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Thread: Wetsuit recommendation

  1. #1
    TadPole
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    Wetsuit recommendation

    I just learned that I will be PCSing to Yokosuka in March. I've read that you need a drysuit for the winter. What thickness do you wear the rest of the year? I wanted to pick something up before I get there.

  2. #2
    Grouper Founding Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria View Post
    I just learned that I will be PCSing to Yokosuka in March. I've read that you need a drysuit for the winter. What thickness do you wear the rest of the year? I wanted to pick something up before I get there.
    I'm in Yokosuka now. I wore a 3mm throughout the summer right up to mid-October. Water temps in early July were upper 60's up to low 80's by August and then back down to upper 60's by October. Temps in November were down in low 60s and now are running mid 50's by December. A few guys are still diving in 5mm Semi-dry believe it or not.

    The last time I went diving (on Sunday) I was in my dry suit (which I got in November after coming back from dive trip to the Philippines) but my buddy was in a wet suit. Water temp was 55 degrees. You can dive in a 7mm here in the winter if you prefer a wetsuit. Personally I'd rather be comfortable, especially when I take the suit off at the end of the dive :-)) Nothing like 45 degree air hitting wet skin to wake you up in the morning :-))

    Most of us buy gear online from the states, but some things are surprisingly reasonable locally... I bought my dry suit in a local dive shop for around $900.

    PM me and I'll give you my phone number. Call me when you get in. The dive club on base is the way to go. Right now we pay a $100 bucks a year for unlimited use of the club tanks and free air. It's only $60 a year if you're on a ship. Renting a tank in town is prohibitive... You only need to make around 5 dives and you've saved money.
    Bill
    Just killing time during my surface interval ;-)
    "If it's too cold for a 3mm, it's cold enough for a drysuit!"

  3. #3
    TadPole
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    Thanks for the info. I was thinking about getting a 5mm to try to get the most time out of it. Unfortunately they are hard to find here in Hawaii and I'm reluctant to order mail order and not have it fit. I may stick with a 3mm and see how it goes when I get there. I didn't realize that it gets that warm there. I never thought I would have to worry about being too warm.

    I heard about the club and I was interested. I'm a member of Sealancers, here on the Hickam AFB. Sounds like a similar arrangement.

    Is there much decent local diving or do people head down to the Izu Peninsula?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria View Post
    Thanks for the info. I was thinking about getting a 5mm to try to get the most time out of it. Unfortunately they are hard to find here in Hawaii and I'm reluctant to order mail order and not have it fit. I may stick with a 3mm and see how it goes when I get there. I didn't realize that it gets that warm there. I never thought I would have to worry about being too warm.

    I heard about the club and I was interested. I'm a member of Sealancers, here on the Hickam AFB. Sounds like a similar arrangement.

    Is there much decent local diving or do people head down to the Izu Peninsula?
    3mm will definitely NOT be enough in March :-D A 5mm semi dry would be okay I think. It's all about what you can tolerate. I was fine in a new 3mm in July diving in water that was upper 60's. But that was just doing one dive. Water temps in August and most of September, no problem. But, by the time we went on our Izu trip the end of September I was ready to call it a day after 3 dives! I was going to do a night dive, but had started shivering :-))

    By mid October, I would start getting cold about 30 minutes into the dive and was definetly ready to get out in 45 minutes to an hour. I got my dry suit when I came back from the Philippines in November. People are still diving in 5 mm semi-dry's though with water temps in the mid 50's now. It's doable, but I think they're starting to get cold.

    Personally, not having the cold air hit my wet skin is worth the price of the drysuit for me. I've adapted real quick to being able to jump right into my clothes as soon as I take off the dry suit :-) My buddy on my last dive on Sunday was in a wetsuit, so it's really a personal choice about what you're willing to tolerate and what you're willing to spend. I should add though he has one of those strange wetsuit combinations that gives him like 10mm on the torso, and 5mm in the legs are something like that. Specifically designed to dive in the winter time in cold water. That's not a suit you would use unless the water is really chilly :-))

    I ordered my 3mm online and had no problems. I wouldn't worry about problems with sizing to much. You can get a good feel if a stock suit will fit by looking at the sizing charts. My drysuit I was able to try on before I bought since I bought it here at my local dive shop in Yokohama. I would have most likely ordered online, but didn't want to wait. There wasn't a huge price difference, so I purchased it locally.

    The local diving consists mainly of diving off the Heliport and in Green Bay on-base and going to Hayama (about a 15 minute drive depending on traffic). I've dived at Hayama many times and never get tired of it :-) Good variety of fish life. On night dives we see a ton of lobster, octopus, good variety. I see morays fairly often, occasionally we'll see ray's and two of our members spotted a small shark on Sunday. I'm attaching some photos taken out at Hayama.

    There is also a WW II Japanese mini-sub sunk out in the bay, but you need a boat to get to it. That means someone has to volunteer to stay on the boat ;-)

    Izu is about a 3 hour drive away. This year, I'd like to plan a day trip there at least once a month. Will be weather dependent of course and also if the level of interest is there.

    I'm the vice-president of the club this year, so let me know when you get here and I can get you signed up. If you're planning on diving here in Japan it's the only way to go. If you dive more than a half dozen times you've made back the cost of membership. It's not cheap outside the gate :-))
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bill
    Just killing time during my surface interval ;-)
    "If it's too cold for a 3mm, it's cold enough for a drysuit!"

  5. #5
    TadPole
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    Thanks for the help again. I'll definetly look you guys up when I get there. I will probably end up getting the 5mm as a compromise. I don't think I will end up getting into the dry suit diving, but we'll see.

  6. #6
    Grouper Founding Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria View Post
    Thanks for the help again. I'll definetly look you guys up when I get there. I will probably end up getting the 5mm as a compromise. I don't think I will end up getting into the dry suit diving, but we'll see.
    Now that I'm diving the dry suit, I suspect that other than when the weather is to warm for the walk to the water, I'll be diving dry :-) The dry suit does take a little getting used to, but I didn't feel it was that difficult. A couple of the other club members gave me some advice and showed me a few things. Everything else I learned from reading and actual experience.

    I'll still need my wetsuit when I dive outside Japan of course. I'm headed down to the Philippines next month for three weeks. Will be diving Leyte (Sogod Bay) and Bohol (Cabilao Island and Panglao Island). I may be doing Apo Island (near Negros) also if I have time.

    Keep in touch... I'm sure you have a sponsor, but if there is anything you need please let me know.
    Bill
    Just killing time during my surface interval ;-)
    "If it's too cold for a 3mm, it's cold enough for a drysuit!"

  7. #7
    TadPole
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    A 7mil with a vest wetsuit has been as good as a drysuit I have found. I dive the cold new england waters and find it much easier to wetsuit dive.

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