• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Basic drysuit use questions

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by pauldw, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. pauldw

    pauldw Solo Diver

    255
    319
    63
    My drysuit continues to confound me. I'm trying to get used to it, instead of going back to a wetsuit. Yes, I took the class, and had a fine instructor. The thing molds tightly onto me, which is what drysuits do when in the water. That bugs me because I don't like any constriction on my chest, as it set me off. Also, the pee valve pushing into me when I'm not wearing thick insulation is far from comfortable. But adding air just seems to cause burping out the neck, rather than air going further into it. I would think that unless I was overweighted heavily, I'll never be able to puff it up enough so it's comfortable. What am I missing?
     
  2. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    8,670
    7,508
    113
  3. pauldw

    pauldw Solo Diver

    255
    319
    63
    Or problem improved but not completely solved?
     
  4. fmerkel

    fmerkel Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Salish Sea (Seattle)
    1,583
    568
    113
    As @MaxBottomtime said....
    There are 3 kinds of seals, latex, silicone, and neoprene. If any of them are too loose, they will burp if you get vertical. Too tight....well, you won't like it.
    In general, properly weighted, the air you require to put in for depth compensation kind of balances the squeeze.
    Once kitted up I don't notice my pee valve at all, so maybe something is not set up properly there.
     
  5. pauldw

    pauldw Solo Diver

    255
    319
    63
    Mine is silicone, and I did trim the neck seal because I don't like being squeezed where I breath. And it might have been dinging my carotid sinuses.
     
  6. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    8,670
    7,508
    113
    If your neck seal is tight but still burping, you are putting too much air into the suit. If you are overweighted, use your BC for what it is intended for, to control your buoyancy. Do not use the suit for buoyancy. Only add enough air to your suit to relieve the squeeze. Air will travel to the highest point. If you are in a feet down position, air will go to the neck seal. If you are horizontal, it will stay on your back, allowing you to dive without losing air from the suit. After you get used to drysuit diving and get your weight down, the small amount of air you add for warmth and to relieve the squeeze should be enough to be neutrally buoyant.
     
    Outbound and Bowers like this.
  7. fmerkel

    fmerkel Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Salish Sea (Seattle)
    1,583
    568
    113
    How the seal feels out of the water is not necessarily how it will feel in the water. Generally it improves in the water.
     
  8. Graeme Fraser

    Graeme Fraser Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Narnia
    454
    572
    93
    As previously mentioned, flat trim should definitely prevent neck seal venting unless it's just too loose. Are you getting wet?

    The answer to your discomfort would therefore be to have more air in your suit, not just to prevent squeeze but to also add a slight cushion. Yes, ideally you'd use your BC for primary, but in recreational, single cylinder diving there's really nothing wrong with just using your suit or even a little of both. During winter months I often favour a bit more in my suit.

    Best thing is to get to a benign training environment and experiment with different methods till it feels right. For what it's worth, most divers' feel don't feel entirely happy with a drysuit for the first X number of dives. Hell, I wanted to set fire to my first suit until I'd persisted for at least 10 dives.
     
  9. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    12,219
    8,600
    113
    If you're bothered with the neck seal burping, you might want to try tucking it like a neoprene seal. That way, the air pressure helps to press the seal against your neck. I, and some people I've dived with, prefer to tuck also a latex or silicone neck seal. Others prefer it flush. There isn't one single answer here.

    Also, when you complain about the suit squeezing your legs and cojones, is your shoulder valve open? It's good practice to close the shoulder valve when you're on the surface, mostly because you get some extra buoyancy from the air in your suit. With the shoulder valve open, all that buoyant air is pushed out through the valve.

    But generally, a trilam will feel a bit constricted compared to a wetsuit since the material isn't stretchy. One trick is to lie flat in the surface and stre-e-e-tch just before you go down to distribute the fabric before it's squeezed against you. If the constriction bothers you too much, you could look into compressed or crushed neoprene. As a bonus, you won't need as thick undergarments and will have less issues with bubble management compared to a trilam.
     
  10. ScubaJCBS

    ScubaJCBS Live to dive! Dive to live!

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: North Carolina
    159
    38
    28
    It may help to tell what kind of drysuit you're using.
     

Share This Page