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konacoffeediver
March 27th, 2009, 03:20 AM
So I just completed my AOW last sunday. I have finally pieced all my gear together except for a wetsuit. Ive been diving with rentals which are deep see 3mm shortie and john. I like the shortie but I still have some practicing to do with my bouyancy and have hit my leg on coral a few times. So now ive decided that full suit is the way to go. Water around Kona is about 75 degrees year round. Ive been leaning towards the Pinnacle cruiser 5mm on leisure pro. Gonna go to LDS and try them on.

Would a 5mm be too warm? I figure the 3mm shortie plus john that ive been wearing equals 6mm at the core. When I went on my first night dive I did get a little chilled. Most of my male instructors have worn 3mm suits and most of the female DM's wear 5mm. Is there a big difference from the 3mm to 5mm suits.

thanks for any feedback

kathydee
March 27th, 2009, 03:35 AM
At 75F I'd be happier with a 5mm, but I chill easily. Just bought the 5mm everflex scubapro from leisurepro.com - it's quite comfortable !

http://www.leisurepro.com/Prod/CategoryID_982/Context_980/Sort_Stock/DescSort_0/Filter_1%3d2579/SCPE5W.html?Hit=1

& really love it! Sale ends 3/31 :)!

LIVES4SHARKS
March 27th, 2009, 03:54 AM
I love my Mares Trilastic 5-4-3. It has been comfortable and very easy to move in. Like KathyDee said, it all depends on how cold you get during your dives. I dive in water from the mid 60's to high 70's in my 5mil. I also wear a 5mil hood. Definitely try on a few and see what works best for you.

Good luck!
Carolyn:shark2:

padi613
March 27th, 2009, 06:20 AM
Hi Konacoffeediver well done on your AOW certification.
Go for a suit that has reversable seals that way you can adjust the ammount of water flushing through

Puffer Fish
March 27th, 2009, 06:54 AM
Welcome to Scuba Board.

Wetsuit warmth is first and foremost fit.. then material.

Any loose area will cause water to flush in and out of the suit.

Some people are easy to fit, others...not so. Kathydeee had to try on all sorts of different brands to find a good fit. Me, not so much.

Garrobo
March 27th, 2009, 09:45 AM
Wearing a shorty and getting jabbed now and then should make you a better diver by making you more aware of where the bottom is. Personally, I don't want anything on my arms or legs. The coldest I have dove is in 63 degree bottom water on the Speigle Grove last winter in a 2mm shorty. The surface water was 73 degrees and it was a little chilly. Next dive, shallow reef, I put on a 2mm vest with the shorty and overheated. I guess some people feel the cold more than others. In my case, so long as I keep the skin on my sides warm, I'm OK. Another couple things that I can't stand to wear is a hood or booties. The hoods are too restrictive and the booties feel like mush. So it's bald head and open-toed Force Fins for me.

diver 85
March 27th, 2009, 10:02 AM
Remember, can always add skins(~$40US) underneath a shortie....Will give you all the protection you need & still keep you aware of needed proper bouyancy ie you'll feel the reef, lol.........

SteveAD
March 27th, 2009, 10:11 AM
Ive been leaning towards the Pinnacle cruiser 5mm on leisure pro. Gonna go to LDS and try them on.



thanks for any feedback

I hope I read this wrong, but if the intention is to purchase from leisurepro, going to the LDS to try it on is exactly why so many LDS owners dislike online buyers. If you're taking advantage of the LDS services, they deserve your business.

elan
March 27th, 2009, 11:16 AM
So I just completed my AOW last sunday. I have finally pieced all my gear together except for a wetsuit. Ive been diving with rentals which are deep see 3mm shortie and john. I like the shortie but I still have some practicing to do with my bouyancy and have hit my leg on coral a few times. So now ive decided that full suit is the way to go. Water around Kona is about 75 degrees year round. Ive been leaning towards the Pinnacle cruiser 5mm on leisure pro. Gonna go to LDS and try them on.

Would a 5mm be too warm? I figure the 3mm shortie plus john that ive been wearing equals 6mm at the core. When I went on my first night dive I did get a little chilled. Most of my male instructors have worn 3mm suits and most of the female DM's wear 5mm. Is there a big difference from the 3mm to 5mm suits.

thanks for any feedback

You do not really get too warm underwater. You lose heat as the temperature is lower than your body temperature. You can only overheat on the surface. Last time I was diving the wetsuit it was 6 mil full with a hood, we dove in Marcelle in 75 F water. I was chilled at the end of the dive. If you are going to dive a lot get a full 5 mil with a hood. You do not really appreciate the hood until you start diving with it. After I have tried I do not really want to dive without it :) Also I would not buy any suit online as you cannot feel it and check how it fits and for the wetsuit its important.

ktownhero
March 27th, 2009, 12:33 PM
Wearing a shorty and getting jabbed now and then should make you a better diver by making you more aware of where the bottom is. Personally, I don't want anything on my arms or legs. The coldest I have dove is in 63 degree bottom water on the Speigle Grove last winter in a 2mm shorty. The surface water was 73 degrees and it was a little chilly. Next dive, shallow reef, I put on a 2mm vest with the shorty and overheated. I guess some people feel the cold more than others. In my case, so long as I keep the skin on my sides warm, I'm OK. Another couple things that I can't stand to wear is a hood or booties. The hoods are too restrictive and the booties feel like mush. So it's bald head and open-toed Force Fins for me.

Amen! I always see so much written about how much wetsuit protection you need for EVERYTHING, and I never understood why. Glad to see a more experienced diver that's of a differing opinion. I'm the same way.

konacoffeediver
March 27th, 2009, 01:09 PM
I hope I read this wrong, but if the intention is to purchase from leisurepro, going to the LDS to try it on is exactly why so many LDS owners dislike online buyers. If you're taking advantage of the LDS services, they deserve your business.

No this is correct. The LDS I go to already has plenty of my money. They have said to try them on if Im buying online. The problem living in Hawaii is that the LDS's charge at least double more often than not, more than double for the stuff they have, this is pricey even with the 10% discount I get. Locals call it tourist pricing. It happens in a lot of stores around town.

thanks to everyone for there feedback. Kathylee thanks for the LP link I didn't even look for scubapro wuitsuits online. I was under the impression that scubapro didn't authorize their items to be sold online. The scubapro everflex fits like a glove. which it sound like is the main goal.

Monkey_Gland
March 27th, 2009, 02:13 PM
Get the 5mm. It's more versatile in the long run and as you do more dives in a day you'll appreciate that little bit extra.

I've always been a big fan of O'Neill wetsuits. But's that just me.

BTW Any LDS worth their salt should match an online price for big ticket items as long as you don't quibble when buying the small stuff.

mikeyjoe
March 27th, 2009, 02:40 PM
I switched from a shortie to a full suit for my warm water dives ever since I brushed against fire coral around the edge of a hatch in a wreck. :shakehead: Good protection from jellies, too......

I don't think you should worry about overheating down below in a 5mm - topside is another story.....

Congrats on AOW :D- Rescue is a great course - very worthwhile.....

friscuba
March 27th, 2009, 03:24 PM
The 5 mil would sure be nice right now, but it hasn't been this cold in the 10 years I've lived here, a fisherman we were talking with said the last time he's seen it this cold was '94. Typically it drops to 74/75 early in the year, then climbs to 81/82 by fall, last year it never got much above 79 for some reason (I had only a couple days of seeing 80 on the boat last year) and we're really feeling the cold now, it was around 71-ish a couple weeks back.

You left out a couple of things: gender, height and weight and you'd have your answer in a second.

If in doubt go heavy, but most average build or larger guys guys do fine in a 3 mil year round when water temps are typical, women might want more, average build or smaller women typically prefer a 5 except when it's warm. A hood can do wonders when it cools from January to March/April. The more you dive, the more thermal protection you'll want, most of the dive every day dive guides here end up in 5s or 7s or more down the line. I went with a 3 mil full for 7 years, jumped up to a 4/3 for this year and will be in a 5 come next winter, but I'm on the larger side.

One comment... the local dive shops aren't charging double, they're charging standard retail, usually MSRP. When I moved here from Oregon, I'd been all over Oregon, Washington and Northern California looking at gear and prices in Kona were the same, and in many cases better since there are 4-5 scuba retailers within a few miles of each other here. It might be double of what the warehouse wholesale to the public guys charge, but they're playing by different rules than a typical retailer. You'll find Hawaii/Kona type prices in nearly any dive store on the mainland, the tourists aren't getting overcharged by mainland retail standards here when it comes to scuba equipment.


Have fun.

elan
March 27th, 2009, 03:38 PM
I've always been a big fan of O'Neill wetsuits. But's that just me.


make that 2, We were looking for a wetsuit for my wife and you know for girls finding the right suit is a pain. She tried many shops and at least 10 different wetsuits and finally O'Neill with it's material could sit perfect on her. I was also impressed with the quality of the seams and material.

I paid 2.5 times as little for my Evo wetsuit but Evo is junk :D

ruready7
March 27th, 2009, 03:53 PM
I got have a 5mm Pinnacle that I love. It is worn down to 60 degrees. After 60 a hood is added. Dont worry about overheating underwater, you can always break the seal and let in more water to cool you off.

konacoffeediver
March 27th, 2009, 03:58 PM
im 6'4" 245 male. Thanks steve have never really looked at water temps in kona before i started diving. I just knew the water was a little chillier in th sping than fall. Thought it was normal for the lows we have been having was 72 at 40' two weeks ago. my house get rather cold in the spring so i thought nothing of it. NOW you tell me it might get up to 80 in the water in the fall. however i think in the long run a 5mm will be more versitle than a 3mm. or maybe a 3mm with a hood like you said. Aaaargh decisions, decisions.

Also never been to any dive shops on the mainland so I just figured the higher prices than the internet were because of the usual tourist/shipping mark up we see. glad to know dive shops everywhere are gouging us. J/K please only a joke no need to get upset if you have a dive shop i find a lot of good deals in them and it really helps with my instant gratification problem.

Damselfish
March 27th, 2009, 04:12 PM
Poor buoyancy control and thermal considerations aren't the only reasons to get a full suit. Even if you're perfect, sometimes things come and get you, or clumsy people push you into things, or the boat is banging around. Then there's the funny tan lines...

Garrobo
March 27th, 2009, 04:24 PM
I have found that if you live in a hot climate the water temp affects you more than us Northerners. Just this January I was diving in the Upper Keys in 75/63 water in a 2mm shorty and a 2mm vest and was plenty warm. The local lady DM on the boat actually told me that she had on 15mm of neoprene to stay warm. Looked like a female Michelen Man. Some of them down there actually use dry suits. I lived in Honduras for a while and the locals were wearing jackets, going around with runny noses and colds, when the temperature was around 75-80 in December and January. They thought I was nutz for jumping in the water at CocaCola beach when they were all wrapped up BBQ'ing chicken and fish. Heard a lot of comments like "Crazy Gringo".

friscuba
March 27th, 2009, 05:08 PM
At 6'4" my guess if you're 215/220 and up you'll generally probably do fine with just a full 3 mil, maybe with a hood or a shorty or vest under the full suit if you're on the cool side. If you're on the slender side, say 200 or under, that 5 will be sounding pretty good 'til it warms up come mid-summer.

You might want to see if you can find a good deal on a 3 mil and also on a vest or shorty so you can just layer during the cooler seasons.

Man it's been cold. I've taken to wearing a 3 mil shorty under my 4/3 the last few weeks, it helps greatly.

As far as the pricing thing goes, I just wanted to set it straight that prices at dive shops here are generally in line with shops on the mainland.... it's not like walking down Ali'i drive or at the resorts and looking for overpriced trinkets or casual wear.

Aloha,

redrover
April 11th, 2009, 07:37 AM
Hi neighbor, welcome to this neighborhood.
A couple of things.
If you've purchased most or much of your gear somewhere, you aren't being a rat to actually (some would gasp!) shop another store, be it online or down the road. I feel quite comfortable supporting the local economy, getting some competition and variety. Dive shops everywhere are a local economy to me; the Kona side is just a smaller part of it.
And don't worry, Kona is Kona, like many things Hawaiian, you ain't on the Mainland any more (yeah, we are going to fly to the UK or something for a shop worth it's salt.)

However, here is some of my local experience over the years, thought for shop local.

My LDS has the reputation for being pricy and guaranteed highest. Not always tourist pricing this local says (and sure not everywhere.) I've found this out by assuming it true and purchasing elsewhere, only to find I paid more. Other items I've compared and with shipping were equal online, not found at the other, and yes sometime a bit more. At least what I've sought has been in comparable online to local for the most part. Tanks were a big exception, got a killer deal there...and have a killer deal here on air.
I've paid $60 to ship a $20 1 # replacement item from el cheapo LP, only because it was the only place I could find it, AND the only way they would ship it. (Still really PMO. Compare that to one steel tank free shipping, the other $14 for crying out loud AND just as fast!!!!!)
Ok, I'm calm again, some day I'm sure I'll get over it.

I think a lot depends on the specifics. I rarely shop for the cheapest, but highest quality I can afford (who really needs furniture or clothes?) And, I will say I do find IMO, just MO, lower quality are lower online, if even available here. And the #1 online store, I want to give them business and really annoyed they do not carry what I'm looking for. Heck, there is always e-bay too.

On the other hand my last major purchase, went to my LDS and they did their best to get me what I wanted and could not (new item, size issue.) I went online and after a while just tried to find anyone I could throw money at to get them to no avail (out of stock or not sell my size.) So, on a whim I checked LDS #2 who did have them (now) and had the dickens of a time getting the mgr to let me buy them, seriously! There was in no way, any encouragement to buy what is a relatively expensive fin. I had to rather stridently insist. But, he gave me Kama'aina + and I've no idea why, didn't ask, which came out to 1/2 the lowest online price if I could have got them. (I was saved by Online inadequacy.)

Point is it can really vary. Point 2, again IMHO, your best bet is to go with what is the best that you can afford vs what seems similar and cheaper. This may be a matter of fit which to me is part of quality. If it doesn't work for you, not gaining anything it cost's less or more.
I rarely voice an opinion about wetsuits (other than relay my choices and why.) You said the Everflex fit like a glove to me that's your bingo. (Personally LOL, I got about half way in one and...well, not my choice, does not fit me at all LOL.)

So for a suit, here again is some of my experience. Think about how warm you've been in a shortie here. Is the protection the main goal? If warm enough in a 3ml shortie, a 3 mil ought to be fine.
But, here is another little point of concern. I was fine, toasty in fact in a 3ml - for a year. New divers expend more energy than they have to. Once they get settled down, and calm down, they are not revving up the engine as high. I began to get a bit of a chill at dive 3 and 4 so looked for a 5ml and feeling sheepish, yea gads it's the tropics. In retrospect this was in time with a fair amount of 'getting it' and streamlining technique and gear. Lot's of little details added up to I was not working so hard at diving. Now that 5 ml suit is my primary suit and it's gonna be real toasty out there for me to get into the 3ml.

What I dive, or where how, boils down to short trips anywhere out of the water in a wetsuit. I do not have an overheating problem as long as the turons aren't lined up 12 deep, oblivious to anyone might want a turn to just step off and taking forever trying to figure out how to get out at Two Step.
As long as the neck will allow you to pull it out and flood, a bit over warm suit now, your diving will grow into it.
From what I can tell, mostly from reading here and other people's take on their locations, we are a bit unique. We get cool enough to want a wet suit. The Lava is brutal and we want full protection (a skin wouldn't cut if for me, that stuff slices tires.) We aren't sitting in that suit in the hot baking sun for hours. The water is not cold enough we could not dive without it. Ergo the legendary Kona climate. Don't need no fancy schmancy whiz bang make the most warmth and cost for the suit trying desperately to keep the water out, some water is fine, never notice it. In fact, it's refreshing (and handy to flush, er, some extra, out if need be.) The stretchy suits are perfect without all the double seals etc. anyway.

Then there is another option. Is there a suit that you can get the shortie over or under? Layers, add layers, subtract layers. Maybe just a 3ml, and add the Henderson Core Warmer over when chillier or even later once you are not working so hard. They really, really stretch. You'd have to see the fellow that borrowed my small one night (forgot his suit so I sacrificed my 3rd dive extra layer. Was worth it to see him actually able to move in it much to my surprise.)

Oh, talking about suits reminds me...anyone know where the funniest thread on Scuba board is? The new folks probably would like to :rofl3: too.

jlbdiver
April 11th, 2009, 07:50 AM
All good comments. Fit is king and the dive shop can really help you with that. If you're going to a full wet suit try the 353 where your arms and legs have 3mm and your torso has the 5 but stay off the coral. Good buoyancy is the mark of a good diver.

Bmandiver
April 11th, 2009, 06:04 PM
The big difference b/w the 3mm and 5mm my wife says is the bouyancy. We dive in the same waters as you here in Kona and she went with the 5mm full suite for the warmth. But still gets a little chilled so she got a 7mm for night dives. I think if you like the shorty you would do fine with either choice.

MauiScubaSteve
April 11th, 2009, 10:15 PM
Personally, I don't want anything on my arms or legs. The coldest I have dove is in 63 degree bottom water on the Speigle Grove last winter in a 2mm shorty. The surface water was 73 degrees and it was a little chilly.


Glad to see a more experienced diver that's of a differing opinion. I'm the same way.

Beware of the opinion and recommendation of a "more experienced diver" who thinks there is a 10 degree difference at the sand of the Speigle Grove. It felt 10 degrees colder, because you didn't have the proper exposure protection! :eyebrow:

As was posted earlier the average temp is something like 75. There is ~ 6 to 10 degrees of swing seasonally, with Winter lows from 70-72 and Summer highs of 78-80.

During droughts temps will run higher, because the seeping fresh groundwater (and rivers/rains) is what brings the temp down. The more it rains the colder the diving.

I only know of less than a handful of regular Hawaii divers who dive regularly in less than 3 mm full wet suits. I only know a handful of instructor/guides in less than 5 mm fulls. Now that Macho isn't such a necessary attitude there are a lot of vests, hoodie vests and hoods being used in the winter. I'm only 6', 180; I wear my 3 mm farmer john under my full 5 mm to be comfortable at the end of a Winter dive. :coffee:

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