Because the right exposure suit is an invaluable piece of scuba gear, there are three things a diver needs to consider when choosing a scuba diving wet suit.

Types of Scuba Diving Wet Suits

A divers personal comfort requirements will vary. It is best to take various suit options, possibly layering these to get the best protection. Most divers will decide on a suit that will suffice in a variety of temperatures.

 

  • Skin Suits: In warm waters, a diver may not need thermal protection, but a thin suit will help prevent equipment from rubbing the skin and protect against stings and scraps. The thinnest suits are made of Lycra and are made from 0.5 mm neoprene. Lycra suits are also good to wear as a base layer under a heavier suit for added warmth.
  • Shorties Suits: A shortie wet suit provides a little more thermal protection than a skin. Because they leave the arms and legs exposed, they do not provide protection against stings and scraps.
  • Full-Length Suits: A full length wet suit is the choice of most divers. These suits give a diver more thermal protection on the arms and legs and provide better protection against scraps and stings. Full-length scuba scuba diving hoodies are made from 2-8 mm neoprene.
  • Semi-Dry Suits: Semi-dry suits are normally worn in colder waters, but can be worn in warm waters like the Mediterranean Sea. When worn in cold waters, divers will also wear a hood and gloves with a semi-dry suit. These suits are made of 9 mm neoprene and can be worn in layers. Divers know this style as a farmer john wet suit. It consists of a coverall-style base layer with a long sleeve shortie worn over the base layer.
  • Dry-Suits: Dry-suits are designed to keep divers warm when they are diving in extremely cold conditions like under ice. Dry-suits are loose-fitting and divers will often wear a thermal under suit with a dry suit for added insulation. Dry-suits use air that can be injected by the diver to keep the water pressure from squeezing the suit against the body. Because the suit is loose-fitting, the air can move around inside the suit. This can shift buoyancy to the legs and turn the diver upside down. Because of this, it is best to take an orientation course before diving with a dry-suit.

The Importance of a Good Fitting Wet Suit

 

A scuba diving wet suit keeps a diver warm by trapping a thin layer of water between the diver’s body and the wet suit. This water gradually becomes warm and acts as an insulator. A wet suit that fits close to the body gives a diver better insulation while diving.

A dive suit that fits properly should be easy to put on and follow the shape of a diver’s body. This will keep water from flowing freely between the suit and the body. A suit that fits poorly will chill rather than warm the diver.

A good wet suit will have efficient seals at the neck, wrists and ankles. Good seals will stop water from flushing through the suit and allow the trapped water to warm up.

How to Maintain a Wet Suit

 

  • Properly maintaining a wet suit will help insure the comfort and thermal protection of the suit.
  • Rinse the wet suit after every dive to remove salt and debris. This will help to prevent the suit from rotting.
  • Periodically wash the suit with a special wet suit shampoo. This will keep the neoprene supple and prevent mildew.
  • Zippers should be coated regularly with wax or zip slip. This will keep them lubricated and help prevent corrosion.
  • Place the suit on a hanger to dry. Do not place the suit in direct sunlight while drying.
  • Once the suit is dry, store it in a cool, dry place on the hanger.

 

 

 

By Olivia

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