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  1. #1
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    Wet Suit Style for Beginners

    Hi DiveForum, loving the website so far. Everyone here is really friendly and helpful, plus I have been learning about things that I never heard about before (like old wetsuits patents). That brings me to my question; I will be buying my own wetsuit for the first time soon and I am looking for a little bit of direction with it. I will mostly be diving in the waters of Pacific Canada and maybe a little bit around Washington, but I also plan on doing some travelling and diving as well. Is it best to get one type of wetsuit that will be decent in all conditions (cold, hot, dirty etc.) or buy a couple so that they are more specialized. I was thinking about getting a full body suit for around here, I am hoping to get a suit that has a hood on it as well. I would prefer to have all of these attached to the suit and not detachable as I have had issued with zippers in bad circumstance before (caving) so I want my wetsuit to be idiot proof essentially. Any help would be appreciated, even if you are just telling me that I am overthinking this

    I decided to start a little slower than I was hoping to, and found a good thick wetsuit someone was selling on https://www.for-sale.ie/scuba-diving-wet-suit so I can wear that in the UK later this year, and maybe even just sell it before leaving and then buy a smaller, thinner one before going to Asia or even in Asia itself. Thanks for all the advice everyone, good to get so many opinions that covered so many thoughts. I would have screwed myself by purchasing something for Canadian waters an then wanting to wear it all around the globe otherwise!
    Last edited by DiveLikeDan; 02-08-2017 at 05:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Are the people diving these areas diving in wet or dry suits?

    I wear a dry suit in UK waters and a wet suit in the tropics.

  3. #3
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    I've only ever done two dives in Canada (lake in Ontario in August) and used a drysuit. My buddy was in a rented 7mm wetsuit and was shivering below 10m - he dives in a 3mm shorty in the tropics when I'm in a 5mm full wetsuit.

    You can get hooded vests and thermal tops to make a wetsuit more versatile but I can't see that being enough to cover the range I assume you're after (you don't say where you're travelling to).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stig View Post
    I've only ever done two dives in Canada (lake in Ontario in August) and used a drysuit. My buddy was in a rented 7mm wetsuit and was shivering below 10m - he dives in a 3mm shorty in the tropics when I'm in a 5mm full wetsuit.

    You can get hooded vests and thermal tops to make a wetsuit more versatile but I can't see that being enough to cover the range I assume you're after (you don't say where you're travelling to).
    I did leave my plans out, my bad. Later this year I will be going to the UK for a couple months and hopefully getting my girlfriend into diving a bit more, then we will be going to SE Asia for a couple months then finishing in South America before heading back to Victoria. I guess it might just be best to buy a wetsuit for the tropics and a drysuit for at home and in the UK, or something like that.

  5. #5
    Could start a fight in a convent. Mikael's Avatar
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    In a thick wetsuit diving in temperate water such as the UK is doable near enough year round. However thick suits are pain to get in and out of and you can get very cold between dives especially if the wind picks up. For comfort and ease of donning a drysuit is best suited for UK waters and colder.

    Depending on where you are planning to go in SE Asia you may find that swimming trunks is enough as some waters can be up around 28 degrees C. In other instances a shorty or even 3mm fully body wetsuit is preferable. Here you will often find that wetsuit is included in equipment hire. Personally I would not rush out to buy something for tropical diving yet. Use what the centre has and travel lighter.

    For back home start looking into drysuits.
    Why is it that with everything in life I always find a more difficult way of doing it (and not intentionally)

  6. #6
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    Okay, thanks Mikael. I might just get myself a drysuit to do some dives around here, and then get the other suits if and when I need them, Thanks again for the advice

  7. #7
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    As has been said above, it is unlikely you will ever find a wetsuit to do UK and SE Asia well - a 5mm full suit is about as middle of the road as you can get but it will probably be a bit chilly in the UK and too heavy/had to don for the tropics. Go thicker and it will suit the UK better but be even worse for the tropics. Go thinner and... well, you get the point I'm sure! If you were feeling brave, I guess you could get a 5mm with the 5mm shortie to go over the top for the UK (and just take the shortie to SE Asia) but like Mikael said, in the UK it is the surface interval that freezes you. If you're going to do a lot of cold water diving, dry is the way. I did try the other route and it was just about acceptable as a "once in a while if I must" compromise.

  8. #8
    Prior Member Tim Digger's Avatar
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    I have more suits wet and dry than any other bit of equipment. One size does not fit all. From what you say a light weight travel dry suit with socks not boots (use wet suit bootees over the dry suit, and maybe a full one piece 3mm for really warm water. The dive shows are a good place to pick up the latter.
    Evolution is great at solving problems. It's the methods that concern me.
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  9. #9
    TDF Member kingfisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael View Post
    In a thick wetsuit diving in temperate water such as the UK is doable near enough year round. However thick suits are pain to get in and out of and you can get very cold between dives especially if the wind picks up. For comfort and ease of donning a drysuit is best suited for UK waters and colder.

    Depending on where you are planning to go in SE Asia you may find that swimming trunks is enough as some waters can be up around 28 degrees C. In other instances a shorty or even 3mm fully body wetsuit is preferable. Here you will often find that wetsuit is included in equipment hire. Personally I would not rush out to buy something for tropical diving yet. Use what the centre has and travel lighter.

    For back home start looking into drysuits.


    Ask yourself why you want to dive - pleasure I presume.

    When people say you can "get away with" or it is "do-able" to dive in a wet suit, what that means is you can just about tolerate the cold long enough for a short dive. Then you freeze in the surface interval, just sufficiant to convince yourself you can do another dive, but only do a short dive cos its that cold. -Is that the sort of diving you want? I doubt it. If you get a reasonable drysuit, you can dive in icy cold conditions (3-4deg) up to cool (14 or 15deg or higher) and feel lovely and comfortable, all you need to change is the warmth of your undersuit - from a thick wooly bear, to just a rash vest and in most cases you are talking none dive specific clothing.

    When you go to the warm tropics you can hire the gear until you decide what type of wet suit(s) are best for you.

    My recommendation is to go for a neoprene dry suit as a priority, then in time a couple of wet suits and add to it if you feel inclined

    Enjoy your diving.


 

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