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Forgive me if this is not in the proper section or in a rekindled debate. I have tried to search for this topic have not found this is prior threads. My question is: Are there are any "real" dangers to drysuit compression other than the typical squeeze or "pinching"? I've tried to research this topic on the net but have not had any luck. Can your suit be too tight even if you feel comfortable in it? All opinions welcome. In case you're wondering, I have a drysuit and I have used it. I have not had any problems with it. My curiosity is just getting the best of me on this one. Thanks.
Not being a doctor, I would think it gets too uncomfortable long before it gets DANGEROUS.
One issue is of course that if you let the suit squeeze too much your movement get restricted, which can be an indirect hazard?
BTW, usually "drysuit compression" referr to the compression of the material in the suit, not the squeeze excerted on your body by not putting air into the suit.
The way you breathe is to have your diaphragm and ribs expand the internal volume in which the lungs are located. This expansion of volume creates a lower pressure in your lungs than the pressure outside your nose and mouth, so air flows in. If you are in a drysuit with too much of a squeeze, it gets harder and harder to push out against water pressure enough to expand your chest cavity and breathe.
It depends on your suit (shell or neoprene) and undergarment choice (fluffy, thinsulate or plain old fleece). Some combinations become thick and immovable as they are greatly compressed.
Such compression will eventually lead to the inability to bend your elbows enough that you can reach your chest, which would render you unable to add gas to either suit or wing, and thus unable to arrest a descent. After which you'd become a statistic.
It's not a wive's tale. Back when we didn't have power inflaters on our suits, I got lazy on a dive and decided to just live with the squeeze in my neoprene suit. When I finally couldn't stand it anymore, I almost was unable to add air to my suit, because my elbows would not bend. Scared the daylights out of me, and I've stayed on top of suit inflation ever since.
Fdog speaks the truth. In addition, the opposite issue can also be a problem -- that is, allowing the suit to get too inflated can be dangerous. As with Fdog, I had a real life experience with this. A training exercise went bad and I started a feet first ascent wearing doubles and a deco bottle. As I tried to reach my butt dump, the wing expanded so far that it trapped my left arm against the deco bottle and prevented me from reaching the dump. By that time the suit had expanded enough to expand my attached boots at which point my feet came out of the boots/fins. By the time I hit the surface I was the Pillsbury Dough Boy -- arms straight out and locked, legs and feet blown up with no fins -- I couldn't move!
Once my teammate stopped laughing he came over, righted me and helped put me back together.
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