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Unfortunately sometimes I have to dive in cold water where I live. Mid 50's or so at the quarry. During my OW certification I was using a deep sea hood that zipped in the back and was pretty long so I had to tuck it in my wet suit. On my second dive I had a small freak out like I couldn't breath and I couldn't easily get the hood off because it was tucked so far into my wetsuit and the zipper was in the back. I chose to dive the rest of the dives without the hood and it was fine.
For the most part I could probably go without the hood, but if I plan to spend any amount of time below about 30ft where the thermocline is then I would like a hood. The problem I think is that I have a fairly thick neck and it's not very long so the hood constricts around the neck. In a dress shirt I wear an 18.5 in the neck.
I was thinking that maybe a drysuit type hood might be better because they don't go down too far and eventually I think I will want to get drysuit certified and buy a dry suit. Does anyone have any recommendations. I live near leisure pro so I might take a trip there next week and just try on some different things.
Just anecdotal mention from another big necked guy, and in my case a head like a bowling ball.
I recently bought the Henderson AquaLock 7/5 mm XX Large hook (QH75N) at my local dive shop in Hopkinsville, KY. It only comes in up to 2X, so that's what I got.
Overall, it fits snug but decent, except it's tight across my lower jaw; it feels like someone grabbed the hood on both sides right behind my jaws, and pulled backward. It's not extreme and I can still use the hood; I was figuring since Henderson is known for making wetsuits with good 'stretch to fit' characteristics (or so I'm told), one of their largest hoods might work.
So, if you can walk into Leisure Pro and ask to try something on, this might be a good one to try. But see if it tugs on your lower jaw, front-to-back.
When do YOU start to accept a lower standard of performance? don't crap on a cupcake and tell me it's frosting.
A motivated, well-trained and improvement-orientated novice diver will obviously be in a better position to dive safely than the average. Motivated, well-trained and improvement-orientated divers who dive regularly seem to be a tiny minority of all those certified.