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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks to all you lovely guys and gals (who gave advice for packing for our first live aboard), I'm now looking at a new wetsuit.
I have a Mares Trilastic 5-4-3 that I hate with a passion - it's my first wetsuit and it makes diving a misery. I'm over 3 and half stones lighter than when I first got it and it STILL doesn't fit, grrr :angry:

So, although we're going for a jaunt to Mike's Divestore on the day before we go away, I've decided to order 2 wetsuits to try, in the hope that one will fit and I can send the other one back, rather than pinning all my hopes on getting one on that day!

As I have a woman's shape (size 16/18)- rather than a teenager's shape - and I'm 5'8" tall, I've been advised against Fourth Element wetsuits. Does anyone have experience of the O'Neill Sector or Waterproof W1 5mm wetsuits - either men or women's suits - or any other advice, to help me decide?

Cheers :)
 

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I have a 5mm O'Neill Sector, it's a very nice suit.
Doesn't let much water in and is very flexible.

My wife has a Waterproof Lynx, the rear zipped precursor to the W1.
She has no issues with it.

But of the two, the O'Neill is much more flexible and as such is easier to get into.
When I brought the O'Neill I tried on a number of suits, including waterproof suits.
I found that the "anatomical" styling of the waterproof made it very difficult to find a good fit. As in I couldn't find a good fit.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Apnea was a fab shop but now only exists online and I've tried the two dive shops that we have here, hence the search online
 

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Weasily recognised or stoatily different?
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Apnea and Bouley Bay dive centre are seperate now...

Apnea are a mail order operation based on a "light industrial estate" in St John, whereas the dive centre is now owned by Will and Toyah, who used to work for Apnea before taking it over.
They're great, but with the best will in the world (no pun intended) they just can't carry that big a range.


Edit:
Just seen the link - unless they have a retail shop up at St John as well...
 

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Shame the condor has stopped going to weymouth - you realy wont go wrong with a visit.

great suits and they will get it to fit.

Used to be £15 return on condor for foot passengers.

Maybe get to poole the train it to othree?
 

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Mr potty mouth: Sweeping generalist...............
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I have a 5mm O'Neill Sector, it's a very nice suit.
Doesn't let much water in and is very flexible.

My wife has a Waterproof Lynx, the rear zipped precursor to the W1.
She has no issues with it.

But of the two, the O'Neill is much more flexible and as such is easier to get into.
When I brought the O'Neill I tried on a number of suits, including waterproof suits.
I found that the "anatomical" styling of the waterproof made it very difficult to find a good fit. As in I couldn't find a good fit.

:)
For your 'requirements' and London shops I would agree...
As a backup plan also have a look at the Cressi stuff, Ocean Leisure carry it and at a pinch if it's all in tears it might help but your paying retail plus there so don't think it's going to be cheap.
Depending on how and where I would swing past them first on the way out to Chiswick and keep it as a fall back.

P
PS. Side trip to 03 is not a dumb idea if it can be done..... ;)
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I'm going to phone O3 and see what they can do - not sure I can get over with condor and flights are too expensive. TBH I thought they would be out of my price range/too small, but looking at the website it would appear that this is not the case :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Had a look at cressi size charts, sadly the same as mares - if you are a woman, you can be up to 5'11" tall as long as you are still only a size 12-14, but if you're a bloke you can be any size :angry:
 

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I have a 5mm waterproof lynx. I'm a size 14, 5'4" and have bumpy bits that cressi and mares don't seem to think matter in a woman's suit!! I also have a 3mm waterproof suit as well. They are fairly easy to get on and off due to the zips but I find using a pair of knee high tights and a rash vest helps getting any wetsuit on.

Good luck and enjoy your trip

Sharon
 

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Condor are cheaper than flights, but generally the cheap offers are from the UK to the CI and not the other way round. We are a captive audience with no other ferry operator. Who else are we going to use? Why give us special offers? I love monopolies...

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk 2
 

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As I have a woman's shape (size 16/18)- rather than a teenager's shape - and I'm 5'8" tall, I've been advised against Fourth Element wetsuits. Does anyone have experience of the O'Neill Sector or Waterproof W1 5mm wetsuits - either men or women's suits - or any other advice, to help me decide?
Got a female friend of mine who is about that size and she bought a men's waterproof lynx
from Andark. Was a really good fit and a very good suit.

I'd look at the new Waterproof replacement for the Lynx.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So, I have, today, ordered an O'Neill Sector 5mm from Mike's Divestore; 2 6x5s from 03 and a Waterproof W1 5mm from Simplyscuba.

What I have learned about telephone/online ordering of wetsuits:

1. People can be REALLY helpful, even when they're busy
2. Just because the website says it's in stock, doesn't mean that it actually is
3. When you see a sticker on a website that says 'If you see this cheaper anywhere else, we'll try to match the price' it's a good idea to phone them as they do appear to mean it
4. Divers will chat about diving experiences, even when they're on the phone to you and up to their necks in boxes in the storeroom

Bea and Christian at Mike's Divestore, Robyn at O3 in Weymouth and Fleur at SimplyScuba were all incredibly helpful, friendly and went the extra mile to help me order what I was looking for.

Robyn, very patiently, talked me through their sizing and is sending me 2 sizes and only charging me for one, so I don't have to pay the import tax (2 wetsuits would have gone over the limit and at least one is going back). Bea and Christian gave me the benefit of their experience in advice, overcame the problem that I had trying to pay online and searched high and low for a suit that the website said was in stock and wasn't. Fleur was lovely, matched the cheaper price and made sure that the 1 suit that they had left in stock, actually was in stock.

Now then, Postie, bring me my new goods!
 

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Hi Hillie

I think I recommended Mike's dive store :) I bought my wetsuit from them, I can guarantee I am definitely female shaped and my body appears to be shorter than what is suggested 'normal'. I take a petite top, but long leg! Anyway i tried on 8 suits at Mike's. As far as I can remember you need to be a contortionist to get in a fourth element suit, the waterproof are shaped and styled like a superhero (which I definitely didn't fit), O'neils were ok, but the best I found was the Scubapro everflex. Basically I could get it on and off and move while it was on and was sleek enough to fit comfortably.

After trying on 8 suits I was absolutely exhausted, it appears suit sizing it completely random and should be taken at best as a guide. Enjoy your 'modelling' session with your new suits.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
After trying on 8 suits I was absolutely exhausted, it appears suit sizing it completely random and should be taken at best as a guide. Enjoy your 'modelling' session with your new suits.
I know what you mean about being a contortionist; when I got the suit that I have now, I put my back out :embarassed: I wrote to Scuba magazine and had a rant about women's sizes in diving gear, it makes me SO cross.

When I get the suits, I'm going to have the fan on, so I don't over heat, and Robyn at O3 suggested watered down hair conditioner or washing up liquid - not sure about that, however, carrier bags on hands and feet might look weird, but it gets you into a sticky wetsuit! I will also have the husband here to help - we don't want a repeat of the near fainting episode with the drysuit trying on (and that was from laughing until we were almost sick :teeth:)
 
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