One Star Diver (ISO)
Welcome to the Underwater World5 Tópicos
Diving Equipments6 Tópicos
Our First Contact with Water9 Tópicos
The Effects of Changes in Pressure4 Tópicos
Breathing with Scuba Set10 Tópicos
Limitations of Breathing Air Underwater3 Tópicos
Planing and Monitoring Your Dives6 Tópicos
After the Dive5 Tópicos
About the Practical Skills12 Tópicos
We have already explained that one of the functions of the suit is to isolate us from the water and slow down heat loss, but it also serves to protect us from contact with stinging animals and from rubbing against rocks.
The fundamental material of the suit, neoprene, forms a barrier that makes it difficult for the body’s heat to be transmitted to the outside (air or water).
The most common suits are the so-called wetsuits. Water enters the suit and forms a thin layer next to the skin. If the suit fits properly, that water will be heated up by our body and there is little movement of this water to the outside, making heat loss slower as well.
Most wetsuits are long-sleeved one-piece suits (with or without hood) that can be combined with a jacket or short-sleeved shorty that is worn over it.
The neoprene can be of different thicknesses, from 3 mm to 9 mm. With increased thickness, there is increased capacity to insulate. Although the feeling of cold is very personal, a 5 mm suit can be recommended for waters up to 25º C and, as the water cools down to 15º C, choose 6 or 7 mm suits.
If a hood is not incorporated into the suit, it is essential to wear a hood in cold water (the same applies to neoprene boots on your feet).
Gloves can also play a role in keeping your hands warm and protecting you from scratches or stinging animals.
OTHER TYPES OF SUITS
Dry Suits do not allow water to enter between the suit and the skin. They are water- tight and we inflate air inside them. This system complicates the way they are used and wearing this suit requires special training. In exchange, dry suits offer greater thermal protection, as well as isolation from the outside in the case of contaminated water.
If your dive buddy wears a dry suit, ask her or him to explain how it works in case you need to help them at any time.
There is an intermediate type of suit, the semi-dry suit, which is more watertight than a wet suit but lacks a system for blowing air into it (some water will enter). They are usually comfortable and warm, come as one piece, and have a neoprene thickness of more than 6 mm.
However, having our hands protected should not encourage us to touch everything and alter the microscopic life that covers the rocks, algae, and sand of the bottom. This is especially true for any living structure such as corals or gorgonians which can be caused great damage if they are touched.
Regardless of the type of suit used, its maintenance is the same in all cases: rinse it very well to take out the salt and store it once dry. Do not use clothespins that mark 4 the neoprene, nor keep it folded for a long time.