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  1. #21
    Established TDF Member Paulo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickpicks View Post
    My Dad has always said "any idiot can be cold and wet" (he doesn't dive, so I'll forgive him the "not wanting to get wet" bit)
    I did point out my own version the same idiom that "any fool and be uncomfortable"
    JJ wanker

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-J-J View Post
    Welcome...wetsuit? For UK diving?
    Had a beaver semi dry for 18 months before being cold was no fun anymore. Then it was a trip to northern diver to get measured up for a drysuit. People in the diving club said it was better to start in a wetsuit. What a bunch of liars.

    Now days a wetsuit is only for tropical diving.

    Mark

  3. #23
    Established TDF Member jamesp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkA View Post
    Had a beaver semi dry for 18 months before being cold was no fun anymore. Then it was a trip to northern diver to get measured up for a drysuit. People in the diving club said it was better to start in a wetsuit. What a bunch of liars.

    Now days a wetsuit is only for tropical diving.

    Mark
    I did two dives in a 7mm semi dry in a quarry in February (3ļC water temp), and bought a dry suit the following week.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesp View Post
    I did two dives in a 7mm semi dry in a quarry in February (3ļC water temp), and bought a dry suit the following week.
    Yes. It is miserable in winter in freshwater in a semi dry. It was the farne islands that did it for me. We were most of the day out in the club inflatables. It was a miserable cold day. Recon I was hypothermic at the end and had the car heater on flat out all the way home and off ill the rest of the week. Like you the next week bought a dry suit.

    Mark

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by John63 View Post
    All of my UK diving (70s & 80s) was done in wetsuits. 4mm to start then a very close fitting 7mm 2 piece so 14mm round the torso. Even managed an ice dive.

    That was a matter of cost and availability. I think there were only 1 or 2 folk in the club with dry suits in those days. Donít think they were actually that dry.

    These days, drysuit all the time.
    Wow that sounds painful, were those dives during Summer in the sea (I am the first to admit I feel the cold far more easily than most)?

    Winter/Spring in a quarry or mine - having looked at exposure times 4.5 - 10 degrees will take 5 minutes for loss of dexterity, 30 - 60 for exhaustion or unconsciousness. Even 10 - 15 degrees (most UK ocean diving) is 10 - 15 minutes and then 1 - 2 hours. I can understand getting away with a short ocean dive in the summer in a wetsuit, anything outside of that looks a worry! That is without considering ending the dive much colder than when it started and the associated DCS (those times are without thermal protection).

    A club local to us still tell new divers that wetsuits are perfectly adequate...then you look at them after they have got out of the water 6 minutes later, can't understand why young people don't want to get into 'grass roots' diving!

  6. #26
    Pedantic Pig Divemouse's Avatar
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    We dive from June to October in wetsuits in the sea, then swap to drysuits for Scotland over the winter
    Definitely don't doubt Dawn - not if you value your life

  7. #27
    Nicotine, valium, vicodin... notdeadyet's Avatar
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    Diving in a wetsuit isn't particularly bad. Even in winter it's still manageable if your bottom times aren't long and you aren't hanging around in areas of freshwater run off. I swim and freedive all through the winter in wetsuits. I'll often do 90-120min in the water in Scotland in my freediving suit or an hour's swim in a 3mm steamer.

    What makes it bad is what you do before and afterwards. Wind chill and evaporation will suck the energy straight out of you, especially if you can't move around. If you're shore diving and can get changed, straight in the water, out and get dry clothes on and some food/hot drinks then it's just a bit of discomfort. A cheap hivis builders jacket is brilliant for putting on straight away and a good breakfast with plenty of fat/oil. If you're sitting on a RHIB there and back, not moving, then that's a different experience all together. Personally I wouldn't use a wetsuit for boat diving in the UK except in high summer and even then if I had the choice I'd use a drysuit. If it came down to cost I'd rather have a rubbish drysuit than a good wetsuit.
    Caliph Hamish Aw-Michty Ay-Ya-Bastard, Spiritual leader of Scottish State in England

  8. #28
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    Having done both, I would say that drysuit diving IS better than wetsuit diving but wetsuit diving is possible for a large part of the year.

    I have dived in 8C water in a 7mm wetsuit and have been pretty comfortable with two 45 minute dives in a day (there was a large open fire on the beach for warming between dives). What does make a huge difference is how you manage the interval between dives. If you stand there in an unprotected wetsuit on a beach or boat, you will lose a lot of heat through evaporation/exposure. Warm drinks, windproof jacket, shelter etc help a huge amount.

    What the biggest problem is is the cost of a new drysuit - it is not feasible for someone trying diving for the first time to go straight out and buy a new drysuit at around £700+ for a sport they might (or might not) keep doing. Managing to get a second hand suit can help a lot with this but is not always possible. This is especially a problem if, like me, you are not a "standard" or regularly available size. I am 6'3 and my back and arms are very long in comparison to my legs so a "standard" fit of drysuit normally doesn't work so there is no second hand market for suits for me.

  9. #29
    TDF Member JasminNeedsGills's Avatar
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    I use a 7mm semidry down in Cornwall, and over the summer found it was fine for two dives a day up to around 45min, with temps in the 14-16c mark. During surface interval I'd usually pull it down to my waist and put on a warm fleece and windproof jacket and have a nice big mug of hot chocolate On a few dives I've gotten a bit chilly, but never seriously cold (no shivering or feeling "bone cold"), though to be honest I'm not sure I'd be as laid back about it if I was diving on the east coast or in Scotland. I've also got plenty of.... natural insulation, so to speak I don't have a drysuit so don't dive home waters over the winter. A (decent) drysuit is a pretty big investment so I'd say it depends on how much temperate sea or freshwater diving you do, and also if you dive year-round. I might well get one in future. I came back to diving just in time for Covid, so really want to see how things will shake out post-pandemic in terms of the UK diving scene and how easy international travel is before splashing out to stay dry, as it were...


 
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