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Anywhere to get "new" vintage wetsuits?

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by MattCrunk, May 28, 2010.

  1. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

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    I have spent probably close to 2,000 dollars including having 350 dollars stolen from me on eBay by Sunshinesnoflake for vintage wetsuits, both new and used. For that, my best suit was given to me in trade, a nice 1/4 inch sharkskin with nylon inside and a new, supposedly custom, decent but way overpriced for the quality, Wetwear with G231 that I am sorely unimpressed with the style, workmanship and overall quality.

    Any future rubber goods or rubber scuba outfits that I buy will be new, off the shelf, functional and cheap or dry.

    Vintage only runs so deep with me, it has to work first (function) and then looks come a distant second.

    N
     
  2. ZKY

    ZKY Minimalist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, California
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    Oh, gotcha :rofl3:
    I only use skin-in suits and what I do is keep a spray bottle handy with 25% hair conditioner/water solution and lube up the suit before sliding right in with ease...commando of course.
     
  3. duckbill

    duckbill Solo Diver

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    I have heard of this, but always thought it might irritate the skin after a while, no? Talc is only good for the first don with a dry wetsuit and dry body. After that, talc doesn't help at all when it gets wet. Might as well leave the suit on all day or be sure to thoroughly dry between dives. So, does the conditioner bother your skin at all? I also wonder if it could adversely affect neoprene with time.
     
  4. ZKY

    ZKY Minimalist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, California
    2,644
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    Nope, no irritation at all. I suppose it depends on what type of hair conditioner, but I've always gotten a big twin pack at Costco of various brands (whatever they have at the time) and have had really good luck. I look for ones that contain aloe. The suit always smells fresh and it makes your skin feel good. I've been on multi day charter boats down in LA where we're doing 5-6 dives a day so I'm literally in the suit from 7:00 am to almost 9:00 at night after the night dive with no problems. I leave the bottoms on even for dinner.

    I've been yelled at by my suit builder for telling him I use hair conditioner. He claims that if he ever has to make a repair on a seam, hair conditioner will get in there and make it so the cement won't stick. I'm really careful with my suits so I've never had a seam come apart. Part of the reason my suits don't get tortured while putting them on IS because the conditioner solution makes them so slippery and easy to get into. He wanted me to use baby shampoo instead which worked, but it wasn't as slippery and it did give me a little irritation after a while. I didn't like it and went back to conditioner.
    As far as hair conditioner ruining neoprene, I think that's bogus. I and many other people that have been using skin-in suits for years have never encountered such a problem. If there was a problem I'm sure we would have heard about it on one of the freediving forums in a split second.
     
  5. knowone

    knowone Regular of the Pub

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    All sounds a bit Madame Lash to me. Rubber and ebay mostly don't seem to mix. Get orange nylon lining with your shark or smooth skin, that way if you get lost toss your gear and wear your suit inside out. YKK zippers nickel size 5 for arms and legs. Size 10 for front. The pull falls off and you replace it with a ring or something then the bit that holds the ring or something falls off. It is very easy to replace the slider without replacing the entire zipper. Next suit or zip replacement I'll probably use size 10 for the lot. My bloke has modified patterns for my new old suits because the originals had to much neoprene in the wrong places like a scarecrow. He shapes them more like motorbike leathers so theres minimal bunching and you don't have to fight the neoprene.
    Did you think Valentino Rossi walks like that because his balls hurt.
     
  6. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
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    There is absolutely no need for any zippers in the suit, unless you are a woman of short stature with a small waist and largish chest. I prefer skin two sides, it is much more flexible thus can be fit closer and is much warmer since the skin on the inside makes it into a semi-dry. If you have to have a fabric coating, get four way stretch lycra, on the outside. That is almost as stretchy and warm and the lycra is really abrasive resistant.
     
  7. duckbill

    duckbill Solo Diver

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    With closed cell neoprene, the conditioner only gets "skin deep". He can take a sliver of a fresh cut to have a gluable surface if he needs to I would think.

    I've always wanted to make my own suit like used to be done, but I don't see how I'd have the time or space to devote to such a project right now. It's just another project I have on hold with about a hundred others.
     
  8. promocop

    promocop Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Marina Del Rey, CA
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    NONSENSE...New Page 2 The last SoCal wetsuit maker will make anything...old school authentic included..and NOT
    Chinese.!
     
  9. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
    22,171
    2,770
    113
    Prices look quite reasonable too.
     
  10. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

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    I called them several years ago. The slanted zipper is not vintage, the beaver tail clips are not vintage, the shoulder cut is incorrect for a vintage suit and at the time they did not use G231.

    A vintage jacket should have a suit coat/jacket cut at the sleeves to shoulder joint. The material should be smooth or textured rubber like sharkskin on the exterior, the zipper should be straight and all zippers should be brass, edges should be straight cut and unfinished, nylon or skin inside. That is the way my vintage wetsuits were when they were not vintage. Also, the Elios, have a bikini cut to the jacket, a vintage suit should have a long jacket, the jacket should extend past or over the hip bone and the bottom edge should be cut straight, not vee shaped like a bikini, if you follow, like the Elios are.

    This is a vintage jacket top, the shoulders are straight cut like a suit coat, the bottom is also straight, the zipper is straight up the middle, the jacket is cut long so that it is over the hip bone, edges are raw cut, unfinished:

    [​IMG]

    This also is a vintage suit:

    [​IMG]

    Also of note, the last photo is from a 1964ish magazine, 490 dollars in 1964 equals what today? It is a bunch of money.

    N
     

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