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Dry suit diving tips

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by SPARKMEL, May 16, 2014.


    SPARKMEL Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Hi , I am about to start drysuit diving in the UK. I would very much apprciate any tips and helpful advise on drysuit diving. Thing i must do and be mindful of. I have studied but nothing compares to underwater.


  2. krawlings

    krawlings Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lawrenceville Ga.
    I would suggest taking a dry suite course or find a good mentor to show u the in's and out's of dry suite diving . then I think most of your questions will be answered
    D_B likes this.
  3. rivers

    rivers PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Bristol, UK
    get comfortable in the shallows before you move to anything deeper. once you do start going to deeper, you need to keep in control of your suit. 10m is the magic spot, if you haven't got control by then, you're headed to the surface.
    other than that, have fun. i much prefer a drysuit to a wetsuit.
  4. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike

    Your thread presents a bit of a problem in that you seem to be looking for internet advice in lieu of a formal class. You can quickly hurt/kill yourself in a drysuit if you go about things improperly. That being said, lots and lots of us have not taken said course.

    Well, actually after a bit I did, due to the opportunity to take DS with a really good instructor. Quite fun. First drill, got all the air out of the suit on the surface and headed to the bottom to experience a true suit squeeze. My back looked like a reticulated giraffe for a couple of days. Learned how to counter a suit blow-up when you are actually on the way up, how to sense the tipping point where things are getting out of control, how to stay warm without becoming a yo-yo, how to roughly balance your suit and BC for buoyancy control, exactly what procedure to follow if your suit inflator decides to become overly helpful...

    If you find a good instructor, you will enjoy the experience.
    D_B likes this.
  5. fnfalman

    fnfalman Orca

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southern California, USA
    DO NOT urinate inside your drysuit.

    SPARKMEL Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Sorry to mislead , no i am away to joing the local BSAC and be given instruction from a qualified diver. I have just been scanning the internet picking up tips and drysuit advise. Since i am new to diving and only PADI OW and never dived in a drysuit the internet has been a great source of information from the squeeze to proper weighting and feet first assents. All of which i never knew before.
    I am realling looking forward to my first drysuit dive just for the experience.
  7. Phil_C

    Phil_C ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: UK, Middle East, Cyprus
    Mark - my advise would be to go find your local BSAC club :) - I also never did a drysuit course, I dived warm water for a couple of hundred dives, then started UK diving and started diving dry. I now dive with my BSAC club in a local quarry twice a week, it only has a maximum of 19 metres but it is enough to train and then keep in practice.

    If your local BSAC club has the facilities you can practice drills and recovery from an inversion and so on in their pool, and then experience and learn deeper stuff on club dives.

    When you have got used to diving dry try the BSAC buoyancy and trim SDC (skill development course) very often delivered in house by club instructors (sometimes regionally) and only costs about £35 and will thoroughly test and polish off your DS diving.

    Enjoy and dive safe - Phil.
  8. D_B

    D_B Kimber/TekDiveGirl storyteller and memory keeper ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego, Ca.
  9. FinnMom

    FinnMom ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Finland
    * Use removable insoles to keep your feet warmer (mostly on land when standing in a cold base), make it easier to get the inside of the boots dry (completely remove the insoles for drying) and cushion your feet (also when walking on land).

    * Make a habit from day 1 of waxing the zipper, chalking the seals, etc. exactly as & as often as the manufacturer recommends.

    * Help other people understand the cost of the suit and the importance of its proper care (my teenager manhandled my year-old suit and managed to bend & break the zipper). Have also had my suit on a hanger where liveaboard crew caused the neck seal to get exposed to the wear & heat of friction (ouch). Do remember the more flies with honey approach though.

    * A tricky leak can sometimes be found by looking with the suit inside out. Wearing white cotton as an undergarmet and making a brief dip can also show where the leak was.

    * If a new seal is too tight, at least consider that it might be stretched to fit instead of cutting it. It will stretch in time anyway so I've felt better just advancing the speed of stretching instead of making the seal opening permanently larger.

    * You can use bunge loops to secure stuff in your pockets - everything clips onto the bungee.

    * Don't ever discuss suit for bouyancy vs. suit not for bouyancy unless you want 50+ people to discuss their somewhat strong opinions ad infinitum.

    * Expect to have a slow learning curve with the suit. If it takes a dozen or even 2 dozen dives to never get floaty feet other other pblms. don't let it bother you.

    * Learn to make your very own series of checks before standing up or otherwise preparing to enter the water:
    1) breathe reg 1 4x while watching air gauge, 2) breathe reg 2 4x while watching air gauge, 3) check that air goes into wing/BCD, 4) check that air comes out of wing/BCD, 5) check that air goes into suit and it distinctly inflates, 6) check that air comes out of suit and squeeze a bit to make it deflate.
    Do this and you won't easily enter the water with your drysuit zipper open.

    * Amazing much water (2-3L) can enter from the neck if the seal gets a little fold in it, seats itself over some neck hair, etc. The seal can also move into this kind of unfortunate position in the middle of a dive so know that the suit does not necessarily have a leak in it. A no-hole leak can also be a wrist seal seal sitting over the indents on the inside of your wrist or a leak in the air vent vaused by keeping it 100% open (esp on an older suit).

    * Don't give into sticker temptation and buy a suit that you know in your heart of hearts is too small, too big or unreliable (i.e. it leaks, or it will soon once again start leaking). The happiness will wear off very soon but the aggravation will last forever.

    * Believe what everyone tells you about not wearing cotton or other non-wicking garmets against your skin. I've seen modest types waste so much warmth and happiness on so many dives before finally giving up the cotton t-shirt or cotton briefs (teenagers clinically deaf to advice).

    * On 3 completely different occasions (different years) I've had a very tiny little blockage ("blockage" although the problem is that it keeps something from shutting properly) in the inflation nozzle or suit inflator that makes the suit "stealth inflate". The air coming from the nozzle is too slight to hear or feel but it does accumulate. Take note if you notice that you are dumping air now & again but haven't added any air / not nearly that much.
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
    Storker and vikhak like this.
  10. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    So you are in effect researching a DIY Dry suit course. Part of me wants to chide you to heed the advise of a course or experienced mentor but if you are good at this sort of self study thing you may end up overqualified or at least in many cases ahead of the suggested alternatives.

    Most divers find they need about 10 dives to get back on a steady keel. Some of these dives are logged just trying gear variations to get things working. A drysuit configuration IMO is more sensitive than diving with wet. That being said with 0-24 dives shown you don't have a significant wet baseline and I must side with those advising that you seek guidance in the form of a course or mentorship.

    Considering the guidance from others the one point I'll reinforce is to keep initial dives to a conservative depth like 30' or less. From that depth a screwup is apt to more embarrassing than injurious.

    Last edited: May 17, 2014

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