Shark skin

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Shark skin

Postby bubble blower » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:46 pm

Just wondering what you guys think of the shark skin products.
I am hoping to dive right through winter here in the marlborough sounds and am looking at my options for thermal protection. I have a two piece 7mm wetsuit with built in hood. I have gloves and boots. All of my dives so far have been at 15c + and I have been totally comforable temperature wise. Some of my best fishing has been during winter with the weather tending to be a lot more settled so I figure it should be the same for diving. calmer seas, sunny days, great viz. I figure the hardest bit will be finding a buddy who is not toooooo soft to head out on a crisp frosty morning.

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Re: Shark skin

Postby ChuckyBob » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:11 pm

Regardless of how good or bad it is.... get a dry suit. You will not regret it.
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Re: Shark skin

Postby Andy » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:19 pm

Yeah, second vote for a drysuit.

I used to use a similarly styled fleecy hooded vest under my wetsuit. As the wetsuit was quite old, it did add warmth, but not that much. I've never regretted buying my first drysuit.
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Re: Shark skin

Postby Dazzzler » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:58 pm

I wear a sharkskin under my wetsuit, long sleeve and I love it... However if you're doing under 15 degrees dives I question how much more a sharkskin will give you, and a dry suit may be better.

Between 16-20 degrees it stops the cold water hitting your skin and draining away the warmth, I have never been cold with it on...

Mine, (under my wetsuit) is basically dry when I get out of the water, it retains no water at all..

If you want guaranteed warmth, do the dry suit thing, if you want something that will 'help' it retaining some warmth, go down the Sharkskin line..
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Re: Shark skin

Postby GoatFish » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:27 am

While I don't have a drysuit I can only imagine the benefits you would have by owning one if you're planning to dive throughout winter - especially in the sounds!

I don't own a "Shark skin" thermal top but instead own a Pinnacle Lavacore hooded vest. It's made from the same material and does exactly the same thing but isn't as expensive. I wear it during winter in conjunction with my Mares Tri-lastic 8-6-5 wettie. While I wouldn't say I'm toasty warm, I would say that the vest does wonders stopping the cold water draining away the warmth from your skin (just as Dazzler mentions).

These thermal undergarments are a good investment if you plan to remain in a wettie (esp. in Auckland), but I have seen others in drysuits and I am envious :)
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Re: Shark skin

Postby bubble blower » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:45 am

Thanks I will keep looking at the options. At the mo I am spending as much time in the water as I can. I dont notice any cold water getting into my wetsuit other than the odd trickle down my spine now and then. That could be just that I am just too pre-occupied with exploring the wonderful new world. Longest time continuous was about 3 1/2 hours exploring one of the bays with a snorkel and I wasn't cold. Just thinking ahead re thermal protection. I have spent every cent of my discretionary funds over the last 2 years( and then some) :wink: buying the gear I have so budget wont extend to a drysuit for quite a while. Just happy to be able to get out and play :D

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Re: Shark skin

Postby guru » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:55 pm

I've found a cheaper method when wetsuit diving is to throw on an old set of poly-propylene top and bottoms. My partner when diving sometimes had two on!

That being said.. we've gone drysuit.. and certainly not looking back!
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Re: Shark skin

Postby Phantom Menace » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:12 pm

And then there are the open-cell neoprene (unlined) spearo / free-dive suits. Great for spending the bulk of a day in the water. I have spent a whole winters day in a 5mm spearo suit with 3 in-water sessions of at least 2 hrs (sometimes 3 hrs) in the water (e.g. July at Great Barrier Island).

The noeprene is softer than that generally used in scuba suits so it compresses more with depth and is unlikely to last as long BUT they are incredibly comfortable to wear and are cheaper to purchase ($300 or so). Yes, you have to lubricate them to slide them on but there are no zips to allow water to enter and a good fitting spearo suit is WAY more comfortable for long session in the water.

http://www.oceanhunter.co.nz/shop/Products/Wetsuits/5mm+Wetsuit/Elite.html
http://www.wettie.co.nz/product_info.php?cPath=1055_1125_1057_1018&products_id=884

I got my kids these open-cell vests from Wettie and they have LOVED them (under a 3mm steamer).
http://www.wettie.co.nz/product_info.php?cPath=1055_1125_1057_1018&products_id=909

That could be an option to go under a SCUBA suit - open-cell neoprene essentially sticks to the skin and very little water will get in there (if it is a good fit).
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Re: Shark skin

Postby tara » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:54 pm

I get the chance to have a look at lots of thermal protection and I don't think the Lava Core is similar to Sharkshin at all.

I've also done some googling and I've found several comparisons between Sharkskin and Lavacore and it looks like thay are not the same.

One of those is here: http://www.kayakfishingnz.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=5026&start=10
and then there is Global Dive’s review: http://www.globaldive.net/product-review-sharkskin-technical-exposure-protection/
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Re: Shark skin

Postby somethin fishy » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:36 pm

I agree re open-cell neoprene suits.. I have dived in a 3mm I brought in Jan all through winter, its been plenty warm enough down to 9c..

I'm sure it wont last as long with compression, etc. But it only cost me $199 brand new and its amazingly comfy..
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Re: Shark skin

Postby Mykl » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:16 pm

I dive the Marlborough Sounds all year round and a couple of years ago splurged out on a Sharkskin hoodded vest to go under my 2 piece 7mm wetsuit. I don't know if the difference it makes is physical or psychological but I have dived the Sounds in water temperatures down to 9 degrees. As you say winter diving in the Sounds provides many benefits with calmer waters and better visibility just a couple of them. As I don't like dredging for scallops, it is the only way to get a feed on opening day (14 July). Which reminds me... I've only got two days to go before the season ends... see you I'm off for a scolly dive :P
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Re: Shark skin

Postby divepirate » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:03 pm

my 2c
I use both Sharkskin and Lavacore.
I have found both to be very good, though of different reasons.

In winter I dive with Lavacore as my preferred lining, as it seems thicker.
I like the Sharkskin, but more for the fluffy lining, which doesnt have the harsh seems that the lavacore has, so I suppose it is more a matter of taste than design.
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Re: Shark skin

Postby mattoau » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:38 pm

I've been using two sharkskin products for 5+ years and 2000+ dives now. On its own or under a wettie it has performed really well depending on my location. They are starting to delaminate now though, but I can't complain after the amount they've been used. I'm also inclined to think that the level of chlorine in Auckland pools isn't helping their longevity.

I've seen the Fourth Element range before, and have been impressed with the quality. I will probably try one of theirs next as the collars are more cosy.
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Re: Shark skin

Postby bluey » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:40 am

One of the biggest impacts on warmth for me is the depth of the dive. I can spend hours on the surface in my wet suit but go below about 5 meters and it's a different story. Below 20m is bloody freezing in anything under about 16deg. The water is a bit colder at depth of course but I think the main difference is suit compression.

In my dry suit I don't really notice any difference at depth due to the fact that the suit remains lofted.

Also coming back on board in a cold wind is much better when you're dry. You just feel sorry for the boatman who is half frozen from the wind and sick from the waves :)

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