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Cold Water Wet Suit Diving

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by zekethesheik, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. zekethesheik

    zekethesheik Divemaster

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: SW Washington State
    28
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    Attn all marriage counselors.......
    Heres the scoop.. My wife finally took up diving. She is scheduled to take her Open Water test next month in the Puget Sound. We bought her a Bare Artic Elastec 7mm full suit w/ hooded vest. I'm afraid if she freezes she'll never dive again and drill itsy-bitsy holes in my dry suit... Any hints for warmth?? Both during and betwen dives..

    Thanks,
     
  2. jslynd

    jslynd Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: NJ
    3
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    Get a dry suit

    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. masterof0

    masterof0 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Work in NorCal, Live in Midwest
    547
    1
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    you might think about a core warmer to layer with your wetsuit and a dive jacket to wear between dives
     
  4. Rainer

    Rainer DIR Practitioner

    6,031
    592
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    Yup, if you want her to be happy, which means being warm, get the dry suit.
     
  5. Dtaine

    Dtaine Barracuda

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Allentown, PA
    354
    0
    16
    well if you can't get another dry suit right now - then I'd recommend clean towels, a change of clothes ready for right after the dives, and a good jacket for in between dives
     
  6. ryshannon

    ryshannon Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sarnia Ontario Canada
    181
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    16
    If you don't get her the dry suit, Take a container of warm water and put it into the wetsuit after she dons it (might help with colder water ) keep warm , dry clothes for when she is done.
     
  7. S. starfish

    S. starfish Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver, Canada
    363
    6
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    During the dive I don't think that there is that much you can do. If you haven't already, invest in a good thick hood and some gloves, rental hoods and especially gloves have to put up with a lot of abuse and won't be nearly as effective as a personal set, especially a new set. The lobster style gloves are the warmest I've tried, but some people don't like having three fingers in one compartment, I know I don't. Depending on how well the wetsuit fits her, you may want to try putting some electrical tape around the wrists and ankles to restrict the flow of water. This shouldn't really be necessary for a properly fitting wetsuit, but it can help if the wrists and ankles are a little loose. If you do this, be sure to wrap the tape sticky side up at first to avoid damaging the suit. Duct tape won't work - once it gets wet it just falls off.
    If the dive consists of sitting on the bottom waiting for others to do skills she's probably going to get cold.

    Between dives It's a good idea to have a set of gloves, a good warm hat and a coat ready for wearing. A thermos of something nice and warm to drink will help to warm her up from the inside out. A second thermos of warm water to pour down the wetsuit is also a nice thing to have. Get her out of the water, put a bit of warm water down the suit, gloves, hat and coat on (coat over the now warm water filled wetsuit) and then a nice warm cup of hot chocolate and she'll be good to go. Maybe. I don't know your wife.

    Edit: If you don't mind sacrificing a pair of wool socks, she can wear them under her booties. I've never done it but I hear it helps a bit.

    Hope some of this is useful.
     
  8. masterof0

    masterof0 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Work in NorCal, Live in Midwest
    547
    1
    0
    Dry suit is definitely an option, but I think it might be too much for a new diver doing their OW checkout dives. Having to control buoyancy in two locations among all other "drills" may lead to some challenges. (although you won't control buoyancy with the dry suit, you will have to add/vent air as you ascend/descend) I think doing a wet suit for the OW checkouts is a good idea. Once you get through those, definitely look at a dry suit.
     
  9. Rainer

    Rainer DIR Practitioner

    6,031
    592
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    How do you think OW courses are conducted in places with really cold water? Many people learn to dive using a DS from the start. It's not a trip.

    I know many women who quit local cold water diving because they were cold in a wet suit. Your best bet in such cases is really a DS. The rest is just patches, likely to peel off...
     
  10. S. starfish

    S. starfish Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver, Canada
    363
    6
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    I know a few shops that teach openwater students in drysuits. It's a bit more tricky but I haven't met or taught anybody who had significant troubles doing their open water in a drysuit.

    ZEKE- A drysuit with top quality undergarments, thick hood and good gloves is definitely the best way to go, but I can understand that that is a pretty big investment for someone who may not even continue diving, especially after already purchasing a wetsuit. Be wary of rental drysuits, the neck and wrist seals tend to fit only a select few.
     

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