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Old 12-03-2006, 18:14   #1
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wetsuit questions

I have some rookie questions to ask. A friend gave me some dive gear, everything but the tanks and wetsuit. I plan on taking lessons when I get south (Baja). I have a yellow wetsuit that I use to use for waterskiing, will this be ok to use for snorkling/diving or will I be fish food with the yellow color? I don't know what the thickness is but it kept me warm during winter waterskiing. Is there a way to measure thickness?
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Old 12-03-2006, 20:04   #2
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The wetsuit you have will probably be fine for the southern waters where you are. Up here we need a bit heavier material. In fact drysuits are the norm. As you go farther south, you will find that a wetsuit is not needed at all. Diving offshore at Rocas Alejos (150mi due west of Madalena Bay Baja) the water was 70deg, and I used a boogie board suit I had, as my dry suit was too hot. Wetsuits are usually measured in mm. If you are really concerned you could mic it. Bottom line is, when you take your couse they will answer allot of your questions. By the time you certify, you will have a very good idea of your comfort level.
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Old 13-03-2006, 08:00   #3
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Old 13-03-2006, 09:04   #4
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Just a caution - the LENGTH of your dive will be the determining factor. Even in 70deg water you will start reducing body temperature upon water entry.

I dove for years in Guam - 80 to 85 deg water the norm - and still needed a "shortie" wetsuit. The shallow dives are longer - as you will learn in training - and the body temperature loss can therefore be much greater.

Be careful with this - it's easy to slip into hypothermia and lose your ability to make sound decisions underwater.

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Old 13-03-2006, 09:14   #5
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another word of caution, thickness of wet suits is indeed measured in mm, but that is not the whole story. The construction of the wet suit will have as much to do with the warmth of use and ease of movement, as the thickness. For example my dry suit is 4mm thick, but is made of compressed neoprene, and is equivalent in temperature terms of a 7mm drysuit (but a lot easier to use). I had a 2mm wet suit that was constructed with a titanium mix, that was the equivalent of 4mm. When I started diving I used a 5mm wet suit, but because it was a long john + top, the equivalent thickness was 10mm around the body.

Check out what the local diving shops recommend in the area you are diving. There might be a cold current.

If you are travelling a reasonable distance in a rib with a wet neoprene suit (wetsuit or a dry version) you will experience a considerable chill effect from the evaporation (I normally wear a windproof)

Get too cold underwater and you increase the chance of muscle cramp. get too warm and sweat a lot and you will also increase the chance of cramp, so this is an important area.
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Old 13-03-2006, 18:02   #6
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Water cools the body

25 times faster than air. 85 degree water is about the lower limit for not wearing a wet suit for extended diving unless you have a great deal of personal insulation. Thin divers cool faster than heavy divers. The most important thing is to keep the primary organs warm. Professonal divers in the southern waters wear wet suits for every dive.

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