsection of the wetsuit visibly bulged like I had some nasty localised elephantiasis, followed by a biblical waterfall escaping through the crotch seams and down my legs, warming my feet. A fools grin at the relief slowly crept across my face.

There was silence from the group, my arms lowered. Then to my further relief a huge cheer and laughter.

I wasn’t going to just walk sheepishly back through the group, f*ck no, I was buoyed on, I was owning this foolishness, it was time to crowd surf. I launched myself off the lawn and descended the 5ft on to the 20 or so (predominantly targeting Dan and my housemates) group standing below. They clearly weren’t ready for me but did act to break my fall before I ran up the stairs and straight into the shower.

‘That guy that pissed himself at a party’ was a small annoying tag thereafter. But what was more frustrating was putting on the still very wet and cold wetsuit the next day at Llangennith.

Dare I talk about morales, given the story you’ve just read? Instead perhaps what I learned from this experience: Holding a piss in hurts. When someone says ‘it will be funny’ it’s often funny for them and not for you. Own more than one wetsuit so you don’t have to get in a damp wetsuit. Llangennith and the surrounding spots are absolutely incredible on their day. Geddon



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