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The Artist formerly known as 'Kirky'
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Well, my old Otter membrane suit is on its last legs - zip just gone so I "need" a new suit (dont tell the missus)

I fancy neoprene but have no experience whatsoever of them - example, can I still wear my weazel undersuit under it, will I need to, will I need more weight etc etc

I have read in this forum that buoyancy control is easier in neoprene - is this true ??

Finally where can I get the best deal (up to £500 max)

Thanks in advance
 

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Kirky,  As a new member to the forum and a novice diver I'm not giving 'diving' advice.  However, as a man who's careful with his dosh and has read that much stuff on drysuits, even J.R.R. Tolkien's books are shorter - I would go for a suit that is manufactured near where you live - 'if you like the suit'.  Why - you can get Otter stuff in Bradford and Northern Diver stuff in Lancashire and other stuff elsewhere.  What I've found out is that, if you can get to the manufacturer easily in person they are brilliant at customer service.  Read a previous post on this site where a suit was sent 'darn sarf' for repair and the problems they had with the speed of repairs.  I just bought a brand new ND 'DIVEMASTER'  Crushed neoprene suit with thier brand undersuit.  It seemed to leak in the right foot.  Due to novice status I called them, let them know, carried on with it to make sure it wasn't pilot error with the seals etc.  Decided it wasn't and then took it back.  They took me into the warehouse, showed me how they tested for leaks, found a tiny one just above the right boot - in my presence - fixed it for nowt within 24 hrs and BECAUSE THEY ARE NEAR WHERE I LIVE I COULD GET IT SORT OUT QUICK STICKS.  They probably give good service to everyone but I think being near helps.  By the way - I haven't needed the FLEXACON undersuit yet as I'm too warm with it when used twice and I've dived with the suit several times now.  I also live near to APEKS and took my regs their for service.  The same principle applied - great service and great value.  Simon.    N.D. If you go for a suit check out all the websites - I bought mine for £500 (inc. u/suit) and found the same package for £400 on a website page 2 weeks after parting with the spondulies - I'll try and find it again and let you know.  Simon.      
 

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If you can stand the wait ( how many many more dives will you do this year ), wait for the sales.
I have bought two suits from Divers warehouse and saved hundreds of pounds, but I believe Robin Hood Watersports and ND do similar. I believe DW even sugested that a  YD customer wait at weekend rather than pay full wack - but he wouldnt and did.
If need be, borrow/ rent - it'll give you the chance to try different types - for the odd trip in between.
Alternatively, Loot is well worth a looksee, you can find people selling off top quality gear for a fraction of what they paid with little/ no wear.

Seems UK diving isnt the saem as on holiday to som epeople.
 

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Sales  - Deffo!! DWH have a sale  around November and there are some cracking bargains especially on the first morning (the earlier the better obviously).

Re material, as an ex-neoprene user now a membrane user, if you're going to dive "out of season" regularly I'd probably recommend another membrane as you can add lots more insulation than with a neopene which is usually more limiting, I can't imagine getting a Weezle on under a neoprene, unless you get a fairly loose one. I've dived all seasons in a neoprene and TBH in 4 degree water I'd always envied membraned divers.

One important point I would recommend though if you do get a neoprene, don't go for the "made to measure" as they are invariably a little on the "snug" side (my own experience, hence my comment above).
Plus having used both materials I can personally attest to the greater ease of buoyancy control with neoprene and decreased incidence of floaty feet due to lower volume of air in the suit (membranes aren't known as tea-bags for nothing!).

Regards
Steve

(Edited by Steve W at 10:18 pm on Sep. 22, 2002)
 

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I hereby acknowledge that I know bugger all about much to do with diving,

But,

Before I got into diving I was a keen mountaineer, so being cold is a bit of a mainstay between the two sports.

Working on the layering principle in regards to neoprene vs membrane, I reckon you can make an undergarment thats as warm as these posh diving suits that would fit in a neoprene suit. Im going to try the uncle jesse style silk longjohns (possibly with a fleece type thermal trouser, various layers of thermal silk tops and a couple of dammed fine pairs of walking socks. All of which should fit as it fits under my down and gortex climbing suits.

Surely all that under thick neoprene will insulate as well as a undergarment suit but without the huge padded size???

We live in hope anyway or im going to be bloody cold diving at christmas!!!!!!!!!
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'Kirky'
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Hiya Ben - how was the second dive on Sunday ?? - I fumed all the way home !!!. Anyway - probably go for membrane and get the old one fixed (lesson learnt !!)

Currently fancy the Body glove Epic - any users out there
 

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Second dive was great. didnt go to far or to deep but had a great time pottering about.

Next time definitely up for a jump in of a RIB

Also if you ever plan to jump into Albert Dock again give us a shout, definitely up for a bit of that.

Speak to you soon
 

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Well for my 50 pence worth, I use a neoprene suit with thermal underwear and include wicking garments (very important). I haven't suffered from cold and have dived all year round. So I feel that Ben's layering principal does work and find getting sweat away keeps you warm.
 

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Kirky
I've done the opposite to you i've always had Northern Diver neoprene suits, My lastest being the Divemaster model.

Only a personal opinion but for what you pay at the moment for a ND suit I'd be going for another Otter suit neoprene or membrane. I've dived in an Otter membrane suit a few times now with the weezle Extreme its as warm as if not warmer than the neoprene.  If you go for a neoprene the weezle compact undersuit would fit the bill.

Don't forget the Dive shows coming up bargains to be had.
I Just Thank Otter better value at the moment. ;)
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'Kirky'
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Thanks for the advice folks. Tried on the Aerdura Titanium and its a fine piece of kit - will see what deals there are on this.

Ben - if you are interested, I`m at the Albert dock (Dukes dock) on Sunday to help out on a rescue diver course - always great fun !!!. Max depth 6m, absolutely crap vis once the trainees stir it up but hey - its a dive of sorts. Not a huge dock but its a bit different. If you fancy coming along email me.

Thanks again to all. By the way any Aerdura users out there ?? - is it worth the price (Quoted £548)

Cheers
 

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Hopefully in St Abbs this weekend if everything goes to plan but cheers anyway. Im really up for jumping into the dock!

They do rescue diver courses in Albert Dock!!!!!!! ?

is there a lot of diving going on there??
 

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Theres about 6 of us using Aerdura's in YD, we look like a family gathering at times... Top class suit, cept I wore the heels out on mine in quick fashion altho it might have been down to my shuffling gait under a heavy load
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'Kirky'
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Ben - not a lot of diving is done there but its useful for training. It has to be booked - but I tag along on courses to help - also gets me a dive and its a bit of fun. The instructor found a cashbox in there with £400 in it. Fivers, tenners etc they all end up there !!. We did an AWARE session there and cleared out 3 bikes, 8 traffic cones, 6 tyres, 3 litter bins, safety barriers etc etc. Life is limited to scrap metal, flatfish, jellyfish, eels, crabs and some soft corals !!! Its about 2000 square yards, shallow and the vis goes to crap due to deep silting.

Not a dive for the conniseur !!
 
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