• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Apnea suits for women....fit?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2002
This is a question for any ladies who have purchased apnea suits:
--if you don't fit a particular 'chart size'...is it best to go for a custom suit?
If your suit/brand is very comfortable, please tell me about it.
If I've overlooked something obvious, I apologize, and will make appropriate sacrifice to the Gods of Obliviousness :eek:
Last edited:
you might be best off getting a custom made suit from eliossub or something similar. they are quite cheap, and really dont cost more than a regular suit. I think nylon outside and open cell inside on a 3mm goes for around $170, plus shipping.
Suits for women

---Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you, Eric!
--I think you are correct; for women, a custom suit might be the way to go, as we have more....um....complex curves to fit. :eek:
I have been 'hovering' over the "eliossub heiwa" thread and reading Jim's posts to hear what he thinks about the fabric and fit.
--Of course, there are folks here that swear by the Picasso line. ---------------Difficult choice!----------Many options!---------------
The more I read, the more I'm convinced that an open-cell inside w/nylon outside would be right for me.
-- I think your advice is wise. Get something that fits well, is made to conform to the body.....
Thank you for answering my question :)
Last edited:
I am waiting for an Eliossub suit with smooth out and superelastic lining (some sort of extra flexible lycra, which bathing suits are made of) in. According to Eliossub, this is very tough, and pretty soft too. By having nylon on the outside, I think you lose the flexibility you gain from having open cell on the inside. Open cell will stick to the body though, keeping you warm.

So I guess if you are into spearfishing and do a lot of rock crawling, nylon is fine, but if you do more blue water hunting or just freedive, perhaps smooth out and superelastic inside (or something else like gold coating or open cell) is a better choice.

My suit is delayed but as soon as it gets here, I can let you know how I like it if you want. I have previously used a Picasso black termic.

Eliossub vs Picasso....

:cool: ---Impressive!
That would be a very worthwhile comparison, Erik.
Yes, I am interested.
The points you bring up about the virtues and need for nylon or any superelastic fabric on the outside make sense. I usually do a beach entry, so something durable and rock-resistant is going to be a must. (The Lifeguard at the Cove Saturday was astonished I'd swim with them through tunnels, etc. with no wetsuit. I was lucky, didn't get torn up)
The Gold Coating would make donning the suit easier, right?
Is it true that these metal linings eliminate the need for applying soap or conditioner?
The open cell interior sounds like the way to go, as sticking/conforming to the body is a huge factor in maintaining warmth.
How do you like the termic interior?
--Oh, what thickness are you going with?
Once I get my suit, I'll let you know how I like it.

Gold coating makes it easier to don, right, and you dont need any lubing (at least I never used any). You still have to be careful when you put it on though.

I liked the black termic lining, but I could have used open cell instead. I am tall and pretty skinny, so the suit did not fit me that well. Therefore, a material that sticks to the body would have benefitted me more. That is why I have ordered a custom made suit instead.

The suit will be 3mm.

Ocean Swimmer
The last time that I designed a woman's wet suit it didn't work out. I still wonder if it was the woman or the suit. That won't stop me from jumping in here. Lost count of my suits but two were do it yourself and then a mail order custom (all before linings were available). Then I went to a superb custom house in Santa Barbara for all but one and then Blue Water Hunter in Hawaii.
The first suit with nylon had it on the inside and all the rest have it on the outside for better warmth and tear and abrasion resistance. The down side; you need a few drops of soap for boat dives and corn starch for beach dives. The new rubber is softer and stretchier but tears easier and has a larger buoyancy shift with depth, buoyancy doesn't seem to be a problem unless you're diving over 100 feet. Titanium lining lets me put the suit on dry with out c/s. The new 'nylon' is more flexible but also delaminates easier, could be a problem if you use it for finless swimming and Farmer John is a pain for free diving but my last two suits have a double waist in the jacket for the top of the pants. Take a good look at 4-5 mm (3/16) if you're small, not diving 'up north' nor spending long winter days in the water, since 64 without a suit is do-able for you.
Thank you, gentlemen

Karma to both of you, Erik and Bill for taking the time to give me some guidance.
Hmm...a good custom house in Santa Barbara sounds tempting; who are they?
---Why the different substances for boat dives(soap) and beach dives(cornstarch)?
--a titanium or other metal lining sounds reasonable...eliminates the need for additional substances....I really like to keep things very simple..
---I am certainly trying to decide what thickness to go with, as 3m seems like it might do the job for swimming here. (yes, the water was 64 degrees F...anything below 60 F is a bit too cold for me without a suit.
I appreciate the suggestion regarding thickness. (Some of the divers were swimming with 5mm and 7mm suits Saturday!)
The poor guys looked like they could barely move.
I use fins, full-footpocket. That might need to change...
Again, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I am learning, but have a long, long ways to go! :eek:

Dive safe!
the swimming without fins was a reference to swimming with arms and possible delamination problems. I don't think the santa barbara shops are there any more but blue water hunter is and recommended. the 'fish stickers' on the list were talking about

JMJ Manufacture
2331 Abalone Ave. #106, Torrance, CA 90501
Phone 310-212-3040

sometimes a big difference between doing your own measuring and having the person that will cut the rubber do it or at least a team that works together more than once.

ps if i disappear it's keyboard failure
Apnea Suits for women...


---Thank you for the website/link for the suit manufacturer, Bill!
:eek: I understand what you mean about swimming with arms and the delamination; lots of motion, right?
I am....such a greenhorn!:duh

aloha OceanSwimmer/ Cynthia
I have to chime in here re: custom suits. The fit is so much better that I cannot see myself going back to stock sizing. I may change neoprenes or linings for some reason in the future, but not the custom fit.
Hey, Thanks!!!

Spearslinger1 and Jim,
Karma to you both for the helpful input. :D
Thank you for the links, encouragement and advice, I appreciate this very much.
It is challenging to find what will work;
Curvy women don't believe we will fit into 'off the rack' stuff.
It also hasn't escaped my attention that a few manufacturers don't even show catalog photos of women in the advertised suits....or doggone few. Maybe it's merely an omission. I accept men probably make up a bigger share of the market.
Having a suit that fits properly makes all the difference; it is true of clothing--! :eek:
Being quite possibly this place's most ardent admirer of things curvy, here's what I've been exposed to so to speak. ;)
The rubber that these "Apnea" suits are constructed of is generally refered to as being constructed of Yamamoto rubber or the like. This type of rubber is constructed with a very precise size and number of bubble in it lending itself a greater degree of designed-in flexibilty rather than whatever sized bubble ending up wherever in the roll of material to later be an armpit or a knee. Think of it as a bedsheet with the thread count and you'll get the analogy.

Yammy rubber having so much "air" in it means also that there is less rubber, and therein lies the secret to the flexibility of the suits... less rubber, more air, easier goings. :)

Women of my knowing are wearing "rack" suits constructed of Yamamoto style rubber and doing just fine, even those with lotsa curves :inlove The rubber is flexible enough to confirm, lift and separate. An option is to purchase an off the rack suit and dropping a couple of bucks to shop to have it tuned up.

Andy at Blue Water Hunter up in Santa Barbara, Cynthia, is the guy and he'll do you one better- he'll construct a custom for you out of the Yamamoto type rubber, but get set as it's gonna run serious ducats. Even telling him you know me isn't going to ease the wallet hit, but it'll be a first run suit.

Originally posted by Bill
you need a few drops of soap for boat dives and corn starch for beach dives.
This might be a stupid question but: Why the cornstarch for beach dives? Why not use soap? Is there a secret to all this?
Does it have to do with fish smelling the soap?

:confused: :duh :confused:
Good explanation, and great leads/advice...

I am really pleased to get so much helpful input here, fellas, thank you very much....karma to ya!

“Being quite possibly this place's most ardent admirer of things curvy”--sven
--I needed a laugh today, Sven, thanks for providing...and the analogy between distribution of air/rubber and threads/sq.in. really boosted my understanding of the differences with the Yamamoto fabric. Thank you!
"Women of my knowing are wearing 'rack' suits constructed of Yamamoto style rubber and doing just fine, even those with lotsa curves....:inlove" --sven
I'll look up Andy at Blue Water Hunter.
I'll tell him The Sultan :cool: sent me.

Shadow, your question is a very good one!
Karma to you for paying attention! :D

I don't know the answer, maybe one of the :cool: Big Guns does?

.....c'mon Ocean Men....give us the LowDown...

Re: Good explanation, and great leads/advice...

Originally posted by OceanSwimmer
Shadow, your question is a very good one!
Karma to you for paying attention! :D
Its the little blue button at the bottom of the posts..:D
The one labelled "Sven"... uhh "Karma"


Bonus points to the Guru for the bubble in the rubber (no pun intended) explanation..:)

:eek: Hey Shadow, I thought I did give you Karma already!
Okay, I'll see if it will allow me to try again. I sign 'em, so if you got 2....you're double dippin' :eek:
My sincere apologies if I messed up!! Quite possible! :duh
(And again, thanks for responding to the thread!) :inlove
If it says "You must spread your Karma around before giving XYZ karma again" (or something like that) youv'e given karma recently.

Then again my karma seems to be acting up, apparently the last karma was given in 1970 (for some other thread)...:confused:

Have you decided on a brand or style yet? I have a Cressi Comp 3.5mm. Top suit and very comfy titanium open cell interior.
wet or dry

Sometimes it's better to put the suit on dry and sometimes wet. On a boat with warm water and no worry about spilling a little soap, why not. For a beach dive, dust the suit at home and put it on dry before leaving the parking lot, at least the bottom and the boots. It doesn't take much sand to make things uncomfortable after a five hour meet. For cold weather ( we used to dive off Monterey for abs on New Years day ) you stay comfortable a little longer.
We're all sissies now but they still tell the story about Sven, in January, off San Miguel Isl. Seems he got up at the crack of dawn, finished the bottle of rum he was working on when he....uh...fell asleep, kicked his tender and told him to start the bubble machine, grabbed his suit, jumped in the 45 degree water and got dressed for work. Everybody should do this, once. Ah, the good old days. The only thing better is the stories you can tell.
Staple the 'privates' to your leg to help forget about the bag of abs you dropped on your foot. I got to laughing so hard that I forgot about reduced bladder control. I'll have to make up a story about testing the 'pissette' since we don't have a dog to blame the mess on.
  • Like
Reactions: OceanSwimmer
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2024 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Ocean Advocacy and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.