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Thread: Drysuits - Introduction to Drysuit Diving, Tips and Tricks

  1. #31
    TadPole Asting's Avatar
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    Well I got a chance to dive my suit for 14 dives over the past week. I love it, and feel very comfortable. I still have to play with weighting to get my completely proper trim.

    a few thoughts:
    1. I ended up buying some fin keepers and they made me feel much more comfortable. Without them the boots felt like they would pop off (I never lost them, but it felt precarious).
    2. the drysuit I bought is a bit big, but at depth it doesn't seem to matter much as I keep so little air in it. A few wrinkles are worth the substantial savings I got.
    3. The latex hood that was attached was the trickiest part to get used to. I installed a check valve partway through the week that helped with it. I think it got wet just about every dive. Something I learned is that when trimming a latex hood you should leave extra material above the chin. I trimmed it to a proper length, but didn't consider that my neck would be craned upwards. When I do so, the latex drifts down my chin and barely stays on. I think the only way to get a perfect setup would be to dive ffm with it, but honestly the water movement is so limited that with a beanie it keeps me plenty warm. I do have a 7mm bibless hood I could switch to also.

    I started the week with my PST LP 120s (a new set of doubles), and they proved too much with the drysuit. I swapped the hose over to my single reg setup and dove an al80 all week. I think I could do a bit better with the doubles now, and will get some pool time soon hopefully.

  2. #32
    Megalodon
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    Good to go Asting! What was the issue with the 120's? Did you need more lift?

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

  3. #33
    TadPole Asting's Avatar
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    They were just quite unruly. I'm not a small guy (180lbs, 6'1"), but 125lbs of tanks on my back made the transition a bit difficult. I have a 60lb hollis wing so lift was not a problem, just inexperience. I hope now with the drysuit squared away the added task loading of doubles will be easier. I was also overweighted, as I fine tuned my weighting over the week and dropped 6 lbs from what i started the doubles with with my al80, so I'm good for a bit more to come off with the doubles.

  4. #34
    Megalodon
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    I dive a 7mil john and jacket, with a al plate and a tec wing, I don't need any extra weight with HP119 so it might be worth a try to go without any extra weight. But I will agree with the learning curve on doubles. I found I fought the tanks a it as they wanted to "turtle" one reason I went to side mount.

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

  5. #35
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    Some time in the water and your get better. Simple dives with the steel doubles and work up to more task loading.

    I dive double 119's in a crushed neoprene drysuit and don't need any extra weight. With a set of heavy steel tanks you will always be over weighted.

  6. #36
    Shark snagel's Avatar
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    I thought this was pretty good..........

    DOG TRICKS – I SWEAR I DIDN’T PEE IN MY DRYSUIT… Written by Kathy Long, Diver & DUI Web Systems Manager
    March 2014
    If you are fairly new to drysuit diving you might find yourself unzipping your drysuit and wondering if you’ve done the unthinkable. “That’s a lot of moisture and this suit is supposed to be dry.” Or another question may be, “I feel damp – did my drysuit leak?”
    According to Wikipedia, maximum sweat rates for an adult can be up to 2 to 4 liters per hour. It’s a good thing we divers are kick back and not working that hard! Still, just imagine opening up even a half liter bottle of water and dumping it inside your drysuit. Duplicate this event 2, 3, or 4 times a day and, well, you’ve got some explaining to do .
    Within minutes of closing your waterproof zipper the air inside your suit will reach 100% humidity. If the average person gives off one cup of water an hour while at rest, just imagine the sweat inducing efforts divers can produce when actively swimming for an hour. Not doing that much movement while diving? Remember just getting ready to dive produces lots of energy. No matter what, you’re sweating inside that drysuit.
    During your dive the water/sweat will migrate through the insulation to the inside of your drysuit. It will condense here because the drysuit will be colder than your body temperature. Think of how water vapor will accumulate on a cold window in the winter. This same process is taking place inside the drysuit. You will notice a film of moisture on the inside of your drysuit and a layer of moisture on the top of your DiveWear insulation.
    Special note: Do not wear cotton insulation under your drysuit. Cotton will absorb the moisture and reduces the insulation dramatically. That is why you never wear a cotton t-shirt under your insulation while diving. It will get wet, stay wet and you will get cold.
    Let’s assume that your drysuit does not have a leak. How do you minimize the feeling of dampness? Wear a high quality wicking base layer. This will pull moisture away from the body. There are many types on the market. DUI offers ECODiveWear. It’s comfortable and is made from 75% recycled material.
    DiveWear made with fleece or Polartec PowerStretch will also wick the moisture away from the diver. After your dive the fleece can have a feeling of dampness especially on the outside of the garment. If possible, hang the garment in between dives to dry completely. This will allow your DiveWear to offer the greatest insulation for your next dive. Just think, if you took that garment and mopped up a spilled can of soda, you wouldn’t want to dive with it until it was dried out.
    If you are wearing one of DUI’s Thinsulate DiveWear, Xm250 or Xm450, you’re in luck. Thinsulate is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water. The inside lining is designed to pull the moisture away from the body. It’s best to wear a base layer under your Thinsulate to absorb body oils and it’s really easy to wash.
    Have the option of getting out of your drysuit between dives? Hang up your suit leaving the zipper open. Turn the arms inside out which will allow the moisture to dry. Condensation should dry quickly.
    How to tell if it’s more than you? One side of your suit is appreciably wetter than another. If you can literally ‘wring out’ your DiveWear chances are you have a leak. Water sloshing in your boots? Probably a leak.
    Remember that there are two obvious places drysuits leak. The seals and the drysuit zipper. It is a common mistake to leave the drysuit zipper open a tiny, tiny amount. It’s okay – we’ve all done it! This will cause a significant leak. Or not setting your seals properly will also cause a leak. If you think it could be either of these issues, dry your DiveWear, make necessary adjustments and dive again
    Bottom line the chances are you will feel ‘damp’ after your drysuit dive and the reason is – it’s all you baby!

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