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A wetsuit is a garment, usually made of foamed or compressed neoprene, which is worn by surfers, divers, windsurfers, canoeists, and others engaged in water sports, providing thermal insulation, abrasion resistance and buoyancy. The insulation properties depend on bubbles of gas enclosed within the material, which reduce its ability to conduct heat. The bubbles also give the wetsuit a low density, providing buoyancy in water. Contrary to popular beliefs, the layer of warm water normally trapped between the wetsuit and the skin provides very little thermal insulation.

Semi-dry suits are effectively a thick wetsuit with better-than-usual seals at wrist, neck and ankles. The seals limit the volume of water entering and leaving the suit. The wearer gets wet in a semi-dry suit but the water that enters is soon warmed up and does not leave the suit readily, so the wearer remains warm. The trapped layer of water does not add to the suit's insulating ability. Any residual water circulation past the seals still causes heat loss. But semi-dry suits are cheap and simple compared to dry suits. They are made from thick Neoprene, which provides good thermal protection. They lose buoyancy and thermal protection as the trapped gas bubbles in the Neoprene compress at depth. Semi-dry suits can come in various configurations including a single piece or two pieces, made of 'long johns' and a separate 'jacket'. Semi dry suits do not usually include boots, so a separate pair of insulating boots are worn. They are used typically where the water temperature is between 10 and 20 °C (50 and 68 °F).

Cressi Fast Wetsuit - 3mm Mens

Cressi Fast Wetsuit - 3mm Mens

Sale: $216.63
Save: (13%)

Wetsuit Donning Guide

Wetsuit Donning Guide

Putting on a wetsuit is sometimes the most exhausting part of the dive, especially with thicker suits for temperate water diving. There is an art to donning a wetsuit correctly to make it easier, plus minimise the risk of your wetsuit being damaged.

Before donning the wetsuit ensure your nails are trimmed and any jewellery is removed to avoid tearing of seals.

Step 1

Wetsuit Donning Guide Step 1

Step in and once your toes appear through the end of the ankle seal, roll the seal back over your foot until the seal is completely inside out.

Step 2

Wetsuit Donning Guide Step 2

Carefully put all your fingers inside the rolled ankle seal and ease over the ankle. Leave rolled and repeat for opposite side.

Step 3

Wetsuit Donning Guide Step 3

Pull the legs right up getting the suit to your waist. You can now roll the ankle seal down or do this last, once entirely in the suit.

Step 4

Wetsuit Donning Guide Step 4

Ensure the legs are comfortable and untwisted whilst the suit is at your waist.

Step 5

Wetsuit Donning Guide Step 5

Pull the suit up evenly as far as you can before you put your arms in. Ideally the suit should be right up to your armpits.

Step 6

Wetsuit Donning Guide Step 6

Put one arm at a time into the suit. Take your time to roll out any wrinkles in the sleeves.

Step 7

Wetsuit Donning Guide Step 7

If your wetsuit contains a neck seal: Pull the neck seal up and then over your head. Adjust until comfortable, this will ease slightly with use.

Step 8

Wetsuit Donning Guide Step 8

If your wetsuit contains a neck seal: Tuck in the bib part at the front ensuring it is nice and flat before you zip up.

Step 9

Wetsuit Donning Guide Step 9

Zip the suit up and adjust the outer collar neck seal for comfort and to reduce water ingress.

Open-Cell Neoprene Wetsuits

Open-cell neoprene wetsuits are delicate in nature. Please use extreme caution when donning and doffing.

Due to the materials and composition of open-cell neoprene wetsuits we have found one drawback to them, which is a susceptibility to tears most commonly occurring when being donned and doffed.

With gentle handling and lots of lubrication when doning, spearfishing and freediving open-cell neoprene wetsuits can be a valued and lasting piece of equipment. Open cell suits require a lubricant to be put on before you slide it on your body. Without plenty of appropriate lubricant, you will not be able to put the wetsuit on without tearing it. We recommend using an eco-friendly suit lube in order to don an open-cell neoprene wetsuit without damaging the inner surfaces.

Divers inexperienced with open-cell neoprene suits often rip and tear the open-cell neoprene, usually with fingernails and toenails, when it is being donned and doffed. Even highly experienced divers can tear open-cell neoprene from time to time. Every time you pull the wetsuit on and off, any cut or tear that it may already have has an increased chance to expand and get worse. Avoid using the wetsuit once you notice any cut or tear.

Because it is so easy to cut the open-cell neoprene of your suit, you should always have some neoprene contact cement in your save-a-dive kit. Purchase some neoprene contact cement, and always follow the repair instructions exactly. There are no shortcuts.

Gear Aid Aquaseal + NEO Neoprene Contact Cement (44ml) Gear Aid Aquaseal + NEO Neoprene Contact Cement (44ml)
Our Price: $24
This is simply the best contact cement/glue designed for repairing open-cell neoprene suits. Wetsuit repair is simple and quick with Aquaseal NEO, previously known as McNett Seal Cement. This black flexible liquid adhesive is formulated to permanently bond with neoprene and other coated materials.

See also Wetsuit and Drysuit Repairs.


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