Nov

12

For Divers, staying warm is a MUST

Materials: The quality of a wetsuit begins with the base material.  High-quality neoprene will resist fading and deterioration caused by salt, chlorine, UV exposure and compression at depth.  Cheap neoprene will compress at depth and with continued use, this compression will permanently reduce the suit’s insulation and durability.  Investing in a better quality suit will be cheaper in the long run because the suit will last many more diving seasons.

Undergarment: To stay warm, a diver needs to trap water against the skin.  Your body releases energy in the form of heat and warms this trapped layer of water which acts as a thermal barrier. Using a dive skin as your base layer and layering several wetsuit pieces over this can increase warmth.  This layering technique will increase the efficiency of your suit by more effectively trapping water in the suit.  It also makes your suit more versatile by allowing you to adjust for seasonal changes in water temperature and match your thermal protection to conditions of each dive.  Our water temperature on the gulf coast can vary up to 25 degrees throughout the year, so layering your thermal protection allows a diver to wear just the right amount to stay comfortable.

Skins: A smooth-surfaced “skin” in cuffs, necks and flaps behind zippers help reduce water movement in/out of your wetsuit.  These water barriers reduce the cooler water flushing in as you swim and keeps warm water trapped inside the suit.  A dive skin worn as a base layer will help reduce water movement inside your wetsuit and keep you warmer.  Hoods, vests, boots and gloves can be effective in sealing your wetsuit if it doesn’t have seals at neck, wrists and ankles.

Texture: The #1 killer of wetsuits is tears, from knee abrasion while kneeling on the bottom or tears from struggling to pull on a suit that isn’t stretchy enough to slide on.  The simple solution to address abrasions from the environment is to practice good buoyancy control.  Stress from tears can be avoided with a super stretchy material that is easy to put on and smooth nylon coatings that allow the suit to “glide” on.  Dive skins also allow the suit to slide on more easily, and make the suit more comfortable.  It is much easier to don three 3mm neoprene pieces than pulling on a 9mm wetsuit!  The neoprene isn’t “stressed” by the extreme pulling and you aren’t exhausted before you even get to the water.

Get suited up, go diving, stay warm, Rinse and Repeat.

Dec

14

Materials: The quality of a wetsuit begins with the base material.  High-quality neoprene will resist fading and deterioration from salt, chlorine, UV exposure and compression at depth. Cheap neoprene will compress at depth and permanently lose the suit’s insulation and durability. Fit is the most critical aspect. Instead of opting for a thicker suit, most divers on the gulf coast stay warm by layering thinner neoprene. Layering insulates better and gives you more flexibility, because the pieces slide along each other instead of having to stretch. Having several thinner wetsuit pieces allows for versatility for changing water temps.  On the gulf coast, our water temperature can change almost 30 degrees throughout the year. Having the proper thermal protection for the season means, versatility.

Undergarment: To stay warm, a suit traps water against the skin which your body heats up, acting as a thermal barrier. Using a dive skin as your base layer and layering several wetsuit pieces over this will increase warmth.  This layering technique will increase the efficiency of your suit by more effectively trapping water in the suit.  It also makes your suit more versatile by allowing you to adjust for seasonal changes in water temperature and match your thermal protection to conditions of each dive.  Using a base layer, like LavaCore, will boost the insulating capability because it adds the equivalent of 2mm thermal protection without added bulk or buoyancy.

Skins: A smooth-surfaced “skin” in cuffs, necks and flaps behind zippers help reduce water movement in/ out of your wetsuit.  These water barriers reduce the cooler water flushing in as you swim and keeps warm water trapped inside the suit.  A dive skin worn as a base layer will reduce water movement and take up space inside your wetsuit.  This reduces the amount of water in the suit, which means less water you have to heat up, resulting in less heat loss.

Texture: The #1 killer of wetsuits is tears, from knee abrasion while kneeling on the bottom or tears from struggling to pull on a suit that isn’t stretchy enough to slide on.  The simple solution to address abrasions from the environment is to practice good buoyancy control.  Stress from tears can be avoided with a super stretchy material that is easy to put on and smooth nylon coatings that allow the suit to “glide” on.  Dive skins also allow the suit to slide on more easily, and make the suit more comfortable.

Come talk to our suit professionals about designing a thermal system that is right for you.  Whether you are hot or cold natured we have a wetsuit combo for you. Not sure, jump in our 15’ deep in-store pool and try it out. Gulf Coast Divers (251) 342-2970.