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Kimmistry
04-21-2009, 00:59
Ok ladies... I need some advice.

The 411 is I'm ...

A newbie to this
5' 11"
size 18 in reg women's clothes
DD bra size]
wear glasses:smiley23:
live in southern california, LA area



I need help with:

wetsuit
what to wear under wetsuit to support the girls and be fairly modest
what to do so I can see


so, where to get it, what to get, etc... thanks ahead of time for all your help!

jet126
04-21-2009, 05:11
First off - Congratulations! Welcome to our world underwater!

If you already have a supportive one-piece bathing suit, start with that.
Visit local dive shops to try wetsuits until you find one that fits comfortably. You'll probably get a million suggestions on brand names but bottom line you want something that will feel like second skin to you.

Invest in something you can wear for most of your diving. And then over time you can add to your wardrobe with layers such as a skin (cat suit), vest, thicker shorty, etc. I live in South Florida so my year-round water temp is much warmer than the Pacific. I wear a 3/2 (mm neoprene) pretty much year round, adding layers for cooler dives.

You can get a prescription mask. That may be something you want to invest in right away. As far as the BC, regulator, computer - I suggest waiting until you have 20-30 dives under your belt. Rent gear until you find a style that's best for you.

Have fun shopping and dive well!
jet

ccoceangirl
04-21-2009, 09:07
I agree with Jet126. Think about where you will be doing most of your diving. You can always add pieces if you need to. I have a two piece. A farmer jane and a long sleeve shorty its really nice because I can wear them both or just one. Depending on where I am diving. However, I would definitely invest in a computer. Not a lot of places have computers on your rental gear so I would definitely get one. If not get really comfortable with using tables or the eRDPml with a timing device (ie. watch, timer) it will help you stay within your limits.

din
04-21-2009, 09:57
I have a pretty small cup size, so I can't help you in that area, but buy a prescription mask ASAP. it totally changed my comfort level while diving, which is apparently kind of important.

Martin2
04-21-2009, 10:07
Welcome! Good advice already to really think about where you'll be diving most frequently and make decisions from there regarding a wetsuit. Just be certain that whatever you choose fits very comfortably. ST has some Henderson Thermoprene on sale that I personally love.

As far as under the wetsuit, I go back and forth between a good swimsuit and a good sports bra with a rashguard over it. The decision depends more on how often I'll be in and out of the water. For days that I'm doing short, repetitive dives, I prefer the sports bra with the rashguard as I don't have to take the whole thing off to go to the restroom and I'm more comfortable wandering around with more on than just the suit. It all comes down to comfort and personal preference.

If you can't or prefer not to wear contacts underwater, the Rx mask will be a wonderful thing. Many manufacturers offer that option, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding a mask that fits that you can have the Rx added to. Just be sure to have a good current Rx. And choose a mask that you love as you'll likely be keeping it for a very long time.

CompuDude
04-21-2009, 10:11
Kimmistry, re your prescription mask wants:

Option 1) Go to Sport Chalet. Find one with an employee in the dive shop who has been working there for many years and has fit prescription masks before (there is a little knowledge needed to do it properly). Then buy a 2-lens mask that fits you well (they can also help you with this, and this is more critical than anything else), and they'll send it out to be made into a mask with your personal prescription in it. You'll need a copy of your prescription from your optometrist. The same one you use to buy a new pair of glasses.

Option 2: Again, find a mask that fits, from whereever. Hollywoodivers is an excellent shop if you're near Universal Studios. They can then send it in for you to Prescription Dive Masks (http://www.prescriptiondivemasks.com) to have the prescription lenses installed. (They are also experts with fitting your mask and preparing it to be sent in, so no worries about a clueless employee there.)

Option 3: If you have an easy prescription (no astigmatism, etc), you may be able to use off-the-shelf corrective lenses, which are available for certain masks. If one of these fits you well, just buy the lens that fits that mask and that matches your prescription (-1, -2, -3, etc) and the shop should put the lenses in for you. Sport Chalet and Hollywoodivers both carry a few models like this. Where in LA are you? I can recommend some good shops here, if you'd like.

As for wetsuits, exceptionally curvy women generally have two choices: A super-stretchy neoprene wetsuit, like a Henderson Hyperstretch, which stretches to accommodate the curves, or a custom wetsuit (which may actually end up cheaper than the Henderson suits, which are pretty expensive). Custom suit makers I can recommend are:

1) LiquidFit (http://www.liquidfit.com/)
2) AquaFlite (http://www.aquaflite.com/)
3) Wetwear (http://www.wetwear.com/) (only place to get Rubatex (http://www.wetwear.com/rubatex_g-231n.htm) wetsuits, the warmest, highest-quality neoprene there is)
4) Terrapin Wet Suits (http://www.terrapinwetsuits.com)
5) JMJ Wetsuits (http://www.jmjwetsuits.com/) (local, in Torrance, no internet measurements needed)
6) Otter Bay (http://otterbaysuits.com/)

The first two get the most consistently positive raves from people who use their suits, and Wetwear, again, is the only one who can trick you out in the best neoprene made. (Lasts practically forever, 20-30 years not uncommon, will not compress nearly as much at depth, etc.)

ektess1
04-21-2009, 10:18
I can't help with the 'girls' issue. Sorry.
The wet suit fit is the important thing. Snug but not restrictive. You don't want loose nor gaps.
I was half blind before I had lasic. I wore contacts both above and below the water. My vision has regressed a little over the years. I will probably go with a Rx mask. Contacts are to much of a pain to just dive with.

gee
04-21-2009, 10:58
Ektess1,
Above water I wear glasses & never had an interest in contacts. However, I have been considering using contacts underwater. What are the pains to dive with you mentioned?
Thanks


I can't help with the 'girls' issue. Sorry.
The wet suit fit is the important thing. Snug but not restrictive. You don't want loose nor gaps.
I was half blind before I had lasic. I wore contacts both above and below the water. My vision has regressed a little over the years. I will probably go with a Rx mask. Contacts are to much of a pain to just dive with.

ektess1
04-21-2009, 11:01
The only problem underwater that you don't have above water is the possibility of losing a contact if your mask floods.
Never had that problem. Even without the mask on, I never lost a contact.
The above the surface hassle is the same.

gee
04-21-2009, 11:24
Ektess1,
OK, thanks for that info. I don't intend to hijack this thread so I'll start a search or a new thread. However, how easy is it to loose the contact? Is it a sure thing even if you intentionally remove your mask? Sorry to sound so stupid but I've never worn contacts & don't know what I don't know. Thanks again.
The only problem underwater that you don't have above water is the possibility of losing a contact if your mask floods.
Never had that problem. Even without the mask on, I never lost a contact.
The above the surface hassle is the same.

Martin2
04-21-2009, 11:36
Ektess1,
OK, thanks for that info. I don't intend to hijack this thread so I'll start a search or a new thread. However, how easy is it to loose the contact? Is it a sure thing even if you intentionally remove your mask? Sorry to sound so stupid but I've never worn contacts & don't know what I don't know. Thanks again.
The only problem underwater that you don't have above water is the possibility of losing a contact if your mask floods.
Never had that problem. Even without the mask on, I never lost a contact.
The above the surface hassle is the same.

I frequently swim and dive in contacts and have never had a problem with one coming out on me. I've had them move a bit and had to adjust them back to their normal position. My experience is that contacts seems to more or less glue themselves to your eyeball if you open your eyes underwater. I can't say how my eye doctor would feel about this solution, but it has worked well for me. That said, I've been wearing contacts for almost 18 years and couldn't be any more comfortable in them. For me, glasses are significantly more problematic. I would suggest carrying a spare pair of contacts though. Just in case.

gthomas
04-21-2009, 11:54
I'm also tall and find it hard to fit just any wetwuit. I started off with a mans, which I DO NOT recommend. I finaly went to ST and tried on a few suits until I found the Henderson hyperstretch. It has a lot of stretch which I loved. As far as contacts, I been wearing them for years and haven't had any problems in the water with them. I always take a extra pair traveling but haven't needed them yet.--Good Luck

CompuDude
04-21-2009, 12:10
Surprisingly, diving with contacts is easier than wearing contacts on land. The air space in your mask is filled with warm, somewhat moist air, which is completely still. Works out to be the ideal environment for contacts.

THAT SAID. There are concerns.

They can get washed out. Not as easily as you'd expect (they actually stick on pretty well), but it can definitely happen. Depending on how bad your eyesight is, this may be a major problem or a minor inconvenience. Be sure to pack spares.

The other concern is contaminants in the water. Contacts can trap them and lead to eye infections... not fun. You'll need to be extraordinarily vigilant about cleaning and disinfecting them after every dive day.

Finally, there is the logistical hassle of life with contacts on a boat or in an otherwise remote location. Finding clean (and steady) surfaces with a good mirror to put them in, clean them, etc., and access to a pharmacy to purchase supplies if you run out (or contaminate, or spill) the solution you brought along can sometimes be an issue.

Nothing that can't be overcome with care and vigilance. Lots of people dive in contacts all the time and have no issues. But there is definitely the potential for more problems than a simple prescription mask, especially if you're already a glasses wearer anyway. So personally, I'd rather have a prescription mask (and I do). Just don't lose your mask! They're a lot more expensive to replace than a pair of disposable contacts.

ccoceangirl
04-21-2009, 12:27
I wore contact while diving for 6 years and never once had a problem with it. Anytime I had to defog my mask I just closed my eyes. They never got stuck or anything. I traveled all around the world like that never had a problem. I think I found it reletively easy. I just recently got prk(lasik) so I dont have to wear them anymore but if I wasnt going for my instructor and having to take off the mask more frequently I would have used them for many more years to come. I think I would find it more difficult with glasses because you would have to find a safe dry place for them on the boat. With my recent experience I have noticed that is not an easy thing to do. But it is definately not something to stress over. Either way is a great route. Definately better than not having contacts or perscription mask. Nothing worse than being in the beautiful ocean and not being able to see the fish.

John Yaskowich
04-21-2009, 13:36
I wore contact while diving for 6 years and never once had a problem with it. Anytime I had to defog my mask I just closed my eyes. They never got stuck or anything. I traveled all around the world like that never had a problem. I think I found it reletively easy. I just recently got prk(lasik) so I dont have to wear them anymore but if I wasnt going for my instructor and having to take off the mask more frequently I would have used them for many more years to come. I think I would find it more difficult with glasses because you would have to find a safe dry place for them on the boat. With my recent experience I have noticed that is not an easy thing to do. But it is definately not something to stress over. Either way is a great route. Definately better than not having contacts or perscription mask. Nothing worse than being in the beautiful ocean and not being able to see the fish.

I've been wearing glasses since I was ~5. Current perscription is -10/-11 so I am in big trouble if I loose my glasses. My eyes are dry so I find contacts a pain after a while. I have a perscription mask that I love. For leaving my glasses behind on the boat / shore I have a "Lock-n-Lock" plastic box, well padded on the inside and covered in florescent orange duct tape. It floats (just in case!), people can see it, and it is sturdy enough to withstand just about any abuse. Plus I have a spare pair of glasses in my luggage or car.

julz
04-21-2009, 20:33
i wear contacts for swimming diving and everything else and i've never had a problem except they feel a little dry after diving so i use rewetting drops. as for wetsuits the henderson hyperstretch is nice

cruzan
05-14-2009, 18:53
Several of the manufacturers offer custom made wet suits if you can find a shop that will work with you. The cost is not that much higher than a standard unit and they are much more comfortable.

Chilkie
05-21-2009, 13:24
Surprisingly, diving with contacts is easier than wearing contacts on land. The air space in your mask is filled with warm, somewhat moist air, which is completely still. Works out to be the ideal environment for contacts.

THAT SAID. There are concerns.

They can get washed out. Not as easily as you'd expect (they actually stick on pretty well), but it can definitely happen. Depending on how bad your eyesight is, this may be a major problem or a minor inconvenience. Be sure to pack spares.

The other concern is contaminants in the water. Contacts can trap them and lead to eye infections... not fun. You'll need to be extraordinarily vigilant about cleaning and disinfecting them after every dive day.

Finally, there is the logistical hassle of life with contacts on a boat or in an otherwise remote location. Finding clean (and steady) surfaces with a good mirror to put them in, clean them, etc., and access to a pharmacy to purchase supplies if you run out (or contaminate, or spill) the solution you brought along can sometimes be an issue.

Nothing that can't be overcome with care and vigilance. Lots of people dive in contacts all the time and have no issues. But there is definitely the potential for more problems than a simple prescription mask, especially if you're already a glasses wearer anyway. So personally, I'd rather have a prescription mask (and I do). Just don't lose your mask! They're a lot more expensive to replace than a pair of disposable contacts.


^^^This is a great post and is spot on. Just let me reiterate that you need to have a spare set (disposables are the world's greatest invention!!) along with you.
I prefer contacts to a prescription mask myself. I hate that feeling of taking a mask off and having the whole world become a giant blur, even if it only lasts until I get my glasses on.

ShanaLyns
05-29-2009, 09:23
Hi Kimmistry,

I'm 1 inch shorter than you, but the same sizes otherwise. I've had great luck with the Henderson Hyperstretch 3/2, which can be found online at sizes up to Womens 6x. Now, which thickness, etc you pick is up to you, but the HS definitely accommodates larger chested bodies nicely and it's long enough through both the legs and torso for tall women.

S