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Wet Suit Diving In British Columbia?

The use of a wet suit is the most widely used and most economical way to dive and maintain your core body temperature.

They are made out of neoprene which is a common synthetic rubber-like material comprised of tiny gas bubbles.

They come in different sizes, thicknesses and colors, but must be very form fitting.

The suit goes on right over your skin and swim shorts, and as you enter the water, a thin layer of water fills in the thin space between your body and the neoprene material. Your body warmth heats up this layer of water, which then helps to keep you warm during your dive.

The neoprene material does compress at depth, which decreases the amount of thermal protection it offers, but it does not have a very big effect on your buoyancy.

I still have to prepare myself for the initial shock as I jump into the cool waters around BC and the water makes its way into my suit.

While you can (and many divers do) dive here using a wetsuit (a 7mm with farmer john style bottoms is recommended), I recommend training for and using a dry suit to increase your dive satisfaction.

Things To Consider When Buying And Using A WetSuit

• Go to an authorized PADI or NAUI dive retailer to discuss the best type of suit and fit for you

• Even the thickest wetsuits compress and allow cold water to cool your body temperature

• As the name implies – you get wet! Wearing additional clothes underneath is not an option as it is too bulky and will also get wet

• You must remove and rinse your suit in fresh, clean water after each day of diving and allow it to completely dry

• After your day of diving, weekend or dive holiday is over, thoroughly rinse your wet suit using an approved shampoo from your dive retailer and ensure it is thoroughly dry

• Use a wide hanger that allows the suit to stay flat and store it in a cool, dry spot to ensure it does not begin to smell, degrade, or grow mold or mildew

• Purchase a lubricant from your dive shop retailer and give your zipper a coating once in a while

• Follow these steps and unless your body shape changes dramatically, your suit should last you for many years of fantastic scuba diving and other water activities

Your local dive retailer can tell you what type of suit is best for the conditions where you plan to dive.

If you know your sizing and want to order from a reputable on-line scuba equipment provider, or for more information on how to choose a wetsuit or a drysuit, consider the Leisurepro wetsuit information page.

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