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Why It Is So Difficult ???

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by Erik Il Rosso, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. Erik Il Rosso

    Erik Il Rosso Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Livorno, Italy
    I've got nearly 300 dives under my belt and nearly all of them with a semi dry suit...

    I bought a custom made trilam dry suit more or less 30 days ago and after 5 dives I cannot say that I love it...

    At the beginning I had problems with floaty feet and my old fins did not fit right so I replaced them with a pair of Jet Fin...

    Althought I have a Xerotherm Arctic as undergarment I must admit that I do not feel as warm as I was when I was using the semi dry suit...
    I know that I do not inflate my dry suit too much and I know that I have to expect a certain amount of squeeze but sometimes my movements are restricted and I feel cold (expecially at safety stops)...

    And what about weights ???
    My weight belt used to be 4 Kgs with a semi dry suit now I have to use 8 Kg, I feel heavy really heavy...

    I must admit that I have got mixed feeling regarding my dry suit and every time I have to choose a suit from the wardrobe where I keep them I am temped to choose the semy dry instead of the dry suit...

    Questions are...

    How long will it take me to dive dry in a comfortable manner as I used to do with my semi dry ???

    Is it just a matter of time ???

    Is it possibile that in couple of months starting from today I could write a post were I will say that I will never use a wet suit again ???

    I fell a little bit frustated ad temped to use the semi dry instead of the dry suit...

    Ciao Erik Il Rosso
  2. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    A common observation is that it's a 10-20 dive journey back to prior wet competency so be patient after 5 dives.

    Did you do a class or have a mentor work with you? Some configurations besides slapping on more weight are often needed.

    A drysuit will give you superior exposure protection but IMO don't expect the carefree freedom of a wet or semi-dry suit. There is more happening with a drysuit and managing that is the price of admission for diving dry.

    If you motions are restricted the suit or garment are too small and/or you may not have enough air in there to provide loft and freedom of movement.

  3. String

    String Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Grand Cayman
    If you're cold in a drysuit simply add more layers. Thats the major advantage of them - you can just pick the warmth needed. If its restricted there either isnt enough air in the suit or its too small.
  4. dave4868

    dave4868 Old diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vero Beach, FL, USA
    Don't get discouraged.

    Keep experimenting with the amount and type of insulation, amount of weight, and amount of air in the suit.

    Keep track of what worked and what didn't for various conditions.

    Once you get it about right, you should have excellent warmth and range of motion.

    Then, don't be surprised if you end up changing things again for some warmer or colder dives! :)

    Dave C
  5. in_cavediver

    in_cavediver Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Indiana
    Of all the people I have known when they started with a drysuit (myself included), they go through these phases

    1) Why in the **** did I spend good money on this. Dives 1-5

    2) OK, this still stinks but I now at least look like a diver. Dives 6-20

    3) OK, now I have the hang of it. You know, being dry on the surface is really nice. Dives 21-50

    4) You mean I have to dive wet? The water isn't THAT warm.......

    The moral is when you start, it will suck. It does get better and after a while, you'll actually prefer the dry suit. You just have to get past that whole sucking part.
  6. NSDiver

    NSDiver Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Silverdale, WA
    It'll just take a bit of time. I bet you'll end up loving it...

    Oh, and I agree with in_cavediver: the drysuit will probably make you a huge wuss. I used to dive wet down to 47-50 degrees or so, and now the thought of doing less than 60 without a drysuit makes me shiver... I'm a wuss now.

    I'll echo the 10 dive rule. That's about how long it took me before I felt as good in a drysuit as a wetsuit.

  7. orangelion03

    orangelion03 Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Santa Paula, CA
    Relax Francesco :)

    I just started dry-ving myself, but I had been made aware by many of my dry diving friends that it was like starting all over again. Some take to it rapidlly...me, not so much, but I expected that. Do not get discouraged! Make your next dozen dives about nothing else than training yourself in the suit. If you have a camera, leave it at home. Mentally prepare yourself to learn and practice practice practice. I am experiencing everything you noted! I too feel cold, but noticed I dont get COLDER =)...as soon as I'm on the surface and out of the water, I'm warm. After three dives on a boat, I'm far more comfortable than my wetsuited friends. But I know that I'm cold for a couple of reasons...I'm being extremely conservative with adding air (just enough to counter squeeze and maybe not enough to properly loft my insulation), and possibly need a base layer under my current insulation.

    After my first ocean dive with my drysuit
  8. Rick Inman

    Rick Inman Advisor ScubaBoard Supporter

    And #5) After 2 years of it hanging in the closet, I sold my wetsuit. :D

    Yup, everyone's right (is that possible?:wink: ). Hang in there!
  9. PerroneFord

    PerroneFord Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: The Borg Cube
    Hmmm, I must be ahead of the curve. I did 7 dives in my new drysuit this weekend, and by dive 4 I was feeling pretty good. By dive 7, I was able to hover in a 3ft high space, backfin, and do all the stuff I was doing before.

    Descents are a bit tricky, and I find I need to do them slightly head up. Ascents are much the same, I do them slightly head up. I think I will close the exhaust valve a couple of clicks on descent as well to keep from losing the gas so quickly. I hit the bottom in a scenario I really didn't expect to. I was adding gas to the wing in the customary way, but the suit was venting (I was getting cold in a hurry) and I slowed down, but couldn't stop in time. Very embarrasing! :)

    I won't dive wet again unless I have to.
  10. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    Perrone, if you do your descents head up, you're more likely to have the suit vent when you don't want it to. Keeping your body horizontal and the arm slightly below the torso will trap all the gas in the suit.

    It takes a while to figure out how much gas you need to add to the suit and how much to the wing. After a while, you know how much squeeze you want to dive with, and you just keep adding gas whenever the suit feels tighter than that, and add gas to the wing to stop any sinking once the suit is comfortable. It's not unusual for me to get to the bottom and decide the distribution of gas between wing and suit isn't want I want it to be, and vent the wing a little and add some gas to the suit.

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