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My Whites Manufacturing Experience...

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by MikePierce170, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. MikePierce170

    MikePierce170 Angel Fish

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    Hey everyone…

    I wanted to share with everyone the experience I had this past weekend. First off, it was quite an adventure.

    It all started in Las Vegas, Nevada where I had just finished up a 2wk mini-camp with Phil Baroni for our upcoming fights at UFC 118 in Boston, MA. I left Vegas late Thursday and arrived back home in Portland, OR at 11:59pm. I had 3hrs until my brother Daniel was going to be at my house. At 3am Daniel showed up and we were on our way to Victoria, BC Canada to meet up with the Whites Manufacturing boys.

    After about 4hrs of road time and a few pee breaks we reached the Port Angeles Ferry (the Coho). We gave our passports to the guy checking in vehicles and got on board. The ride over was pretty cool. I’d only been on one ferry ride before. After about an hour or so we reached Victoria, BC. Customs was a major pain in the ass! I don’t know why but my brother and I got the “special” treatment. I think it was cuz my brother was wearing flannel hahaha. That’s what I’m telling everyone anyway. Long story short, we had the K9 unit sniff through the truck, we pulled out all of our belongings, and spent 45mins in total there. Finally we got the OK and passed through.

    We were staying at the Queen Victoria Hotel which ironically was 2mins away from customs (no joke). Once we got settled in I called Justin Balaski for directions to Whites. I punched the address into my TomTom and we were on our way, again. This road trip was starting to take a toll on my brother and I. We were running on ZERO sleep, about 4 RedBulls, and no food. After about 20mins we arrived at Whites Manufacturing.

    It was good to see Justin again. The last time I saw him he was in Portland at Aquatic Sports doing a demo of the Fusion suits. He gave us a tour of the place and showed us the process the suites undertake during their construction. It was pretty sick! The building is undergoing a pretty sweet remodel too. Since Aqua Lung acquired Whites Manufacturing they’re revamping the building and getting more streamlined it seems.

    After meeting everyone and getting the grand tour it was time for the photo shoot. This was a lot of fun. They threw me in my very own Whites Fusion Bullet, all geared up. I did various fight poses, kicks, knees, punches, elbows, etc. I even squared off against Justin and Doug. This is Doug: [​IMG] hahaha. He loves that picture. After about an hour of that I was sweating my ass off and was completely spent. It was time for my brother and I to head back to the Queen Victoria for some much needed rest.

    Daniel and I slept for about 2 and a half hours and we all met back up at The Sticky Wicket Pub & Restaurant. This place was pretty cool. Apparently it’s the only pub with a sand volleyball court on the rooftop. However there was one unexpected downside to this place. Keep in mind guys I fight in the UFC. Much of my clothing is fight related, i.e. Tapout, Hitman, Cage Fighter, etc. So what’s the first sign I see before they check our ID’s… oh that’s right… “No fight related clothing allowed”. I was like WTF!?! So I had my brother run back to the hotel and get my Whites bamboo hoodie :wink:. Once everything was in order the fun began. Justin was there with his girlfriend and Nadia (who’s his girlfriend’s roommate which my brother took a liking too haha), Doug and his wife, and the best boat captain in all of Victoria George (aka Chris) and his girl. They proceeded to drink an unknown amount of pints and we closed the bar down. Everyone took a cab home while Daniel and I walked 2 blocks back to the hotel.

    The next morning was perfectly fit for diving. The weather was around 70 degrees, not a lot of wind, no rain… perfect! George and Justin were feeling pretty torn up from the night before haha. Nevertheless we set course for the Mckenzie wreck. The max depth was supposed to be around 60ft or so with around 20ft visibility. This dive was amazing. Once we got down we spotted a 4ft Lingcod just hanging out. Even more strange we saw a Wolf Eel out in the open just chilling on the deck. I tried to get down next to it for a picture but it swam off before we could get a shot. We also did a few swim throughs of the ship and then we came back to the surface. This was my first wreck dive and I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience.

    Once we all got on board we contemplated our next dive. Meanwhile Justin was throwing up over the side of the boat hahaha. He was claiming sea sickness but I think we all know the truth here :wink:. We have a hand signal for this. It’s a double “phase the dive” signal that George, Justin and Doug understand (inside joke lol). Anyway, we decided our next dive would be the GB Church wreck.

    After we got in position we started gearing up again. Justin was growing increasingly “ill”. Even so, Justin and I were in the water first while we waited for George and Doug. In all of about 4-5mins Justin was chumming the water again. I had to swim over to the other side of the boat before it started drifting my way haha. It was really nasty too. He’d just got done drinking a red Gatorade so it was this gross redish color haha. Justin was pretty pissed at this point and had to abort the dive. So we left Justin and continued as planned. He missed out too because this was another amazing dive. We got to see all sorts of sea life and again did more pass throughs of the ship. This was our last dive of the day and a great one to end on.

    We headed back for land and planned tomorrows dive for the morning. When we got back to land we cleaned up and headed out to dinner. We ate at this little spot that was showing the Ultimate Fighter Finale on SpikeTV. Justin wasn’t drinking this time haha. It was a short night because I was leaving tomorrow afternoon.

    The next morning (Sunday) we set out for a shore dive at 10 Mile Point. This was a much deeper dive than I had ever done before. But it was well worth it. Some of the guys in the group hit between 100-105ft. I however missed the mark and only hit 99ft. I was sad. The dive was great though. I got to see an octo, tons of life and broke a depth record. Ohhh, and Justin didn’t throw up :wink:. Awesome dive!

    Of course all of this was possible because of the great people at Whites Manufacturing. Diving in the Fusion Bullet was a dream. My buoyancy was extremely easy to manage, I stayed warm, and equally important… I was completely DRY! I can’t really say enough about this dry suit and the people behind it. They’re friendly, helpful, and innovative. If you’re looking for a suit that is tough, durable, comfortable, easy to use and all while giving you an insane range of motion… this is for you! I would highly encourage beginners to try one out, and even old school guys set in their ways to give it a shot. The people at Whites really thought outside the box on this one, and I think it’s paid off. I had an excellent experience and the Bullet is one hell of a dry suit. Well done guys!
     
  2. Dogfish Doug

    Dogfish Doug Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Victoria BC
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    Hey Mike,
    Awesome weekend review. Thanks again for coming up for a great weekend of diving and fun. it was a pleasure to meet you guys and hangout. Next time we will keep Justin in check so he doesn’t miss anymore dives..haha. Kick some butt in your upcoming fight in Aug, we will all be cheering for you up here. Also come back and visit again anytime for some more adventures.
    keep in touch Doug
    P.S..by the way that is a pretty sweet photo eh!!!
    Cheers amigo.
     
  3. WHITES Justin

    WHITES Justin Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Victoria B.C. Canada
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    In my defense, I think I drank some bad Gatorade......:wink:
     
  4. MikePierce170

    MikePierce170 Angel Fish

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    Or Justin... you just had a bad case of the brown bottle flu hahaha. So have you used the double "phase dive" signal to that guy yet? I forget his name but you and George said you were gonna mess with him.
     
  5. themagni

    themagni Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Canada's Pacific Southwest, BC
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    How much was the suit? Was it custom-built for you? What undergarments did you have with it?

    I'm getting a drysuit in July, and I'm looking at my options. I don't have a very long drive to White's...
     
  6. MikePierce170

    MikePierce170 Angel Fish

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    themagni,

    I was doing a promotional deal with the guys at Whites. So the amount I paid was an undisclosed amount.

    I can answer your other questions though...

    1.) Was it custom built for me? No. The reason why is because White's Fusion dry suits mold to your body. They carry 5 different sizes and I wear the L/XL. I would recommend you check out their size chart for your appropriate fit. To be honest their dry suits fit more similar to that of a wet suit. And that's kinda the beauty behind their suits, they fit to your body. So if you gain a little weight or lose some... you wont be screwed. Traditional "made to fit" dry suits can present a problem if your body makes a drastic weight change.

    2.) What undergarments did you wear with it? I wore my Under Armor tops and bottoms as a base layer and then the MK3 from Whites. The water I was diving in was 48 degrees and i was more than happy in the MK3. Never got cold once.

    Also feel free jump on their thread here on ScubaBoard to ask any other questions. They're pretty helpful.
     
  7. themagni

    themagni Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Canada's Pacific Southwest, BC
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    Thanks for the info. I went and checked out some suits today. They look pretty good, but they're way out of my price range.
     

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