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The ABC of drysuit diving

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by rabe, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. rabe

    rabe Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Brisbane
    492
    229
    43
    I've been thinking about drysuit for a while, also because I'm doing my tec courses, and after some research I've got a wonderful deal for a Waterproof Aquila used only a couple of times and in spectacular conditions at a super good price.
    Now, I know the concept, I know how it works, etc etc.... I also know that it takes at least 20 dives to get comfortable with it and to learn how to use it correctly (and because of that, I will do my tec diving practice classes using my wetsuit) and to re-learn how to glide and be neutrally buoyant and so on.
    So the point of this topic is: any thoughts, tips, suggestions, stories, anecdotes, and everything in between, that you want to share with a drysuit-noob diver?
    I am actually really happy and super keen to learn, and I can't wait to get (not)wet with it!
     
  2. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    3,654
    2,670
    113
    Just enough air to get the squeeze off. Drysuit is not primary buoyancy, wing is. Go to 20' of water and get in every orientation possible and resolve it. Keep dump valve all the way open.
     
    Pkishino, abnfrog, EdC and 1 other person like this.
  3. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
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    all of that unless the dump valve is a low profile Apeks, then turn it back 2-3 clicks from all the way open so it doesn't leak.

    The biggest thing is drysuit=comfort/warmth, wing=buoyancy. I usually recommend dumping gas from the drysuit prior to dumping gas from the wing when ascending. You have to go head up to dump the suit, feet up to dump the wing, and feet up on ascent with a drysuit can make for an exciting ride to the surface. Dump the gas out of the suit, give a small kick to continue your ascent, then dump your wing. Wobble like that the entire way up.
    I'm lazy and from 100ft or so if I don't have any deeper deco stops I usually just dump all the gas out of the suit and don't have to dump it again until 20ft ish.
     
    Seaweed Doc and rabe like this.
  4. rabe

    rabe Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Brisbane
    492
    229
    43
    this is a good point, thnaks
     
  5. ChuckP

    ChuckP Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cozumel
    704
    532
    93
    I dunno - after five in mine I feel pretty dang ok in it. For me it was adding enough air for squeeze and comfort, I seemed afraid to add too much but have got the comfort thing pretty well down now. I got lucky and had help getting real close on my initial weighting with the under garments I was wearing.

    Dump valve control, air in suit is not for buoyancy, piece of cake - focus focus focus
     
    rabe likes this.
  6. rabe

    rabe Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Brisbane
    492
    229
    43
    What's the different with weights for you?
     
  7. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    3,654
    2,670
    113
    he is right about that valve. It leaks all the way open.
     
  8. ChuckP

    ChuckP Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cozumel
    704
    532
    93
    Weights vary so much person to person but me:

    3/2 newer suit in freshwater with Al80 8#
    1mil in saltwater with al80 10#
    1mil in salt with HP120 no weight, I bet a HP 100 would be 2# and 4# being heavy

    Dry suit, TLS350, 7mm hood, 5mm gloves - undergarments (forget the brand) two piece base layer and thicker layer, water temp 42F freshwater and I was comfortable with 60 minute dives

    I started with 18# and was ok at 90' and at safety stop but at depth, I still felt the suit squeeze in the legs was too much, trying to describe it to others is hard. I felt kicking seemed too restrictive and my BC at depth had minimal air in it. Maybe slightly cold but not real bad.

    I switched to 22# on the second day and added more air in suit at depth, still minimal on the BC amount but my legs felt way better. Felt comfortable temp wise.
     
    rabe likes this.
  9. Stoo

    Stoo NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Freelton & Tobermory, Ontario, Canada
    3,047
    2,752
    113
    Don't pee in it.

    Plus what other folks said. Think of it as diving in a bubble. 'Cuz you know, you're diving in a bubble. And the air will move around. So you want just enough in there to keep "stuff" from getting squeezed, and not so much that if that bubble shifts from one end to the other, it's going to cause a huge problem. A lot of this has to do with proper weighting.

    Some people nail it in a couple of dives, others seem to take forever.

    But really, don't pee in it. Or put a P-valve in.

    Have fun.
     
    RyanT and abnfrog like this.
  10. sea_otter

    sea_otter DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Jose, CA
    323
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    That sounds like a bad idea. If you're planning to do tech dives dry, learn from the start in your intro/fundamentals classes.
     
    EireDiver606 likes this.

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