Returning to Colorado - What Type of Exposure Suit is Needed?

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Oldbear

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With the execption of taking my OW Classroom & Confined Water portions in Lakewood, all of my diving has been in Mexico, Carribean, Thailand, Italy and the Persian Gulf. I own a 3mm Full and a 3mm Shorie, but for most of the places I have dived even these are too much. :coolingoff:

In May, after 7 years I will be returning to the Front Range and I want to keep diving locally. I would be interested in people's opinions on what type of exposure suits they use and under what conditions. For the most part I am interested in all types of Rocky Mountain diving; the deep lakes of NM and Utah, the reservoirs of the Colorado Front Range, the alpine lakes, even ice diving.

So SBers what do you use? :dance3:

Thanks,

~Michael~
 

Waterskier1

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Robin is correct, if you choose to dive some of the Santa Rosa, NM constant, earth-warmed holes. Otherwise, for Colorado and Alpine diving, save yourself some headaches, and go with a dry suit. If you search around, you can often find a good deal on a used one, for not a lot more than a new neoprene wet suit. I once dove Jefferson Lake, just after a cold spell (the boat ramp still had ice) in a double 7mm wet suit (7mm long full suit plus a 7mm hooded shorty over it) and lasted less than 30 minutes! It wasn't fun. And you freeze when you get out, and if you're looking for a subsequent dive the same day, it's he!! putting on a frozen wet suit in sub 32 degree conditions. YMMV
 

boulderjohn

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Both of the above are correct.

A 7 mm suit will get you through the Blue Hole all year and the reservoirs of the front range in the summer months, but for everything else, you will really want a dry suit. I think that even the few extra degrees in Rock Lake (near the Blue Hole) merits a dry suit. The dry suit gives you the versatility you need so that you don't need anything else, provided you get different levels of underwear.
 

boulderjohn

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Now that we have answered your question....

When you are ready to start diving and don't know where or with whom, just start a thread here and someone will jump in.
 

Oldbear

Teaching Neutral Diving
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I know my daughter a few years back was doing a PADI Master Diver program either thru Colorado University or Boulder Rec and still froze with a 7mm Wet Suit in the BH. But she does tend to get cold easily compared to me. I am still leaning towards the dry suit myself. One of my bucket list items is to go back to Alaska and film underwater Salmon runs and other sports fishing; also do some of the same in Colorado's Alpine lakes.

Thanks for the feedback...I greatly appreciate it. :cool3:

~ME~
 

robint

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I can answer that..... summers in New Mexico have temps in the 90s. In a drysuit you will be sweating like a pig, therefore creating humidity inside the drysuit and won't be "dry" at all.

For May-Oct, wetsuits are the best alternative... once you get out of the water, those black wetsuits heat up fast in the sun, you warm up very quickly and even get HOT. Most people take them off down to their waist, and will walk down the stairs at Blue Hole to cool off between dives if they get too hot. Some people will even take them off and work on their tans between dives. So even though the water is cold... a minute out of the water and you are HOT.

My daughter is 5'6" tall and weighs 115 lbs, and she wears a 3mm 2 piece in summer at Blue Hole. In fact, many people during summer take off their wetsuits and snorkel or swim in the 63 degree water to cool off.

The bad news is that during the summer, there are many NON-Divers there. I am anxious to see how this goes now that the Bldg is open.

My photos of Blue Hole: BLUE HOLE Photos


robin
 

Oldbear

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Thanks Robin...great pictures.

I think I had tunnel vision when I was thinking about uses for dry suits/ wet suits in the Rocky Mountain Region and focused on water temperature only. Coming from the Middle East region, I do not know how I could have overlooked ambient temperature.

I am always looking to meet new people that I have met on SB. My sister lives in ABQ and I have not seen her for several years. I wanted to come down and visit her and do some diving at the BH also. When I can make it down, I will contact you...it might have to be on a weekend though.

Thanks,

~ME~
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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