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Wet Suit Issue Monterey Checkout Dive

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by Blueringocto_73, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. Blueringocto_73

    Blueringocto_73 Banned

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NorCal
    So I completed dives 1 & 2 successfully at San Carlos, while being somewhat uncomfortable with the rental wet suit. I kept thinking there was a problem with the regulator. It seemed hard to breath from but I had the instructor test it and he said it was flowing normally.

    So wearing 27 pounds of weights to descend I got tired on the second beach exit. My breathing was a little restricted from the tight fit of the wet suit across my chest and throat. I decided to call dives 3 & 4 for Sunday and come back another day with maybe a looser fitting semi-dry suit.

    Disappointed that I didn't finish the cert. in one weekend but the beach exit was a no go without the ability to get easy breathing.

    Oh, but it was still a blast, even with the somewhat limited visibility.
  2. elgoog

    elgoog DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco Bay area
    You were most likely wearing a 7mm+7mm farmer john and jacket combo. The restrictiveness around the chest is pretty expected with that and the weight of the rig plus the cold water makes it worse, even more so if you've never dived this way before. I remember my OW weekend and I was completely exhausted after the 2nd dive; I could barely stand up off the Breakwater steps once we came out.

    Loose wetsuit, semi-dry or not, is not the way to go. You want them to be well fitted and, unfortunately, that's not the easiest with the rentals you end up getting.

    BTW, good on you to call the 2nd day for not feeling up to it. I've read your threads so far and can tell how excited you were about diving. Being able to call a dive despite all the excitement is, honestly, one of the top skills to have.
  3. Akimbo

    Akimbo Just a diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    You probably need to bite the bullet and get drysuit training or a custom wetsuit. As much as I prefer wetsuits when I can stay warm enough, drysuits are a better option for Scuba north of Pt. Conception. Some shops rent them, especially those that offer drysuit training.
  4. Blueringocto_73

    Blueringocto_73 Banned

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NorCal
    Yes it was a farmer john 7mm and jacket. Even the tight fit allowed some flushing down my back and arms a couple of times with the feel of icy water. Especially on the second dive. But even though I was shivering on the shore at the end I wasn't really miserable, since I toweled off quickly and got into my dry clothes.

    The cold water was just a nuisance, but the tight chest and neck was causing a problem.

    I'm a hard size to fit and intend on purchasing a semi-dry at some point. If I could get 5mm more in the chest breathing would be better. Dry suit would be nice at some point but it would have to wait for awhile.

    My instructor has offered to finish the cert. in a lake, but I'm more likely to finish at Monterey. I've never taken the "easy" way out. I walked up the beach the first dive and if I could get a 2+ hour surface interval I could walk up the beach with gear on for the fourth dive.

    One other issue was that I didn't get breakfast before my dives just 2 slices of bologna. Had to rush to be on time.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
  5. cmburch

    cmburch Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Suisun Bay
    I do not know why, but 27lbs sounds like a lot of weight. I started with a 7mm Oceanic XXL Farmer John. The rental tanks at AWS were steel. It sounds like you were improperly fitted. My wife has different sizes for top, bottom, and vest. So her 7mm top and bottom are not the same size. I always complain (Express my concerns) when not satisfied. Please tell the rental place what happened. Comfort is everything. I now use a hooded one piece semi-dry Xcel Polar 9/7/6mm for SCUBA. Do not pee in it. I mainly freedive now with a freedive wetsuit that I have to lube each time to get it on. I also started using the lube on my Xcel. Never use lube on boots or socks since they will slip around on your feet when walking.
  6. cmburch

    cmburch Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Suisun Bay
    My current wetsuits have an attached hood. I heat up and sweat like crazy when hiking or kayaking out. I painted the back of my Xcel white to reduce the sun. It has been years since I had my 7mm Oceanic Farmer John, but I remember always asking someone to check that my hood was tucked in properly because I always put it on last at the water. To get water to flow in my top if I was overheating I had to ask someone to pull on the back of the top or I would unzip the top a little and pull on the front back and forth to get water flushing. it really sounds like it did not fit and was not on properly. Not only too tight, but also leaking too much. Which shop did you rent from?
  7. zen_man

    zen_man Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: NorCal
    You want a tight, but comfortable fit for your wetsuit. I don't know your story with diving, but if you are going to stay with it for a while, I would recommend purchasing your own wetsuit as renting will be a crap shoot. Try on many different brands and find the one that fits your body best. I remember running into a similar situation when doing my OW cert and decided then to purchase my own. I tried on several different brands and ended up with an Aqualung jumpsuit and hooded vest because of the fit. But, I also knew I was a "lifer" in this activity. Plus, I didn't like the idea of wearing a suit that someone else probably peed in! :rofl3:

    I want to echo elgoog's kudos to you on calling your dives. I know it's exciting to get your certification and that's a tough decision. You made the right one though if you weren't feeling comfortable. Great job!
  8. eelnoraa

    eelnoraa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco Bay Area
    I didn't see OP referencing AWS, I kind of don't think it is not because AWS doesn't rent 7+7 farmer John. They usually rent 7 full suit + 5mm hooded vest. AWS also use SP mk2 for rental, they should be in top shape under Frank's care.

    If you use 7+7 and AL80, 27lb isn't far off for OW students. I think I had 30lb.

    And don't be disappointed. The true is getting certified in Monterey is on the tough side. I remember I had to demonstrate surf exit by crawling out after the first dive. I almost couldn't crawl out due to the heavy weight rig, ill fitted rental wet wetsuit and wave pounding my back. After I got out, I was so exhausted, didn't feel like diving the rest of the day.

    And another cudos for calling the dive when you didn't feel comfortable. I wasn't able to make that call back them.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
  9. NorCalDM

    NorCalDM Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vacaville California
    I believe in an early thread he mentioned he was going through Dolphins out of Sacramento which has farmer John wetsuits and they use to have Aqua Lung Titan regs for rentals.
    Few comments:
    One common complaint I hear from students is the reg is hard to breathe from with 14mm on your chest and being a little nervous it may seam your not getting enough air but you are. Next time you may want to rent a wetsuit from Breakwater Scuba in Monterey they have chest zip hood attached suits that you may be more comfortable in. Also should be able to drop a couple pounds of lead beacause you don't have as much neoprene on you.
    My opinion don't finish in the lake if you plan on diving in the ocean do it in Monterey.
    Last thing please eat something good for breakfast and then a snack in between dives you will stay warmer and be less tired your body needs the calories shore diving and the colder water will burn them up quick.
  10. Doby45

    Doby45 Do I have something in my teeth?

    I am sure That some of the breathing may have been your wetsuit, but do not forget your reg will also breath different according to your orientation. If you are straight up and down doing skills and drills it will breath harder than when you are in proper trim, flat. It will also breath MUCH easier if your head is below your lungs as in going down an incline. Just food for thought.

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