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I am finally dipping my toe into a dry suit tonight so that I can join some of the fantastic YD UK trips I've read about on here.

I have taken a tip from this board and packed my ankle weights as I hear these help, but I wondered if there are any other useful tips/things I should know??  What are the different types of things you wear underneath drysuits?  (Sorry, I really do not know much AT ALL about the damn things!).

I'll be doing the open water element of the course this weekend in Stoney and can't wait - I'll finally be able to join a Farnes trip!!  How excited am I?!

 
 
 

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Well, here's my tuppenorth...

Get a neoprene suit, not a membrane,and make sure you get one with neoprene seals, not latex, much comfier.  Augment that with a good thermal wicking base layer and fleece leggings and top.

Start with a nice shallow bimble and get used to the suit.  Use your wing/bcd for bouyancy at first until you are happy to use either.  

Oh, and don't forget to plug your inflation hose on it!


HTH
andy
 

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I've just completed my PADI Drysuit Specaliality at Capernwray, so I got a few bits of advice during the weekend.

The advice I got from the instructors, etc was that Membrane suits and Neoprene each had their own merits. There are always reviews in dive magazines about them and on scuba boards. If you ask a guy diving in a membrane if it's better than a Neoprene suit I suspect he'd tell you all the disadvantages of Neoprene and vice versa.

Also, on the PADI course you are taught to use the Suit Inflator, the BCD is only for use on the surface. This avoids suit squeezes which can be a bit unpleasent, particularly if your a chap !! Also, it can get confusing if you get air trapped in BC and your suit.

In terms of underclothes, I'd say put a swim suit on and then I expect you'll get the rest from the shop. I wore 100g thinsulate (supplied) which was very hot due to the current weather/water temp.

You can get all sorts of undersuit but bear in mind these will affect your bouyancy so if you can stick to the same thing while doing your course this should simplify your weighting. (This is what I was told anyway)

I'd agree with Andy, watch that hose. If your not used to a dry suit it's easy to forget to plug it in, not to mention unplug it before you try dropping your BC !!

Hope this helps.
 

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For what its worth I listened and mused as to neoprene or membrane and to the suggestion of try a few different types e.g. compressed, non-compressed and membrane also try different seals etc. In the end I went to the shop bought a membrane with latex seals and was very happy with that purchase. Others are happier with something else, so make your own mind up. I believe crushed neoprene is held in the highest regard but is also the most (ouch expensive, not just crickey expensive) expensive. You pays your money etc.
Undersuits if required - 2 schools both very vocal, I have a weezle I am happy. Although at the moment I am using my semi so dont know what its like when its HOT, saw a bloke at Wraysbury in a weezle and he looked happy enough during the SI so they cant be THAT bad.

Tips for using, ankle weights - never bothered and my suit has neoprene boots so 'should' have needed them, dont get bogged down with the 'oh you shouldnt use them brigade', if they work for you then use them. One guy on Handbag was slagged as being a novice for using them, then he replied he had 2500 dives and was a BSAC National Instructor and he had to use them on his new suit or go vertical, good enough for me to think he knew what he was on about.


I disliked my suit for the first few dives - found it different from the semi, but got used to it eventually, I found it harder work in a dry-suit in water but better after the dive. Perseverance being the order of the day perhaps. Shallow water is where its hardest to control buoyancy so practice there a lot as thats where you will be doing your stops, or not if you get it wrong.


Have fun.

Matt
 

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Well, here's my twopence...

Get a membrane suit, not a neoprene,and make sure you get one with latex seals, not neoprene, much more likely to keep you dry.  Augment that with a good wicking base layer and thinsulate (type B).

Start with a nice shallow bimble and get used to the suit.  You'll probably be told to use your dry suit only for buoyancy control. Personally I use my wing but whatever you do don't think that the suit is the only way.

Oh, and don't forget to plug your inflation hose on it!  

HTH
Rob

PS See can't even get agreement on a simple thread like this

PPS Try and not use ankle weights if possible. I learnt without them and have never needed to use them.
PPPS Sorry for the blatent plagerism  
 

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Never dived in a drybag so can't give much advice.  One thing I learnt from observing a friend in his first dysuit dive was, GO TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE THE DIVE!!

HTH,  John
 

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Another vote here for membrane with latex, and against ankle weights - they should be a last resort, not a starting point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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Thanks everyone.  Phew - certainly lots of opinions!!  Basically, I am borrowing a suit tonight and for the weekend so that saves me making any rash decisions before I've even got in the water.  I don't yet know what kind of suit it is but I will be sure to report back tomorrow...

The downside is that I will be using it for the first time in a pool with a max depth of 2m so buoyancy control should be fun, if not hilarious  
.  I'm taking Mr Lesley's ankle weights with me so will try with and without.

My instructor isn't providing a thinsulate or anything so I will just being using my "decorating" clothers under it for the timebeing!!

Thanks for all the advice, really appreciate it.  
 

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My views are the same as RobK's and Dom's.

If you want ankle weights fine,  but it can't hurt to try without them in the pool and with them.  If it is easier with them then that is your choice.

If you are trying it in the pool,  you will get very, very, very warm with anything on under the suit,  a bathing costume will probably suffice in the pool, but then you will have to get used to a more substantial undersuit later on.

HTH
Daz

P.S  Have fun... !
 

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Best of luck with the course i did mine a few months ago and found it very useful. a good informative pool session followed by a couple of shore dives

Surprisingly i didn't need ankle weights and it all felt quite natural i can't see me going back to layers of neoprene now. The only caveat was that my old scabby fins were too tight with the boots and quite uncomfortable but that's a good excuse to buy a pair of quattros.

I borrowed a weasle to wear underneath and was toasty as the proverbial pop tart.


G
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Dominic @ July 22 2003,14:07)]Another vote here for membrane with latex, and against ankle weights - they should be a last resort, not a starting point.
Agree about the membrane suit and latex seals. Having initially had an 8 mm neoprene suit and neoprene seals, I'm now on my second membrane suit and wouldn't go back to neoprene. Compressed or crushed neoprene is great. It's basically just a tougher membrane but more expensive. As regards ankle weights, I manged without for a long time but had to revert to using them when I bought my new suit. If you can manage without, that's fine. if you can't, use them and bugger what anybody else thinks. Asalready pointed out, using ankle weights doesn't automatically make you a novice or worse diver.
 

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Thanks for all the advice.  Will let you know how I get on.  Next week, I will be mainly asking your opinions/tips re nitrox!  
 

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I just want to vote for both. That's right. I like neoprene and membrane suits lots. The neoprene for the warmth side of things, and because I can hop out of it after a dive with just my thermals on, and the membrane because it's very versatile and because my membrane is self-donning.

My suggestion would be to try as many suits as possible, but please bear in mind that I am still selling one, 7mm neoprene, ideal for UK diving, great condition.... £150. You won't even need an undersuit until October at least!!! Think of the saving! OK, shameless sales plug over. Let me know if you want the suit.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Digger @ July 22 2003,17:56)]but please bear in mind that I am still selling one, 7mm neoprene, ideal for UK diving, great condition.... £150. You won't even need an undersuit until October at least!!! Think of the saving! OK, shameless sales plug over. Let me know if you want the suit.
So am I and mine's got brand new boots so Yah ! Boo! to you!

Re ankle weights - totally disagree with Dom; think of them the same way as stabilisers on your bike, ok to get you tthrough the steep bit of the learning curve then bin them later, I've seen them transform many a trainee/DS newbie
HTH
Steve
 

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IS it me, or does DS not stand for Dive Slut? What then is a trainee/DS newbie? I think we've got some of those in our club. That's how I got into so much trouble recently.

On the ankle weights, I personally find them wholly unnecessary, but I can understand people that might, but most that I've spoken to have never used jetfins. Solves the problem for most I've taught. Always carry a spare pair. And then offer to sell some ankle weights for someone.
 

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Ta da!!  Pool session successfully completed!!  It was so much better than I expected, but I can see Mr lesley's point when he said he found it "crushing"!

I was using a membrane suit with latex seals and it was lovely - I didn't use ankle weights but I can see the advantage.  I'll see how I get on at Stoney this weekend and take them along just in case...

Thanks for all the advice - Digger, I don't think I am ready to buy my own dry suit yet as my instructor has a spare he can lend me pretty much any time I want, but will keep your offer in mind!
 

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OK, I'll give my PRO's & CON's on my 3 suits.

SUIT 1 . Avon rubber drybag,Black , Forces issued.

Pro's.

Flexiable,you don't get hot while stood around waiting to dive, easy to repair ( small hole , carry a halfords kids cycle repair kit ) gets you back in the water within minutes. seals easy to replace on your own ( just need evo-stick and a road cone ).
I wear an nylon quilted undersuit under it, not thick, but makes it easy to get on.

Con's

It's nearly 16 years old now so some seams let in a little water.


SUIT 2

8 mm neoprene Northern diver, my own personal suit for commercial diving,

Pro's

Warm when deep,although i replaced seals neoprene myself a few times, i have gone for latex ones as more easier and quicker to fit. Boots are a perfect fit. I wear just a pair of cut down overalls underneath this one.

Con's

BULKY, to warm sat on deck as standby diver, horrible to fit back on when wet. Makes my car smell after diving.


Suit 3

3 mm crushed neoprene, also having latex seals.

Pro's

Not worn much as fairly new.


Con's

New zip, hard to close til worn in a bit. tight arond the gonads
    use overalls underneath.


All my suits have a swivel suit inflator, easier for different kit configs. Also all fitted with slimline autodump on upper left arm, ( NOT SHOULDER OR WRIST ).


My Advice when buying a suit is

Get one a bit bigger once you have got on a under suit.
Go up one or maybe 2 boot size, wear 2 pairs of warm stocking type socks.

take other advice from someone that has that suit that you want.


Andy
 

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It's a special club, where we get at least 40 new members every year. Some freshers with a Dive Slut mission, others that have been around the block a few times and are looking for fresh blood.

All in all, if a 3 month break over the summer can't get most of them single by the time they get to us, we're not going to bed them.

You guys must have encountered the Dive Slut? The kind of girl/boy who only dives to hang around with the tanned, toned divery types. We've had them before, they don't last. Give them 2 weeks of 11 hours a day, 7 days a week and they just give up. And move on. But for those 2 weeks? Jesus.

Easiest way to spot them is the bird who is sitting listening intently to me babbling on about a new bit of kit. Everyone else has learnt not to listen. Either that or you see them melt when you tell them you're a diving instructor, and yes, you live here (usually somewhere nice and hot). It's one of the best lines there is. For some reason the ladies just love it. No matter how ugly you are. Which is good.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Digger @ July 24 2003,11:20)]The kind of girl/boy who only dives to hang around with the tanned, toned divery types.
Tanned, toned Divers? in the UK
 


I'm guessing with talk of 40 new mebers it's a Uni club? My old club used to get about 30-35 starters, if 6 were still diving by the following year that was a success.

Chee-az
Steve

PS for those of you coming to Tyneside, you may want to head into "Toon" on the night and experience the wonder that is "The Bigg Market", The  Metro (our tube train) will take you there for about £3.00 return
Alternatively, if you're staying in Whitley Bay, have a dodge along to "Idols" (there's one in The Toon also). Took some county yokel friend of a friend there once, needed a chin strap to keep his jaw off the floor  
 
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