Switched over to drysuit finally!

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JJHACK
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Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by JJHACK » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:59 pm

Well guys, I have finally made the switch to the drysuit world. 30 years in a wetsuit mostly in South Africa. Now living here the dry suit bug got me after a year of diving the sound with my 7mm suit.

So I bought a Bare HDC tech dry suit. I had it built for me which took a while, like 7 weeks. Boots added on, and thigh pockets. Latex seals. I believe I will be adding the Bare dry gloves which are actually Si Tech. So now the new adventure begins I feel like a new diver with this suit, seems like a lot to figure out. How much learning curve was it to go from a wet suit to a dry suit? Oh and whats this about equalizing the dry gloves? Do I need to put a tiny little pipe or something into the wrist seals to transfer pressure between the suit and the gloves?

Any guidance or tips welcome here. Help me get over the leraning hump as quickly and easily as possible!

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60south
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by 60south » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:06 pm

Congrats! You're gonna love it. I recommend getting some instruction first.

Oh and whats this about equalizing the dry gloves? Do I need to put a tiny little pipe or something into the wrist seals to transfer pressure between the suit and the gloves?


Yes. You need to equalize the pressure otherwise the gloves will compress around your hands (descent) or blow up like balloons (ascent). Everybody has their own favorite tube-thingies...

-- Coffee stirrer straws
-- A short piece of cord with knots at either end
-- Aquarium pump tubes
-- Surgical tubing (my favorite)

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by Scubie Doo » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:09 pm

Congrats. With your experience, should be a relatively easy transition. The biggest challenge IMO is managing the air in the suit. Some people use their BC still. However, I only use my Drysuit for inflation. I found that it forced me to stay on venting and it reduced multitasking. On the gloves, I used to use the small tube, but I always lost it. I ended up cutting. My wrist seals to allow free flow. However, if the glove leaks, you get really wet. I also use the 4th element wrist warmers with my glove liners, that works instead of the tubing. Just get ready for tons of personal opinions and advice. In the end, do what makes you feel safest and most comfortable.


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GearHead
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by GearHead » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:24 pm

A drysuit is a piece of equipment, similar to your BC. In fact it is useful as a redundant means of buoyancy control. You will probably find it helpful to take a drysuit orientation, which will give you some skills and drills to work on. It will take some practice to become familiar with the new configuration. Once you do, however, you'll appreciate the advantage of being able to fine tune your trim by moving a little air around. It takes me a little while to readjust to diving wet again when I'm in warm water.
I use the Fourth Element wrist warmers underneath my latex seals, then thin or medium glove liners over the seals. The warm air from inside the suit helps keep one's hands warm as well as equalizing the pressure inside the dry gloves.


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fmerkel
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by fmerkel » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:43 pm

I'm one of the (rare?) people that don't bother to equalize gloves. Hands are pretty bony. Unless you push things to serious depths the squeeze is not a bother.
If you do equalize (some kind of tube), when you put your hands up, the gloves fill up. When you put them down (normal position) the air all goes away and they squeeze anyway.
It ain't a biggie. Try it both ways and go with what you like better.

Now....suit squeeze can be damn uncomfortable.
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JJHACK
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by JJHACK » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:01 pm

I’ve already done the SSI drysuit class and passed the test. I’m only waiting to do the pool test and open water training portion. Holidays now and all do it will be next week here in the Columbia river.

Somebody in this thread said the glove squeeze only becomes significant at deeper depths. What depth is that? 100-150 foot or less?

The odd part of the system using a tube for equalization is if your glove leaks the the water gets into the dry suit. Is it correct to assume that if you get a glove leak you need to quickly remove that glove and pull the tube out?

From the SSI training and classroom training I think I have it in my mind that I need to jump fully into drysuit replaces BCD for buoyancy control. BCD becomes backup floatation.

Another curiosity. I’m currently loaded with 24lbs in my 7mm full suit with step in 7mm hooded vest. That’s a ton of neoprene. With the 7mm suit on alone I cannot dive to any depth it’s too buoyant. Adding that hooded vest it’s ridiculously buoyant.

What’s the consensus on my weight use. It’s all a guess at this point. I’m thinking I will go in with 30 and start reducing from there?
What say you folks?

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by Scubie Doo » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:27 pm

I’ve had glove leaks with the tube in and just deal with it. Taking your glove off underwater could cause more flooding issues. I think you will find (depending on the dry glove system) that a glove leak is not common.


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Diverdave68
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by Diverdave68 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:49 pm

I've had a couple of gloves with a leak. My system wet is still warmer than wet gloves. I use a 3 inch piece of 550 cord with the strands removed to equalize my gloves. If it leaks, I break the seal and pull out the cord. Put the glove back on. Finish the dive 1/2 dry.

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Gdog
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by Gdog » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:53 pm

I went to open seal long ago, and tosses the tubes. On the rare occasion of a glove leak, or a bad seal, your liner gets wet. But I'm so glad I made the change. No glove equalization needed. Hand cold? Raise that hand, let the bubble go to that glove. Ahhh... Warm. The only time it has ever been a problem was when I jumped in off a boat and forgot to put on the gloves. Instant suit flood, but bone head mistake lol. I won't ever go back to the seal.

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GearHead
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by GearHead » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:32 am

I disagree with the methods taught by SSI (and PADI) for buoyancy control with a drysuit. I prefer to add just enough air to my suit to eliminate squeeze and stay warm. I use my BC to compensate for depth and the reduced weight of gas in my tank(s).
The method taught by the recreational agencies tends to result in too much gas inside the suit, which makes it more difficult to achieve proper buoyancy and trim. You will need to add air to both suit and BC while descending regardless. It's easier to make most of the adjustment with the BC rather than the suit. Once you start doing actual dives with your new suit you can try both methods to see what works best for you.


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JJHACK
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by JJHACK » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:27 am

Thanks so much guys, this is exactly what makes this site so great for me to be part of.

I’m paranoid about trusting my gloves not to leak and getting the water into the suit. However time will tell how my confidence unfolds.

The pull out the rope and put glove back on if it leaked was exactly what I was imagining. Thanks for filling that gap in my thinking.

As an engineer I can totally see the drysuit being filled with the minimal air needed to use the suit properly with the BC maintaining its original or logical purpose.

Reading this now makes me want to be in the water. This forum kills me reading about diving and it’s driving me to get beck in the sea

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Gdog
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by Gdog » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:26 pm

As Gearhead indicated, there are two different trains of thought regarding use of the drysuit/bcd for bouyancy. One is to simply reduce suit squeeze with drysuit, and use bcd for trim and bouyancy. The other, which I utilize, is to eliminate two different gas management issues and use the drysuit for both squeeze and bouyancy. Less task load, and a little more air in the drysuit equals a little more warmth. If trim is adjusted properly, it is a non issue. This is the method I have used for many years. You will find in dive circles divers that use both methods, and are passionate about the one they use. I think the best advice is what Gearhead also mentioned; Try them both and decide for yourself. Either way, you will find drysuit diving to be the cat's pajamas for diving in our waters!

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pogiguy05
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by pogiguy05 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:38 pm

First welcome to the dry side. My opinion would be like others and try out different styles and pick what you feel comfortable doing every dive. The one thing you will eventually have are leaks somewhere in the suit.

I have had the Si Tech dry gloves for some time now and like them. I use a thick glove I bought from homedepot and be sure to use the right colored ring when installing them or it can be near impossible to remove them things. I use a 4th element liner and my hands stay pretty warm even on a 1 hour dive.
Jeff Castor

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Norris
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by Norris » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:28 am

BCD or drysuit for trim is subjective and in my opinion make more of a difference in terms of type of diving you are doing.

As for the gloves it is my opinion that you want that extra seal within the dry glove should you have a catastrophic dry glove failure, like maybe cutting one open on something while at depth. As for having a channel to breath I don't think that you will have an issue with squeeze as much as you may have ballooning on your ascent. The ballooning can really hinder your ability to stow lights, work your BCD valve, and other things you may need to do with your big balloon hands.
I simply sewed a 6 inch shoelace on my undergarment sleeves and use my middle finger to hold while putting my hand through..
Cant tell it is there
Cant lose one pre-dive
Not uncomfortable like some items I have used
Removes the step of sticking something in your wrist seal pre-donning dry gloves.

In addition if you have a minor leak in a dry glove it will likely not be bad enough to seep into your suit through your breathing channel, if it does, it will be minimal

just my 2 psi
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JJHACK
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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by JJHACK » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:16 am

Great reply Norris, Thanks for the idea of the shoelace, that is the likely path for me. Interesting how little space is needed to transfer the air between the glove ands suit.

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Re: Switched over to drysuit finally!

Post by dlh » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:50 pm

I find the shoelace, tube, etc to be a hassle. I tried them one or twice and quickly lost them as I unsuited. Now I just put on my lightweight glove-liners before I put my arms in the suit on so the seal is over the gloves. Problem solved and no extra items to remember and avoid loosing.
Dave

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