Effect of dive skin under wetsuit

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dumpsterDiver

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A dive skin can help make the suit more comfortable and reduce chaffing under arms, behind knees etc. When I used to work in a wetsuit doing commercial diving, I would wear a full dive skin and nylon socks under my suit. Not sure if it effects the thermal protection much at all. it does make the suit easier to put on.
 
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oldflounder

oldflounder

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I do have a follow-up for what I was tallking about. I went in the ocean today for the first time since Thanksgiving. I wanted to try out a 7mm Henderson Hyperstretch. Air 50*/Water a hair under 40*. Also had on my diveskin, street socks under my 7mm DeepSea booties, 7mm Henderson Hyperstretch hood and 7mm DeepSea gloves. I didn't last long. I like cold water, but [like they say] if you don't enjoy the conditions, don't do the dive.
Anyway, I exited after 10 minutes and went to the car and put on my 3mm summer suit under the 7mm. Went back in. The first few minutes were a little cold on the face, forehead and small of the back where I have an apparent leak at the zipper. The hyperstretch is advertised as able to go on over other suits, and I can verify it does without much of a noticeable pressure on the chest.
I snorkled for at least a half hour. I was actually quite comfortable. I was not getting chilled yet but I didn't want to press it. Hands, feet and head were surprisingly comfortable. I was there to try out the suit, not spend the day sightseeing. So I guess at these temperatures, the effect a dive skin has on your comfort is pretty negligible.
I can't wait to get back next weekend with my scuba gear---Let the season begin!!
 

Belmont

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It's very simple: it is the air trapped in the neoprene cells that insulate you, not the film of water you carry between your skin and the suit, period.

That water has to be warmed by you, so you spend energy to do so, once you have invested that energy that water has to stay there, otherwise you will have to spend more to warm up new cold water, thus the importance of a well fitting suit that limits water circulation.

Why is there water between your skin and the neoprene: not to keep you warm but because it is a wet suit and it can not prevent water penetration, if not it would be a dry suit and you would need seals, special zip and air management valves.

Now, wet suit neoprene is not all created equal, thicker = more air bubbles = more insulation = warmer. I know that Henderson Hyperstretch is very flexible and stretchable, I think that it's at the expense of insulation value. A similar 7mm with a denser neoprene would probably have given you better insulation.

In my neck of the woods we dive with a 7 mm farmer John below a hooded 7mm vest, that is a minimum. Also, the deeper you dive the air bubbles shrink in the neoprene and give you less insulation, wear and tear also reduce insulation values.
 

nashirak

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To answer your question: a plain dive skin will not affect insulation at all. It is worn under the suit purely for ease of donning/doffing and comfort. I wear one for just those reasons. Makes a world of difference. Now if you are wearing a Pinnacle Merino-lined suit or a Mares Saffire-lined suit, you wouldn't need one. The lining of those suits accomplishes the same thing, and actually DOES add insulation value.

But if you wear a suit that isn't lined, then I HIGHLY recommend a full skin to wear underneath. I love it.
 

mrputtputt

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silly question.. but would underarmour heat gear (the thinner stuff) long sleeves and tights work to get into and out of wetsuit? I only had a shorty for my class, but man it was a pita to get out of. I'm familiar to the feeling when racing/track riding motorcycles with our full on leather suits. The lining always stuck to skins so undersuits or underarmour was way to go so we can slide in and out of suit.

So are diveskins sorta the same thing? I'm hoping I can get away with underarmour for my in-the-ocean tests 2 weeks from now. don't care about looking silly. heck, i already look like a power ranger in my leathers on those rare occasions I actually ride hills.
 
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