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Choosing your diving wetsuits

In wetsuit, Wetsuits on March 26, 2009 at 9:03 pm

What is the difference between different wetsuit models? What is the difference between wetsuits for different sports? Can you use a diving wetsuit for snorkleing, windsurfing or swimming? Are they interchangeable or not?

It depends. Generally wetsuits are designed to keep you warm, but the models can be quite different. What are the basic requirements of a wet suit? It should fit you snugly and keep you warm. Some are thinner, some thicker, some are lighter and some heavier. The most important thing when choosing a wetsuit is the area where the wet suit will be used. Are you going to be scuba diving in Tahiti or snorkeling in the Seychelles? Alternatively, you could be deep sea diving around Northern Europe, in much colder waters.

The main thing that makes wetsuits work and that keeps us warm is neoprene. Wetsuits are made out of rubbery material called neoprene that contains lots and lots of tinny little bubbles. These bubbles give the neoprene superb insulation capabilities. When you enter the water in your wetsuit another thing happens – a thin layer of water comes between you and your wetsuit and is heated by your body heat. So you are safe in a warm environment. So how thick wetsuit do you need greatly depends on the water temperature. And water temperature depends on the location and time – where and when are you going to use your wetsuit. Another thing to consider is also your sex. Wetsuits for women are a bit different that wetsuits for men.

 

The difference between men and women wetsuits is in shape. But this is not what we are talking about here. Women should get thicker and warmer wetsuits because womens body has more surface area than mans and therefore cools down faster. And generally speaking it is always better to have a wetsuit that is warmer since if you are too warm you can let some cold water in but if you are cold you will soon have to leave the water. With that in mind – two piece diving wetsuits are warmer than one piece. You get double insulation on your body where the two wetsuit pieces cover each other. The downside of a two piece wetsuit is that this is a wetsuit that is more clumsy and restricting to your movements so it is not the best wetsuit for other sports. When diving you will also need to use more lead since it is more buoyant.

 

Now that we have covered the thickness of your wetsuit in relation to the water temperature you need to focus on the fit. Wetsuit needs to fit you, if it is to big, it will fill with water and loose much of its insulation capabilities. Only the right thickness and the right fit will keep you warm and let you dive without the fear of cold.

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