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Before I take the plunge on a dry suit, some questions.

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by AlmightyApkallu, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Hartattack

    Hartattack PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Campaign, IL
    118
    49
    28
    Yeah, I have heard the stories of their customer service. However, I like to give the example of BMW and MINI (Because I own a Mini). My car says MINI on the front and looks like a MINI, but it is indeed a BMW at a lower price point. They share the same engine, windows, many of the same transmissions, etc. I mostly got a premium car at a lower price point. I think that is what Santi is doing with Avatar to compete with DUI's Cortez and Yukon suits. There are no custom measurements, it is "as is" off the shelf, and we shall see if it ends up being a good suit or not. Nevertheless, I spent $1200.00 on a Drysuit that could very well be amazing, or at the very least, I am only out $1200 instead of $2600-$3000 for a suit that leaks like the EMotion. Also, "Santi Guy" is actually the CEO of the company—and we now have places like EE and DRIS who can service these suits. Feel free to follow my review thread of the suit in DIR. All things considered, I hope I am right about the suit, but—I will not be upset if it is a flop, and hey, you get a free review out of it! Cheers.
     
    laikabear and Lorenzoid like this.
  2. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    9,460
    6,089
    113
    EE has them serviced by "Santi USA," which is their US "headquarters" and consists of a corner within the Halcyon manufacturing building. Santi USA repaired some boots on my suit a few years ago. The only reason I will buy another Santi is because I live close enough to EE/Santi USA/Halcyon to be able to deal with these people in person.
     
    laikabear and Hartattack like this.
  3. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    8,440
    4,053
    113
    That IS a selling point. However, I will take 2 Seaskin suits with a bunch of change left over, for the same price. If one of them needs service, I can pay shipping a bunch of times with the money I saved, and be diving my other suit in the meantime.... :D
     
    Dark Wolf and lexvil like this.
  4. lexvil

    lexvil Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    2,238
    1,740
    113
    Yep
     
    stuartv likes this.
  5. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    9,460
    6,089
    113
    Did you buy two?

    I get it that the Seaskin is economical. But when I have the option, I prefer to deal in-person with a business I am buying something from that needs to be custom measured and will likely need service at some point. They know me. They have my suit's service records. It has been my experience when dealing remotely with someone that they don't prioritize you as they would if you were face to face. When my boots needed replacing, the guy from EE and I marched over to Santi USA in five minutes so I could try on boots. As I see it, what I'm paying for when I buy Santi at the (US) source is almost less the product than the guarantee that they will do whatever it takes to make everything just right. As a mail-order customer to some business, I am just another number to them. I suppose I am just gun-shy after having experienced too many headaches dealing with companies by email and phone, trying to get things sorted. Granted, dealing in person with a top drysuit dive shop like EE or DRIS is not feasible for every diver.
     
    J Palomino likes this.
  6. lexvil

    lexvil Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    2,238
    1,740
    113
    For the extra 2k you can fly to the UK, go face to face with Seaskin and have a nice vacation to boot. I have two Seaskin suits as does Stewart, if they ever agree to making a front zip neoprene I’ll have a third.
     
    Dark Wolf, Efka76 and stuartv like this.
  7. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    8,440
    4,053
    113
    Well, the Avatar is obviously not the same material as a Santi. But, maybe it uses the same thread and the same glue. And, of course, the same seals and valves. Is it assembled by the same workers, using the same machines? It appears not, but it could be the same brand and model of machines used.

    I think the real question is, if Santi can make a quality suit for $1200, why does it cost an extra $2000 just to get it made to measure, and of a different material?

    I'm a motorcycle guy. To match your analogy, Santi strikes me as the MV Agusta of drysuits, where Seaskin is Honda. A $30K MV Agusta is not any better than a $15K Honda. The difference is that MV Agusta (and Santi) hasn't modernized their production process sufficiently. They are doing things slowly, by hand, that Honda (and Seaskin) has figured out how to automate. Old World hand craftsmanship versus modern assembly line production. Old World doesn't (usually) give better results - unless you double the cost yet again. It just costs more and is more "exclusive" (which some people are happy to pay extra for).

    Unfortunately for Santi, my opinion is that when a boutique brand branches out with a "less expensive" version (whether it's under a different brand name or not), it opens them up to one of two things happening - neither of which are good for them. Either, the less expensive brand is also lower quality and they get a black eye for that. Or, the suits are as good quality as their expensive suits and then people start to question what they're really getting for the extra cost of the top line suits.
     
    Dark Wolf, laikabear and Lorenzoid like this.
  8. Hartattack

    Hartattack PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Campaign, IL
    118
    49
    28
    Lets hope it's the latter :D
     
    laikabear and Lorenzoid like this.
  9. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    9,460
    6,089
    113
    I know you're just trying to make the point that it's economical. Again, I get that. I have bought stuff while abroad because it's cheaper. The problem is you come back home and find something more needs to be done. I suppose my argument here has little to do with Seaskin vs. other brands, such as Santi, and more to do with the advantages of dealing with a local dive shop, even if it costs more. I don't care whether my local dive shop is a Santi dealer, a DUI dealer, or whatever other good-quality brand they deal in--I think there are advantages to going with whatever brand they deal in. Remember, Halcyon used to be affiliated with DUI, not Santi, and EE was stocked with DUI suits. Back then, I probably would have bought DUI.
     
  10. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    8,440
    4,053
    113
    I did. Not at the same time. As someone on somewhat the "pioneering" end of purchasing from Seaskin, I only bought one to start. I received my second last month.

    I totally get what you are saying about paying extra for service. If the actual Santi factory were near me, I would have given a lot more consideration to buying from them. Being able to let THEM take the measurements, and then trying it on there, so they can immediately fix it if it does not fit right is worth something. Once it's made and verified to fit and work correctly (i.e. not leak), the service after that is, to me, no longer so much of an issue. There are plenty of places to get a suit worked on that do a good job. DRiS did great work on my Waterproof suit. I hear great things about Gamble's, down in FL. If the suit fits right and has no other fundamental flaws, after that it's just not rocket surgery.

    Getting it right on the front end is, to me, the most important thing. And that is where Santi does not seem to have any advantage over Seaskin. And perhaps even a disadvantage. To anyone in the US, Santi is no closer than Seaskin. Further, I have not seen anyone post about a Seaskin suit that was totally wrong. Minor details, yes, a couple of reports (though my 2 suits are perfect, so far). But, a suit that, for example, simply does not fit? I haven't heard of that with Seaskin.

    On the other hand, one of my friends ordered a made-to-measure Santi heated undersuit. It arrived and fit perfectly (thus confirming that the measurements he gave were correct). But, his DUI drysuit would not fit over it. Obviously, that's no fault of DUI or Santi. So, my friend ordered a Santi drysuit to fit over the Santi heated undersuit. He requested it to be made using the same measurements. It arrived and was simply too small/tight for him to wear. The notion that you mentioned of "they will do whatever it takes to make everything just right" is now the topic.

    Once the drysuit was confirmed to not fit, Santi fought tooth and nail that it was their fault. Even though they'd made the undersuit using the same measurements and it fit perfectly. Ultimately, my friend had to go get re-measured, on video, so the Santi people could watch and confirm the measurements were done correctly. Only after that would they admit that the measurements were correct and they'd made the suit wrong.

    Seaskin seems to have a much more modern production process that helps to make them much less likely to have that kind of problem.
     

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