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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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Kit buying is a fraught exercise with many dangers that face both the new
and seasoned diver.  Serious risks associated with kit buying include DCS -
Depleted Cash Source, and DIVERorce - a degenerative condition often
accompanied by Chronic DCS.  As the kit buyer progresses past basic shopping
they may be tempted to solo buy, a practice frowned on by the established
agencies.  Despite the perilous dangers that await the solo buyer a
community of experienced, well trained kit buyers practice the technique.
For occasions where solo buying is unavoidable a standby buyer must be
available to immediately assist a kit buyer in difficulty.  All kit buyers
are advised to use CCR - Credit Card Redundancy in case of primary cash
failure.  The ESA- Emergency Savings Account must be considered as the last
resort.  The risk of DIVERorce increases dramatically when using ESA and
1/3s must be followed rigidly.  More experienced kit buyers may progress to
Adventurous kit buying, arranging challenging shopping expeditions with like
minded individuals.  At the pinnacle of kit buying are a small group of  so
called Technical Kit Buyers.  Technical Kit Buying often involves  mixed
currency and staged payment.  All Technical Kit Buyers agree that the long
credit line or 'LOaNY' is the safest way to buy but often argue between
methods like wrapping and stuffing.  Wrapping involves placing several short
lonys inside a longer lony (1.5 to 2 years).  Stuffing utilises multiple
independent lonys and requires careful monitoring of the PPO (Partial
Payment Options) failure to monitor PPO can result in being stuffed.
Whichever method is chosen Technical Kit buying requires a detailed
understanding of WAD (Wages Against Debt) if the diver is to survive the
experience.  Financing of Technical Kit Buying requires careful and
detailed pre-planning if DCS is to be avoided.  By far the most risky and
complex kit buying technique is Tri-mix a combination of buying, using and
selling kit simultaneously.  Tri-mix involves very experienced divers
blurring the boundaries of sport and profession.  By securing employment
with a diving kit supplier the would be Tri-mix buyer can reduce BCD (Buying
Cost Debt) while maintaining a reduced WAD and PPO.  All trimix buyers are
advised to use a backup job in case of emergency redundancy.  More recently
ITC (IT Contracting) has gained popularity as an alternative to Trimix.  ITC
uses an increased WAD fraction to improve safety margins by lowering EAD
(Effective Accessory Debt) so even the first time buyer can attain a greater
AbsP (Absolute Purchase) relatively safe from DCS.

The greatest risk to all kit buyers are mortgAGE and KIDS, both of these
subjects are complex and require an understanding of finance beyond the
scope of this article.

Guidelines for particular types of kit buyer appear below

The first time diver should always seek guidance from instructors and
seasoned divers before engaging on kit buying in the open market.  Training
for ITC (IT Contracting) may help

The diving instructor should keep in mind
1. Trainees are easier to teach if they have the same kit.
2. Even better, kit that disguises the difficulties that are far too tedious
to teach around.
3. Backhanders from equipment suppliers come in useful.

A seasoned divers priorities may change over time as will there buying
interest.  Unlike the newbie experienced divers must deal with additional
complications such as SC (Street Cred).and BAR-tab.  The following points
can greatly enhance both enjoyment and buying potential.
1. The new highly expensive widget is never a piece of crap - failure to
observe this fundamental rule may lead to diving with a reduced SC.
2. Every diver has the best kit!
3. Never admit anything you own is crap, you will find it hard to sell on to
a newbie.
4. Tell newbies to buy some _new_toy you would like in order that you can
purchase _new_toy second hand at much reduced price when newbie gives up the
sport in a couple months.
5. Tell newbie to buy something totally inappropriate for training so you
can swap it with the thing your instructor told you would help while
training but is now moulding in the garage since you taught yourself the
tedious way.
6. When your priorities change.  To make adjustments requires that you
befriend a newbie and help them to buy all the kit you want to be using in 6
months time.

Shop salesman
1. Advise divers to purchase whatever has the most inflated margin
regardless of
how good it is
2. Always encourage sale of anything  that will break in 12 months and 1 day
3. Sell newbies anything that is unattractive to seasoned divers so they are
forced to buy _new_toys at retail (well something approaching retail).

Finally a word about Buying It Right.  BIR proponents claim the technique
provides maximum DIScount if all kit buying is from a single shop.  The
cynics suggest that BIR is actually an advanced method of kit buying
developed by a couple of divers attempting to finance their own Trimix
operations.  Some divers claim it is the only safe way to kit buy while
others claim it is only appropriate in certain specialised kit buying

Kit Buying for Beginners

Just remember your green cross code;
Stop;  if you are not positive of what you want, don't buy anything.
Look; at what others are using.
Listen; to as many peoples opinions as possible.
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Reactions: Nath

2,773 Posts
Imported post

Thanks dom
If my missus reads this ,...I´ll niver get that drysuit.

Bbut nice one all the same.


2,839 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bloody Hell, who resurrected this???

2,451 Posts
Deja-vu. I'm sure I wasn't that drunk.

Dom maybe you would like to credit the original author for the bulk of that piece.

12,240 Posts
Drysuits - an Overview

This from D-net and submitted by SubMariner (who lives in Canada, if memory serves):

"A Drysuit Overview

As their name implies, drysuits provide the most exposure protection by keeping water away from your skin. Their warmth lies in several things: (1) the basic thermal properties of the drysuit material itself; (2) the type & amount of garments you wear under the suit. (3) how much air you put into the suit.

Wearing a drysuit is akin to wearing a big pair of sleepers: you are encased from neck to toe in the suit, with your head & hands exposed. Most suits are back entry, which means that someone has to zip you in & out of the suit. There are a few front entry or "self donning" suits and that, with their long diagonal zipper in the front, allow you to get in & out of the suit yourself.

Drysuit Material

Basically, suits fall into 2 categories: shell or neoprene. Shells can be anything from vulcanized rubber to tri-laminates (3 layers of various materials, one of which is usually nylon). Neoprenes can be the usual 1/4" closed cell or the more exotic crushed or compressed neoprene. Fit is important in either suit: you should have a full range of motion regardless of what the suit is made from.

Shells give some protection against the temperature of the outside water; however, what you wear underneath them is the determining factor in how warm you will be. You can wear anything from a t-shirt & shorts to full "woolly bears", or multiple layers of clothing. Shell materials have minimal buoyancy characteristics, so you require less weight to be neutrally buoyant.

Regular 1/4' neoprene gives you a lot of insulation against the outside water, but it also means more inherent buoyancy. Thus, you must wear more weight to be neutrally buoyant. Again, what you wear depends entirely on how warm you want to be. Like it's wetsuit cousin, 1/4" tends to be somewhat restrictive unless fitted properly. They are usually the most economically priced suits.

Crushed neoprene is a patented product from one mfg, while some others use compressed neoprene. Because all the N2 bubbles in the neoprene have been eliminated, it has very little buoyancy of its own. It is durable, flexible, and gives more insulation than tri-lams. However, since this type of product is only available through a few manufacturers, it is very expensive.


Drysuits seal at the neck & wrists. Seals are made of two materials: latex or neoprene.

Latex is suppler, conforms well to the contours of the body, is less restrictive and so easier to adapt to & fit. However, it is also more expensive than neoprene, tears easily, is higher maintenance, and has no thermal properties (colder).

Neoprene is less expensive, very forgiving of abuse, requires less maintenance, and has some thermal properties of it's own (warmer). However, it is less supple than latex (more restrictive), and thus may takes a little longer to "get used to".


Arguably, this is the most important and most expensive part of the drysuit. If this item "goes" it is literally HUNDREDS of dollars to replace, because of its highly specialized nature. There are particular care requirements to this type of zipper, but they are minimal and easy to incorporate into your usual routine of good equipment maintenance. Like most dive gear, if you take good care of your drysuit, it will take good care of you. :)


If you look at the 1st stage your reg, you'll see a lot of ports. ONE is HP for your gauges, all the rest are LP for your 2nd stage, octo &, BC inflator. There are usually a couple of spare LP ports that go unused. When you have a drysuit, you connect one of these spare LP ports though a separate hose (commonly referred to as a whip) to an inflator valve on the chest of the drysuit. The hose is generally run under the right arm from the 1st stage to the valve. This is how you put air into the suit to keep you warm & for buoyancy control underwater. (You only use your BC for surface buoyancy, once underwater you only use the suit; it is much easier to control 1 buoyancy system than 2.)

Air is exhausted from the suit via a separate valve, called, appropriately enough, the exhaust valve. Current suit design usually places this on the upper left arm (bicep or tricep area). This valve is adjustable in that you will be able to determine how easily & often air is purged from the suit. Although there is too much detail to go into here about how to do this, let it be said that learning to use the suit for buoyancy control is no more complicated than using your BC; in fact, some people claim it's easier. It's just a little different!


Generally, drysuit divers tend to need about the same amount of weight as someone diving wet in 1/4" neoprene, EXCEPT if you opt for 1/4" neoprene drysuit... air+ neoprene = more weight. Also, drysuit divers tend to need/use ankle weights, although this is not always the case. When you take a drysuit course, this will be addressed by the Instructor, who will make sure you are weighted properly as well as show you how to weight yourself in various conditions (salt vs. fresh, etc.).

Needless to say, using a drysuit requires specialized instruction from someone qualified to teach it. You didn't go diving without getting certified, did you? Well the same applies to using a dry suit!

That being said, no one who dives dry ever goes back to diving wet, except in tropical waters. Its just makes diving temperate waters so much better.

FYI, you will need undergarments under a drysuit. How much depends on what type of suit you are wearing & how much you feel the cold.



2,839 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dom maybe you would like to credit the original author for the bulk of that piece.
Eh? This post is nearly two years old, I don't have a bloody clue - don't even remember posting it, in all honesty.
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