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New diver checking in

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by AdsDiving833, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    The upside to what pitdiver describes is that you appreciate it all the more when it does go to plan.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
    pitdiver likes this.
  2. AdsDiving833

    AdsDiving833 Member

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    I'll be sure to remember the good times, positivity and all that! :D
     
  3. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    If you want to dive in the sea, whether in the UK or elsewhere, you have to put up with days off. The alternative of diving in puddles is more reliable but less exciting - keeps you going through the winter, when the sea is reliably unreliable.
     
    Mako-JD and pitdiver like this.
  4. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    After the Apeks buyout by Aqualung a fair few Apeks dealers are now pushing Aqualung bolstered by volume discounts.
    As the entry level is a a sub-£500 retail Blizzard Pro it's this suit quite often at stupidly low prices of around sub £300
    that's seen a lot. It's 4mm, quite thin and pretty soft material with sizes a bit on the small size than what the label says.
    They come with socks so need boots and no drysuit hose which adds +£80 at least to any purchase. If you have one already
    sure they are fine:p If you don't then leave alone :)
    [​IMG]
    Typhoon do a big range from entry level right through to 4 figure+ suits in both membrane and neoprene. They've been around
    a long time and are bigger in the sailing market which has led to older non-diving suits with a couple of valves stuck on being
    sold as diving drysuits. This means that older suits like the Ranger need to be avoided at all cost.

    At entry level the school/club favourite is the red/black neoprene Seamaster and Seamist (often called the un PC Seamistress
    by mistake :) ) [Mk1 1 & 2 red/black, Mk 3 Grey/black] Base retail cost is sub £500 and are often discounted new to £350 odd.
    As it's the first suit that many buy new they often end up on ebay and can be a very good first purchase primarily because they
    are stock and known sizes and being standard neoprene will stretch to suit the owner.

    [​IMG]
    Sure they need a bit more lead and yes do some more serious depths they compress and need a few more layers, but to start
    with and until you know enough to be objective as to what MTM really good suit you are going to buy this is a good entry level
    option.
    [​IMG]
    The other Typhoon to look at is the TCS which is the blue compressed version. This was about £200 more retail and compressed is better
    for deeper stuff. Has a few extra features as well.

    I currently have for sale
    Medium Seamaster = £120 + postage
    Large TCS = £240 + postage
    XL TCS = £230 + postage

    Let me know by PM if interested and can sort out some pics :)
     
  5. AdsDiving833

    AdsDiving833 Member

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    That's great and a lot of good gen for me to consider, many thanks for all the detailed info!
     
  6. pgarrish

    pgarrish Member

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    Hi Adam, I’m just down the road in preston so capers is my local spot too.

    I’d agree with almost all the above although I’d put a vote in for the Aqualung Core regs, some good deals to be had and they are working well for my wife and I (yes, matching regs!)

    Re suits... definitely drysuit otherwise you’ll be lucky to do more than 3-4 (busy) months at capers. I’m assuming you’re renting just now, so one option is spend 20 rentals on a drysuit and you’ll most likely pay that back in a year. Or 30. After 40 dives you’ll be able to assess the suit and make a decision if you like that style, like Uk diving or not, then you can spend more in confidence.

    I bought second hand... the suit was very cheap so even with seals and repairs it cost me little over £200, and I’ve saved that in rentals, plus you won’t miss out cos ‘your’ suit is booked out (which it will be over the summer...)

    Bcd - loads of second hand ones, and again, to start with maybe buy 20 rentals worth and decide after that.

    You’ve got a computer so buy new regs and you’re well away. Tanks and weights are cheap enough to rent at the dive site.

    Let me know if you can make a Friday at capers!
     
  7. 60plus

    60plus Member

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    Consider an OThree semidrysuit. So far I have just dived in warm locations (I am pretty cold tolerant anyway). I might get a drysuit if my 7mm wetsuit proves unsuitable for UK diving but drysuits do have drawbacks so I will put off getting one as long as possible. High initial price if you can't find a good used suit that fits. Additional diver certification costs. They tend to take longer to put on, often help is needed. The zips need lubing and I have seen people struggling with the zips. The neck and cuff seals can leak. Extra lead can make walking on sand more difficult. Your face still gets cold. I have never seen a dive abandoned due to a wetsuit fault. I would imagine sorting out entanglement, such as with a fishing line would be more difficult in a drysuit. I like looking down between boulders, my feet often being above my head, getting back into a more horizontal swimming position is more difficult in a drysuit.
     
  8. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    So despite a complete lack of experience in an environment where a drysuit is necessary, you are willing to advocate a wetsuit in its place.... x
     
    Dave Whitlow and John F like this.
  9. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Beat me too it :)

    The vast majority of divers in the UK will use drysuits, with the prime users of any semi-drys being clubs and schools because of cost.
    We train 50+ new to diving a year and are 100% drysuit. We would not in any way ever contemplate using a semi-dry
    and switched about 10 years ago now largely when we heard of this.

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/diver-died-because-her-suit-was-too-big-7080133.html

    Semi-drys are not the right kit for UK conditions.
     
    Dave Whitlow, John F and becky9 like this.
  10. JasonP

    JasonP Active Member

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    I managed to forget to pack my drysuit one weekend last year. It was Cornwall and in August and it was still too cold in a wetsuit after 40 mins on the first dive and 30 mins on the second.

    Won't be doing that again on a hurry.

    Sent from my LG-H990 using Tapatalk
     
  11. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Years ago (70s, 80s, 90s) wetsuits were the norm and drysuits were apparently exceedingly rare (I wasn't there, but have read this 'factoid' in many places).

    Nowadays drysuits are the norm for UK diving and wetsuits are only really worn for the peak summer (Jul-Sept) and can be extended using a shortie on top (or if you're a well-hard Jordie -- @Big Joe probably dives in his budgie smugglers ;)

    Some dive schools use wetsuits for cost and the convenience of not having to teach how to dive in a drysuit to novices.

    Realistically drysuits are the best way to go if you're considering diving in the UK or the Med all year round. Semi-drys are just wetsuits with cuffs and collars. You've all the drawbacks of a wetsuit, but none of the benefits of a drysuit, e.g. being warm and dry.
     
    Big Joe likes this.
  12. 60plus

    60plus Member

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    Not wishing to start an argument here but please read the original posters first few posts, then read my post again. I did not rule out a drysuit, I actually said I may get one, I just suggested consider other possibilities first. I have talked with a number of divers wearing OThree semi drys, they really liked them even in cold water. They said if it was a bit cool they just put something extra on underneath. I have also seen in my relatively short time diving people really struggling with drysuits, from struggling with zips and beeswax to unexpected leaks.
    Drysuit necessity? There are two clubs local to me, both dive in the same lakes. On club now dives exclusively drysuit, the other club the majority still use wetsuits. You can also train yourself to be cold tolerant. Where the temperature is at the margins of where some would consider a drysuit to be a necessity, perhaps cold water tolerance practice is a better alternative.
    The original poster is new to diving - is it a good idea to buy expensive kit so soon. Many divers quit not long after taking up the sport, others end up replacing all or most of their initial kit as they gain experience.
    My post was just an opinion, as most posts are.
    Although I am inexperienced as a participant in recreational scuba diving my father was a commercial diver for several years and my brother progressed to a very senior role in the military being an expert in marine warfare and submarine rescue.
     
  13. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    You are right, Pitdiver, cold tolerance can be developed. I did my dinghy racing many years ago before dry suits were used in sailing. I sailed in a 3mm suit without arms throughout the year adding more layers underneath through winter - ropes freezing in the blocks was a common problem on the coldest days. The difference was that in little wind you stayed dry and in stronger winds the exercise kept you warm. Diving is more tricky as the only exercise is out of the water.
     
  14. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    My post was just an opinion, as most posts are.
    Although I am inexperienced as a participant in recreational scuba diving my father was a commercial diver for several years and my brother progressed to a very senior role in the military being an expert in marine warfare and submarine rescue.[/QUOTE]

    You'll have to forgive me but ffs - my uncle was a navy diver, experienced scuba diver and pretty much a dick - but as a diver he wasn't that great in all honesty - so you'll forgive me for thinking your families reflected experience doesn't mean much
     
    #34 becky9, Apr 22, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2018
  15. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    Wet suits are best suited to places where a dry suit does not fit or would get shredded and to shallow warm water dives.

    I’d really not bother with one for an open water dive anywhere in the UK.

    If I can only get to a shallow and warm inland puddle then I’d want to be in my drysuit to keep my skills sharp.

    Much of, if not all, the criticisms aimed at drysuits disappear with a little experience, whereas the issues with wetsuits remain.
     
  16. 60plus

    60plus Member

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    An earlier poster highlighted the death of a girl due to an ill fitting semi dry. Exactly the same thing could happen in an ill fitting wet suit or ill fitting dry suit, but it would be less likely to happen in a wet suit because the girl would probably have felt the cold sooner and got out of the water. The reason people wear dry suits is warmth, just about everything else about a dry suit is a negative. Perhaps (driven by the need for lower vehicle emissions) batteries will improve to the point where an electrically heated wet suit becomes feasible, the batteries being worn in lieu of a weight belt. Though not an option for recreational diving, water heated wet suits are preferred over dry suits by quite a number of commercial divers.
    With reference to post #34, I do not waste my time getting into an argument with such posters. For the benefit of other forum members I will explain further regarding my families experience. Quite a number of fishermen, submariners and water sports enthusiasts including divers owe their lives to the work of my brother and his colleagues. Kayakers and sailors of small boats were (and possibly still are) the worst offenders. Improvements in clothing, dry suits in particular and the assumption of easy rescue calls led more people to take more risks. Even though the rescuers rarely had to take much risk the cost to taxpayers was considerable - anyone like to guess the cost of running a Nimrod and a Sea King for a few hours?
    The dry suits of my fathers time had no insulation at all, that was provided entirely by woolen clothing underneath. His work was mainly shallow for extended periods and condensation was a major problem. It built up until the suit was wet and bitterly cold inside. On holiday talked to a Dutch diver who was putting on a dry suit for a shore dive in 18 C water. He said diving in Holland in the winter he had got used to it and liked the warmth. He also added that doing a couple of boat dives in a day, particularly when they had a longish break in warm sun between dives, that condensation and resultant cold could be a problem on the second dive.
     
  17. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    Just a quickie for you 60Plus:

    Condensation is not a problem with either of my drysuits (one hefty new, one membrane), not with anyone else that I’ve dived with or discussed suits with. Your example of the Dutch diver is a very rare one and the one involving your father is no longer relevant.

    I can happily do a day’s diving and my undersuit will still be dry enough to use the next day, and the next and the next.

    There are other advantages to using a drysuit if which you are unaware.

    They provide a back-up source of buoyancy and mean you leave the water dry (aside from your head) - I’d not fancy getting back onto a boat and having to sit in a soaking wetsuit for my surface interval or having to change and dry off, particularly in cold conditions.

    For any dive involving a little decompression a wet suit is just wrong - I want the warmth of a dry suit and the safety net of that back-up buoyancy if I’m going to be having to hold a number of stops or risk getting bent.

    TBH I’d be tempted to suggest there’s a bit of trolling going on here if I wasn’t such a charitable soul.
     
    Dave Whitlow likes this.
  18. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Drysuit heaters work quite well -- was using mine yesterday in the 8 degree sea. Alas my buddy's heater failed half way though our dive so I watched him shiver for twenty-odd minutes at our 6 metre stop.

    Back last century wetsuits were common for UK diving Nowadays you won't find one on a dive boat except in the summer season or some poor sod borrowing a school's kit.

    I wear my drysuit in all waters including summer Mediterranean diving. Wouldn't even think of using a wetsuit unless the water's bath-like.
     
  19. Graysyid

    Graysyid Member

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    I dived a 7mm semi during my last 2 lots of training at stoney last June and Sept. After sitting on the shelf shaking uncontrollably waiting for others to do their nav skills, I decided Dry suit would be my next step.
     
  20. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    I'm not sure you fully comprehend how both wet and drysuits work.

    The wetsuit (or to a lesser degree the semi-dry) works by allowing 'some' water in to create a layer between skin and suit.
    It's this layer that heats up from the divers own body heat and the thermal characteristics of the neoprene does it's best to
    keep the heat in. This is why the thickness of the layers of suit change to the suit the location. In temperate waters it will be
    a 5/7mm in the UK although that might be ok in the one week of a UK summer, mostly it's 7mm with a 7mm top making
    14mm on the torso. When diving as the diver goes deeper the suit compresses quite a lot (ever seen a weightbelt slide
    around)
    with the result the efficiency of the suit gets compromised and that 14mm turns into 12mm etc,.

    Trouble is that the system only works IF the suit fits properly and even then the effectiveness is limited to shorter non-repetitive
    dives. Even a suit that might seem a good fit can have voids or 'gaps' where it doesn't fit tight against the skin and of course
    an ill-fitting suit will be in effect one big void. This as in the example of the girl that died caused by flushing where cold water
    goes in, but before it can heat up is replaced by more cold water with the result that the system breaks down and the diver
    gets cold real quick.

    The drysuit works in an entirely different way. These suits are made in the main from two types of material a neoprene (some
    thermal characteristics)
    or membrane (no thermal characteristics). Underneath are specialised thermal layers which trap air
    and acts as insulation. These layers are usually hi-tech and wick sweat and water away from the skin keeping the diver warm.
    To beef up the insulation for cold(er) water the diver can add additional layers (if the size of the suit allows), which trap more air.

    This air needs to get in somewhere and any break in the seals would let water in defeating the object, so they have a direct
    feed with a inlet valve in the chest. This allows the diver to add more air if cold or more air to counteract compression at depth.

    Going back to the example of the girl that died and why we went 100% drysuit. If a wetsuit is too big the initial flush of cold after
    getting in doesn't go away, the compromised system starts the clock on hypothermia from the outset. With an ill-fitting drysuit,
    while yes there will be some issues with buoyancy, these can be managed and if a diver started to feel cold they could add
    air and abort the dive if necessary.

    It would be better of course to have a well-fitting suit regardless of type, but need to be aware of the difference.

    Sorry that's nonsense. Warmth is one of the reasons for buying a drysuit, the suit is also another form of bouyancy
    and can be dived soley using this and not the BCD. Not only do some divers prefer diving this way,
    but it also provides a redundant backup of two forms of controllable bouyancy which in some cases has saved lives, hardly a negative.


    BTW around the time of that incident the HSE started to get very heavy with professional schools with shall we say not great diving
    practices and appointed a new safety officer to oversee the whole industry. As a result many dive schools went fully drysuit.
     
    #40 Tel, Apr 23, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018

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