Warning – Famous Words Immediately Follow………….
“It’s Always Summer On The Inside!”
Yep – As autumn hits, the slogan by the pioneer developer of the modern day wetsuit, Jack O’Neil, never rings truer when it comes to a toasty wetsuit.
But with all the whizbangery in modern dive gear, it would be easy to think the humble wetsuit would get left behind.
So not true!
A bit of a wetsuit history lesson here will put you in the picture.
Neoprene was actually invented by a real life physicist named Hugh Bradner, who had “an apple fell on my head” insight that a thin layer of trapped water could be tolerated between the suit fabric and the skin, so long as insulation was present in the fabric in the form of trapped bubbles.
In this case, the water would quickly reach skin temperature and the air in the fabric would continue to act as the thermal insulation to keep it that way.
Most divers have been taught that the layer of water between skin and suit provides the insulation.
Again – Not True!
It’s actually the gas in the suit fabric – you can be dry in a wetsuit and still be just as warm.
History lesson over and let’s surface back in the present day and the big secret…………
……..Not all neoprene is created equal!!!
Which is why if we seem a little picky about the type of neoprene in the wetsuits we recommend, you are doggone right!
The ability to create that layer of trapped gas is crucial to you staying toasty warm on a wintery dive.
We have a wide range of suits available, but for divers investing in warmth and comfort over a multi-year dive career sometimes you benefit from paying a little more and getting a suit made from top quality neoprene.
You can often tell the quality of the neoprene by the price of the wetsuit. Some suits are around the $300-$400 price mark, others up around $600-$700 range.
With neoprene the saying that what you pay for is what you get is absolutely true. (you might also want to check the stitching, the lining, the seals etc.)
Final big secret follows……..
Just as important as the material your wetsuit is made from is the fit of the suit.
Selecting the correct wetsuit can depend you body shape and the purpose of your wetsuit.
Snorkelers usually prefer thinner, less buoyant suits, to make diving underwater easier.
Scuba divers spending a lot of time underwater want great insulation, so they wear suits of thicker neoprene with more water resistance, stronger seals and padding around curvature to minimize water pockets in their suit.
If in doubt get fitted for your suit by an expert. (that would hopefully be us) Explain what you are looking for and what thermal protection you need. If you feel the cold tell us and we can suggest lots of options to keep you toasty.
Then indeed, whenever you dive you can hand on your heart say: It’s Always Summer On The Inside”.
Dive Safe and We Will See You Soon,