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I dive on Long Isand in which the water never really gets that warm especially down deep so I've been thinking about a drysuit.
Problem is, I don't know a thing about them. I have a scubapro classic plus bc. Can it be used or do I need a plate and wings, etc. I am trying to figure out what is needed because I already spent a fortune and am hoping to not have to again (the suit is expensive enough). An basic run down of equipmen would be helpful.
Drysuit diving isn't as mystical as some would have you believe. Your BC should work fine. All your other gear should work fine.
You can do the drysuit course but unless you get a good instructor it'll probably feel like a waste of money. Some shops throw the course in when you buy the suit (but they are usually more expensive to begin with)
Finding a willing buddy and taking it slowly is probably the best plan. Do a few shallow dives to get used to it and practice buoyancy and trim stuff.
There is a book that frequently gets recommended. I haven't read it and can't remember the name but its worth checking the archives.
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR RESPONSES. I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION A JACKET STYLE BC WAS NO GOOD FOR DRY SUIT DIVING. THE OTHER THING I DID NOT UNDERSTAND WAS WHY DO YOU USE A SOURCE OF AIR FOR THE SUIT, BUT NOW IT IS CLEAR TO OFFSET SQUEEZE. I KNEW ARGON WAS USED BECAUSE IT SUPPOSEDLY HELPED THE MAINTAINING OF BODY HEAT, BUT THAT HAS BEEN DISPUTED. MY SHOP HAS A DRY SUIT COURSE, MAYBE I SHOULD CONSDER IT.
oversea once bubbled... THANKS FOR ALL YOUR RESPONSES. I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION A JACKET STYLE BC WAS NO GOOD FOR DRY SUIT DIVING. THE OTHER THING I DID NOT UNDERSTAND WAS WHY DO YOU USE A SOURCE OF AIR FOR THE SUIT, BUT NOW IT IS CLEAR TO OFFSET SQUEEZE. I KNEW ARGON WAS USED BECAUSE IT SUPPOSEDLY HELPED THE MAINTAINING OF BODY HEAT, BUT THAT HAS BEEN DISPUTED. MY SHOP HAS A DRY SUIT COURSE, MAYBE I SHOULD CONSDER IT.
It depends on your needs. If durability isn't an issue, there are many "lightweight" suits available, such as the Bare ATR-Lite and NextGen. If you need durable, but inexpensive, you can go with a 7mm neoprene suit, but that will require a significant amount of extra weight. My recommendation is get a durable shell suit. I just ordered a Bare ATR-HD from Divesource.com for $1200 canadian (~$800 US). This price was lower than what my LDS could buy the suit for. www.dansdiveshop.ca also has this suit for that price.
Some major and respected manufacturers of dry suits are: DUI (some believe to be the ferrari of dry suits...very pricey) Bare Diving Concepts - they have great dry gloves Andy's Viking makes some of the most durable suits around. They supply the military with combat suits.
There are a few main issues with drysuit diving that differ from wetsuits.
Shell suits provide NO insulation, they just keep you dry...you layer clothing underneath (or specialized dry suit undergarments).
Neoprene suits provide some insulation, but also require a bunch of extra weight to compensate for the bouyancy of the neoprene.
drysuits are an extra airspace to maintain, so task loading is slightly higher, especially on ascent.
drysuits are not a passive piece of equipment and require training to use properly.
Oversea, I did my first drysuit "dive" in a pool. My friend was gracious enough to let me borrow his to try it out.
It was a great way to get acquainted with it all, and it was an indoor pool, so it was warm and comfy when I was wrestling with the suit. I sat on the bottom for an hour and watched an OW class go through skills. It was fun, and I got the hang of it right off.
You might want to ask your LDS if you can tag along to a pool session and do the same.
Learning to use it was no big thing. Getting the thing over my head was the hard part!
But they are awesome, these people speak truth.