The freedom to breathe underwater as you explore colorful reefs is unforgettable. The beauty of these secret places and tropical fish simply has to be experienced. If you want to own these experiences and get to explore the world’s most exciting waters, a good wetsuit and the right qualifications are a must for any scuba diver. The easy part is finding the best scuba training. Choosing a wetsuit that keeps you warm and comfortable is where most divers go wrong. An incorrectly fitting wetsuit can lead to muscle strain and fatigue, and spoil your dive. Here are our top tips for investing in a scuba wetsuit that will open up a whole new world of underwater adventures for you.
Comfort Is Key
The ultimate aim of a scuba wetsuit is to keep you warm while diving in cold water. This is affected by the thickness of the suit. Your personal tolerance of chilly temperatures will also play a role. As a general rule, a pair of trunks or a dive skin is good enough for diving in waters hotter than 85 degrees F. If you only intend to dive in temperatures above 80 degrees, a short wetsuit should do the trick. For water temperatures below 80 degrees, you will need a 2mm thick full wetsuit. Add another millimeter for every 10 degrees colder than that. An 8mm semi-dry or dry suit is the best for temperatures below 50 degrees especially in New Jersey. If you are inclined to shiver at the slightest breeze, go at least 1mm thicker than the above guidelines.
Quality of Workmanship
There are a few key areas to check when buying your own scuba wetsuit. The best wetsuits are made of high-quality neoprene. The wetsuit should be flexible, stretchable and yielding to the touch. There is a new range of eco-friendly neoprene-free wetsuits on the market for those who prefer a green approach. All the seams should lay flat and be heavy-duty, glued on firmly and blind stitched. The fewer seams that a wetsuit has, the better.
A Well-Fitting Scuba Wetsuit
A wetsuit keeps your body warm by heating up the water in between the suit and your skin. Choose a scuba wetsuit that fits snugly enough to allow some water in without restricting your movement. A wetsuit that is too loose will allow in more water than it can heat – leaving you cold. The location of the zipper does not have a major effect on your comfort during a dive. Back zippers are the most popular but can be tricky to zip up by yourself.Front zippers are inclined to wear out faster as they are exposed to more movement from swimming. It does not matter if your wetsuit is a little short or long in the sleeves or legs. The key areas for a perfect fit are the small of your back, the crotch, and the neck.
Taste a Test Dive
It makes sense to rent all your equipment from your dive school at first. This gives you the opportunity to test out which type works for you. Try on a few wetsuits both on land and in the water. What may seem like the perfect snug fit can become restrictive once it gets wet. What’s more, with your instructor on hand to advise you, it will be a lot easier to make the right decision. Get in touch for all the scuba diving advice you need or see our handy guide on choosing the right scuba gear for you.
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