Wet Suit - Dry Suit


 
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Wet Suit the Basics

A wet suit is usually made from a neoprene material and work best when they fit tightly. The tight fit traps water between the wet suit and the body, this trapped water is then warmed by the body and helps provide insulation. If the wet suit fit is to loose, the water between body and suit is contunually washed out and the body keeps trying to rewarm the newly entered cold water.

A wet suit comes in a large variety of design and thickness. Thickness will vary from 2mm to 9mm, and styles include shorties (short arms and legs, popular in warm water and amongst surfers), one piece full body and two piece full body. The two piece full body styles, which generally include farmer john long johns with a covering jacket, are very popular with the thicker suits. The two piece styles are easier to get into and provide 2 layers of neoprene over the torso of the body.

Higher quality suits quite often come with toughtex neoprene, which is basically a checkered or square pattern on the neoprene material that will stop tears or rips from spreading. This is quite helpful in case you accidently catch yourself on a piece of coral or wreck, which will cut the neoprene material.

Dry Suit Basics

Dry suits work by trapping air between the body and the waterproof outer shell, this air is warmed by the body, thus providing insulation from the cold. Dry Suits can be either tight fitting or loose fitting. Loose fitting dry suits are generally used with undergarments under the waterproof shell. These undergarments can be tracksuits, polar fleece woolies or a thinsulate material (this material is hard to clean but retains warmth when wet, which can happen with a dry suit).

The air trapped inside a dry suit is compressed as a diver descends, therefore it may be neccessary to add air, this is usually done with a low pressure inflater from your gas supply (done in the same manner as a BCD inflator). Like a BCD, dry suits will also need to dump gas to control bouyancy as you surface. Although a dry suit does take a bit more skill and thought to use, it is the only way to dive in cold conditions. A dive is much more enjoyable when you are warm.





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