By Tatyana Nikitina
Do you like your dry suit as much as I do? My love is not unfounded. Here are a few reasons I love dry suit diving:
Myth 1: Drysuits are hard to choose
I feel this is untrue. Yes, there are a large number of dry suit manufacturers. There are many brands in the USA, Europe and Russia. You’ll need to narrow your search by putting in some research before buying. First, ask yourself a few questions:
Myth 2: Drysuit care is very expensive.
This myth can be proved wrong through basic maintenance. Before each dive, lubricate the zipper. Follow the instructions on the zipper lubricant. Next, make sure you handle the neck seal and wrist seals with talcum powder or a special dry suit lubricant.
When removing your dry suit, use a water-based lubricant to protect your seals from tearing. Then close the zipper. If diving in salt or contaminated water, rinse the outside of your dry suit with clean, fresh water. Rinse any of the inner surfaces that may have come in contact with salt, such as the neck seal and wrist seals. Do not leave your dry suit in direct sunlight.
Here is how long you can expect you maintenance items to last. Costs will vary depending on where you live; however, nothing on this list should run more than the equivalent of ten US dollars.
The cost dry suit repairs will depend largely on the severity of the damage. Most divers turn to specialized dry suit repair centers to replace neck and wrist seals. Seals may break due to careless use or wear and oxidation over time.
Divers may also turn to a repair center if their dry suit leaks. The leak may be due to damage to the suit (cut or puncture), worn seams or broken zippers or valves. It can be difficult to find a puncture or leak in a seam. A dedicated dry suit repair center can conduct a leak test to determine exactly where the repair is needed.
The most expensive repairs generally involve replacing the waterproof zipper. In most cases, the damage is due to improper care.
How much do dry suit repairs cost? Again, this will depend on where you live, the make and model suit and other factors. Here are some typical costs in US dollars, including parts and labor:
Myth 4: Drysuits are dangerous
A dry suit is an additional air space divers must manage. To do so safely and enjoyably, you need to take the SDI Dry Suit Diver course. The theoretical part of the training includes:
Following this, students apply what they have learned in open water. Successful completion of academic, confined and open-water training means students are ready to begin diving dry without direct instructor supervision. As with most diving activities, however, learning never really stops.
Myth 5: You need to buy a dry suit to take a course
Depending on where and from whom you take your course, you may be required to either supply your own suit or rent one. Suit rental may be included in the price of the course. Conversely, some dive centers include the cost of training in the purchase price of a dry suit.
This past weekend a number of local past scuba summer camp participants braved the areas first real cold front for a dive at Troy Springs State Park. Two great dives were made to 70' with blind cave adapted crayfish spotted in the spring vents on both dives (see video). On dive two we did a drift down the spring run to the see the civil war era vessel along with numerous hogchokers caught by hand.