Dry suit training

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Dry suit training

Postby Michelle » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:16 pm

This is my third winter diving and I've finally decided I'm fed up of being cold. Everyone I've known who has made the change to dry suits has had a period of adjustment with some bouyancy issues at first.

Has anyone here done the PADI dry suit speciality?

Any other formal training with the dry suit?

Just muddled through in the great Kiwi tradition?

How did you fare when changing to a dry suit?

Does it make a great deal of difference whether its a neoprene of trilaminate suit?

Any insight from the old hands would be appreciated.
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Re: Dry suit training

Postby DiveDiva » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:17 pm

Mum wrote:This is my third winter diving and I've finally decided I'm fed up of being cold. Everyone I've known who has made the change to dry suits has had a period of adjustment with some bouyancy issues at first.

Has anyone here done the PADI dry suit speciality?

Any other formal training with the dry suit?

Just muddled through in the great Kiwi tradition?

How did you fare when changing to a dry suit?

Does it make a great deal of difference whether its a neoprene of trilaminate suit?

Any insight from the old hands would be appreciated.


I have used both and I favour a drysuit in the coldest months - for me June to October - a 7mm until Dec and then a 5mm until the next June. Hoods and undervests (particularly the fourth element ones) make a BIG difference.

I also use a trilaminate suit and prefer them to a neoprene one - for the manoeuvreability potential more than anything as they're just as warm. Top tip = get a good undersuit :D

I would be happy to spend some time with you trialling a suit if you wanted to. (I am qualified to teach drysuit diving :D )
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Re: Dry suit training

Postby Andy » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:29 pm

I've given up on wetsuits completly.... drysuits are the way to go.

I also favour the trilaminate, but then it's just what you are used to.

What dress size are you, Mum? I've got a size 12 suit in the garage with size 6 boots if you wanted to just try a dry(ish) suit. I wouldn't sell it, but if it's the right size then feel free to borrow it. I'm happy to spend some time in a pool going over the basics, and if you really wanted to do the course then I can teach it.
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Re: Dry suit training

Postby DiveDiva » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:32 pm

We could do a 'drysuit' day Andy :D
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Re: Dry suit training

Postby Andy » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:57 pm

A training day?

In danger of breeching ToCs, DiveHQ in Greenlane are trying to organise a drysuit evening with all the major brands in NZ in one place with test suits and samples to play with. This would be a great option for anyone thinking about a drysuit for winter to be able to speak to all the suppliers and get a breadth of advice all in a short space of time.
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Re: Dry suit training

Postby DiveDiva » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:00 pm

Andy wrote:A training day?

In danger of breeching ToCs, DiveHQ in Greenlane are trying to organise a drysuit evening with all the major brands in NZ in one place with test suits and samples to play with. This would be a great option for anyone thinking about a drysuit for winter to be able to speak to all the suppliers and get a breadth of advice all in a short space of time.


This is a great idea - can't believe it isn't the norm here :D Where are they thinking of having it?
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Re: Dry suit training

Postby Andy » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:05 pm

Probably at their facility - there is a pool on site for people to try suits.

Date is yet to be confirmed. If anyone wants more details, PM me and I will put some pressure on to get a date finalised.
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Re: Dry suit training

Postby Andy » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:18 pm

Answering the original questions in full......

Mum wrote:Has anyone here done the PADI dry suit speciality?


No, but I have taught it.

Any other formal training with the dry suit?


No, just some advice from drysuit divers (and muddled through in the great Kiwi tradition) plus a bit of time in the pool.

How did you fare when changing to a dry suit?


First ten dives or so were a nightmare. Particularly in finding the best position for my arm to properly vent the suit. It probably took 50 or so dives to really feel comfortable and 100% in control. If I swap to a wetsuit for more than a few dives, then getting back in to the drysuit is always a bit un-co.

Does it make a great deal of difference whether its a neoprene of trilaminate suit?


In my opinion, yes. I'd strongly suggest avoiding standard neoprene suits - just like a wetsuit, they will compress at depth and you'll lose both buoyancy and warmth. In reality, there's probably not much difference between compressed neoprene and trimlaminate, though I prefer trimlaminate.

Also consider the type of seals, as well as the suit material. Latex and neoprene seals both have their advantages and disadvantages.
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