Drysuits are an essential piece of equipment for divers, providing them with protection and insulation in cold waters. However, there may be instances when a drysuit unexpectedly floods with water, causing concern and potentially disrupting the dive. While this situation is rarely considered an emergency, unless one is diving in contaminated waters, it still requires prompt action and careful handling. The flooding of a drysuit can occur due to various reasons, such as a blown neck seal or significant damage to the suit itself. In such cases, it’s crucial for divers to remain calm and quickly assess the situation. The immediate response should be to end the dive safely, using the buoyancy control device (BCD) to compensate for any loss of buoyancy caused by the flooded suit. By following these guidelines, divers can effectively manage the situation and ensure a safe and controlled ascent to the surface.
Do Scuba Divers Wear Drysuits?
Scuba divers often choose to wear drysuits, especially when diving in cold or contaminated water. These specially designed suits offer crucial environmental protection by providing thermal insulation and preventing water intrusion. While wet suits are commonly used in warmer waters, drysuits are preferred in colder conditions where hypothermia can be a significant risk.
Chlorine is often a concern when it comes to the longevity of dry suits. However, the good news is that a few dips in a pool and a quick wash afterwards won’t cause significant damage or fading. In fact, compared to the harmful effects of UV exposure during regular use, chlorine is relatively harmless. The key is to ensure that the suit is thoroughly rinsed in fresh water after pool sessions and not left damp with pool water.
Is Chlorine Bad for Dry Suits?
Chlorine isn’t inherently bad for dry suits when used in pool water. In fact, a quick dip in a pool or swim session won’t cause significant damage or fading to the dry suit material. The real concern lies in leaving the suit damp with pool water on it for extended periods of time.
Routine wear and use under direct sunlight can cause more fading and deterioration over time than a few pool sessions. Therefore, rinsing off the chlorine after swimming in the pool is essential to maintain the suits integrity.
Source: Drysuit and pool? – ScubaBoard
Now let’s explore the various features and materials used in drysuits to understand how they accomplish the goal of keeping divers and water sports enthusiasts dry.
Do Dry Suits Actually Keep You Dry?
Do dry suits actually keep you dry? This is a commonly asked question, and the answer is yes. A drysuit, as the name indicates, keeps you completely dry by ensuring that no water gets into the suit. How does it achieve this? Well, a drysuit can be made out of various materials such as foam neoprene, crushed neoprene, vulcanized rubber, or heavy-duty nylon. These materials are chosen because of their waterproof properties.
This means that it uses a combination of wrist seals, a neck seal, and a waterproof zipper to create a barrier between you and the water. The wrist seals are designed to fit snugly around your wrists to prevent water from entering the suit through the sleeves. Similarly, the neck seal ensures a tight fit around your neck to keep water out. The waterproof zipper is located on the front of the suit and is designed to be completely watertight.
It’s important to ensure that the suit fits properly as any gaps or loose areas can allow water to enter.
To stay warm in cold water, thermal undergarments should be worn underneath the drysuit to provide insulation. These undergarments help to trap body heat and prevent it from escaping, keeping you warm during your dive.
It’s use is particularly popular among divers and water sports enthusiasts who engage in activities where prolonged exposure to cold water or extreme conditions is expected. So, if youre looking to stay dry during your water adventures, a drysuit is definitely worth considering!
Proper maintenance of a drysuit is essential to ensure it’s longevity and effectiveness. One vital aspect of maintenance involves washing the seals with a mild soapy water solution to remove any body oils that can deteriorate the material. Additionally, using a drysuit shampoo periodically on both the inside and outside of the suit not only eliminates unpleasant odors but also helps protect it’s waterproofing properties.
How Do You Maintain a Drysuit?
In addition to washing the seals, it’s important to regularly inspect them for any signs of wear or damage. This can be done by carefully running your fingers along the seals, feeling for any rough spots or tears. If any damage is found, it should be repaired immediately to maintain the effectiveness of the suit.
After each dive, it’s crucial to rinse off your drysuit with clean, fresh water to remove any salt, sand, or other debris that may have accumulated. Pay close attention to areas such as zippers and valves, as these can often trap dirt and may require extra attention. Once rinsed, it’s important to hang the suit up to dry in a cool, well-ventilated area.
Proper storage is also key to maintaining the longevity of your drysuit. Avoid leaving it exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as this can degrade the materials. It’s recommended to store the suit in a cool, dry place, away from any chemicals or solvents that could potentially damage it.
Regularly inspecting and maintaining the zipper of your drysuit is crucial for it’s proper functioning. Applying a small amount of zipper lubricant, such as beeswax or silicone-based lubricant, can help keep the zipper smooth and prevent it from getting stuck or corroded.
Lastly, it’s important to keep an eye on the overall condition of your drysuits material. Look for any signs of wear, such as thin spots or tears, and address them promptly. Small repairs can often be done at home using patch kits specifically designed for drysuit repair. However, for larger or more complicated repairs, it’s recommended to seek the assistance of a professional drysuit technician.
One of the possible issues that can arise when wearing a dry suit is drysuit squeeze, which may result in discomfort or even bruising. Drysuit squeeze usually occurs when there’s a lack of air added to the suit during descent, particularly in the areas around valves and seams.
Why Does a Dry Suit Squeeze?
A dry suit squeeze, often accompanied by bruising, is a phenomenon experienced by divers and underwater enthusiasts. Contrary to what one might assume, this compression isn’t the result of external forces acting upon the suit. Rather, it occurs due to a failure in properly maintaining the suits air balance during descent.
When descending into the depths, the pressure surrounding the diver increases rapidly. To counteract this, it’s essential to adjust the air volume inside the dry suit accordingly. Failure to do so can lead to an elevation in pressure within the suit, resulting in a squeezing sensation on the divers body. This is particularly evident around the suits valves and seams, where the drysuit squeeze is most commonly experienced.
The tight compression exerted upon the body can cause blood vessels beneath the skin to rupture, leading to the appearance of these bruises. While they may be unsightly and sometimes painful, should drysuit squeeze be addressed promptly, the bruises will typically subside over time.
By maintaining a consistent pressure both outside and inside the suit, divers can explore the underwater world without the unwanted sensations of constriction and bruising.
Proper Maintenance and Care of Dry Suits to Prevent Drysuit Squeeze
- Regularly rinse the dry suit with fresh water after each use
- Ensure all zippers are fully closed before entering the water
- Inspect the dry suit for any signs of damage or wear before each dive
- Store the dry suit in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight
- Avoid folding or crumpling the dry suit excessively
- Use talcum powder or a suitable lubricant on the neck and wrist seals to prevent discomfort and tearing
- Periodically check and replace the dry suit’s seals if they show signs of deterioration
- Avoid using sharp objects or excessive force when donning or doffing the dry suit
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for care and maintenance
- Consider getting professional servicing for the dry suit at recommended intervals
As a result, the drysuit’s ability to trap air makes it possible for individuals to float effortlessly on the water’s surface. Not only does this provide a sense of weightlessness, but it also ensures that your body remains comfortably suspended, allowing you to focus on other activities or simply relax in the water without exerting much effort. However, it’s essential to be aware of certain factors and precautions before relying solely on the buoyancy of a drysuit.
Can You Float in a Drysuit?
The ability to float while wearing a drysuit is one of it’s major advantages. When you enter the water, the air trapped inside the suit acts as a floatation device, allowing you to effortlessly remain on the surface. This feature is particularly beneficial for activities such as diving or water sports where you don’t want to constantly swim against the waters resistance.
However, it’s important to note that the buoyancy provided by a drysuit isn’t as significant as that of a fully inflated life jacket or a buoyancy compensator device (BCD) used in scuba diving. Therefore, it’s essential to have proper training and experience to ensure your safety while using a drysuit. Understanding how to manage your buoyancy, adjust for changes in pressure, and control your descent and ascent are critical skills that every drysuit diver should possess.
Other factors such as body composition, weight, and the presence of other equipment may affect your buoyancy in the water. It’s always recommended to conduct a buoyancy check and make necessary adjustments before entering the water. This can be done by inflating your BCD or using a drysuit inflation system to ensure you’ve sufficient buoyancy to support your weight.
It could be a result of a blown neck seal or significant damage to the suit. However, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and effectively manage the situation. Being prepared for such scenarios and having a clear understanding of how to handle them ensures a responsible and secure diving experience.