Wet Suits – Underwater Comfort and Protection

YouTube Preview ImageAn essential component for scuba diving is the wet suit. A scuba diving wetsuit protects the diver from the elements they may encounter in the water. This includes cold water temperatures and harmful rays from the sun. A scuba wetsuit also safeguards a diver from abrasions against hard or rough surfaces such as coral reefs and other underwater formations. Wetsuits are made of light materials such as neoprene. Neoprene is a porous material containing millions of tiny bubbles. Neoprene wetsuits are an excellent insulator because they act as a thermal barrier between the body and the water. This material also gives the diver a more comfortable feel underwater.

Measurement and Thickness of the Wetsuit

The thickness of the scuba wetsuit is basically the thickness of the neoprene. The wetsuit measurement is determined by the thickness of the torso first and than the limbs.  The thickness of the wetsuits are usually given in two or three numbers like 3/2, 4/3, 5/4/3. If the torso thickness is 3 millimetres and the thickness around the limbs 2 millimetres, than the measurement would 3/2. The thickness measurements differ according to the preference of the users. The lesser the thickness of the wetsuit around the limbs, the easier it would be for the divers to move around underwater.

When scuba diving in the summer or autumn periods, a 3/2 would be an ideal choice. 4/3 and 5/3 wetsuits are best suited to keeping divers warm during winter and spring. For really cold water conditions a 7mm wetsuit is the first choice for insulation.

Choosing a Wetsuit

When picking out a wetsuit, choose one that fits right. Wetsuits should not be too loose. The tighter the wetsuit on land, the warmer you will be underwater. If you plan to dive during the cold season, place more emphasis on your scuba diving wetsuit. Look for ones that have a blind stich, which means that the wetsuit has water tight stiches with no holes through the neoprene.

Wetsuits: One Piece vs. Two Piece

One piece wetsuits generally allow for more movement. It is less limiting than a two piece wetsuit even though the thicknesses of the neoprene are the same.

A two piece wetsuit has double the insulation around the chest and groin areas. It therefore keeps a diver warmer. On the other hand, it is more buoyant compared to the one piece wetsuits. For this reason, the diver would need to carry more lead when diving.

Refer to our Wet Suit size chart for guidance on selecting the correct fitting wetsuit.

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