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[Tavi I have freinds in the Bahamas who wear 7mil fullsuits with hoods in the warm months, and drysuits when it gets down to 75f in the cooler months.
I'm usually fine with a 3/2 fullsuit and a beanie. The beanie makes a big difference.]
Thats too funny!!
I wear 7mil @ an average temp og 53 F and when we hit a all time warm of about 58f it's like being on a vacation to the tropics
To echo what others have said here it is all about personal preference. I dive a 3/2 wetsuit in puerto rico where the water temp is typically 80F. An instructor who runs a shop here goes out in a 7mm. I just dove this past weekend, and thought the water temp was great, but a lady on the trip thought it was freezing. it was about 81F. So I concur with others who said get what you need to keep yourself warm!
I live and dive in the Virgin Islands, where the water temp never gets below 75 degrees. I always wear a full 3/2mm wetsuit, even in the Summer. I am usually freezing, and shivering during the second half of my first dive. The second dive, I am so cold that I can sometimes hardly stand it. [snip] Anyway, my question is am I having something similar to a coldwater diving experience?
Shay, this is two months on from your asking, but in case you're still with us, I'll add the following . . .
I just finished assisting an open water class here in Oregon. Checkout dives were at one of our rivers, temps in the high '40s. I think the "coldwater diving experience" is not about being cold per se--It's the added stressors that make it challenging.
When it's freezing outside in the morning, your mind is really resistant to the idea of stepping into cold water. Heavier neoprene is more restrictive, harder to don, harder to move in. The hood and thick gloves add to the feeling of helplessness and claustrophobia. Since it's almost winter, there's not much light in the water either--the sun's too low even at midday to shine down into the canyon. And the shock of cold water on the small exposed portions of your forehead and temples can be just like an ice-cream headache.
So I have a lot of respect for the students who can surmount these obstacles, in spite of the fact that they're still building comfort and confidence underwater. That they can get under and demonstrate their skills says a lot about their motivation and the trust they put in us.
And the SB Politeness Award goes to . . . Doc Vikingo, for "I find this assertion not compelling." The measure of a good dive plan is its impermeability.
Poor dive plans, on the other hand, tend to be water-soluble.
85 degrees ... man I would be in heaven diving.. I am lucky if we get 65 degrees and it drops to about 38 degrees <-1.5 C>.. yeah I dive dry... :P.. and you do burn calroies shivering.. but I rather be burning calories another way..
I dive in San Diego (50-65 F) and started out with a 3mm hood. I then purchased a 5/3mm hood with a longer skirt (the part you tuck in). Wow. What a difference. So there has to be a difference between no hood and any hood. I dive without hoods in the tropics. I may change that the next time I'm in warm water. My goal is longer bottom time.