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Newbie Wetsuit

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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bolts

New Member
Jun 1, 2004
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As stated in previous posts, I'm a total newbie to the sport of freediving, and have to make some difficult decisions wrt buying equipment. The most difficult (for me anyways) is buying the wetsuit.

Is it possible to buy a suit that, admittedly not ideal, will be a good multi-purpose suit for, say, scuba as well as freediving? It was suggested to me that for colder waters I should get at minimum a 5mm suit. I'm considering a 7mm suit, since warmer is better. :D

Basically, I don't feel like spending a fortune on a suit, or having a suit that will tear by looking at it funny. ;) I'm not looking to set any world records here, just mainly dive recreationally.

Also, what about taller freedivers? I'm about 6'4" and roughly 205lbs, so might this be a problem in suit sizing?

Cheers!
 
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Alison

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Mar 6, 2004
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Hiya Bolts
I think a good open cell freediving suit with a nylon lined extirior would be a good bet, a bit more difficult to put on than a scuba suit but so much warmer and comfortable. Im not sure about the thickness as I havent done many cold water dives in the last 20 years. Your size shouldnt be a problem if you get a custom made suit, they are really only a tiny bit extra to the standard size,have a look at the Eliossub site, their suits are the bee's knee's
 

The111

Shallow Water Whiteout
May 29, 2004
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Originally posted by Alison
I think a good open cell freediving suit with a nylon lined extirior would be a good bet, a bit more difficult to put on than a scuba suit but so much warmer and comfortable.

I'm a newbie myself and have only worn an open cell suit for a few minutes once, but a friend told me the following:

The open cell suit is ok for occasional SCUBA, but they lose their insulating prioperties at depth, so long, deep dives in a 5mm open-cell suit tend to get chilly.

I'm assuming it's true since I think he knows what he's talking about. :D
 

donmoore

New Member
Aug 19, 2002
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The compression at depth of freediving suits is a good thing to consider, although I believe it more from the soft, very flexible type of neoprene used rather than the smooth skin inside. One of the most flexible neoprene on the market is the Yamamoto 45. Many freedivers like it and I believe PICASSO uses it in some of their suits. It compresses very easy and is not so good for scuba. Yamamoto 39 is a little less flexible and compressible but is still more flexible than normal neoprene. There are some other brands that are similar.

Freediving in a thick, cold water, scuba suit is about the most unpleasant experience I can imagine. If I really wanted one suit, I would do like Alison suggested and get a custom one. Proper fit is even more important in cold water suit, because the thickness and improper fit can be too restrictive.

You’re right about the suit being one of the most important decisions, because if it’s not able to keep you warm, or it’s to restrictive to dive in, your not going to enjoy freediving. Then all the money you spent on your other gear, getting to your destination, and time, is all for nothing. So I would suggest spending enough to get a suit that is adequate for freediving in cold waters.

There is a new custom freediving suit option to the Elios suits through your fellow Canadian, Kirk Krack of Performance Freediving. The prices look good, they have a few special features the PFD team and others suggested, and they speak English well! Not a knock on speakers of other languages, just that Elios and some other European dive companies have been hard for a few of us linguistically challenged, English only, speakers to communicate with. :confused:

Here is a bit of Kirk’s message to the PFD board. Hope he doesn’t mind me posted it here.

"Oceaner Performance Freediver Competitive

3mm Smooth out/metalite inside Yamamoto 45 $275US
5mm Smooth out/metalite inside Yamamoto 45 $335US
7mm Smooth out/metalite inside Yamamoto 45 $395US

Oceaner Performance Freediver Recreational

3mm Nylon out / metalite inside Yamamoto 39
$235US
5mm Nylon out / metalite inside Yamamoto 39
$295US
7mm Nylon out / metalite inside Yamamoto 39
$345US

These custom suits are available for order, but due to the heavy demand
leading up to the World Championships, delivery is available after
mid-August unless you are volunteering at the Worlds in which they'll be
expedited in time for the start.

Currently available for immediate order:

Oceaner Performance Freediver Competitive


3mm Smooth out/metalite inside Yamamoto 45
5mm Smooth out/metalite inside Yamamoto 45

Oceaner Performance Freediver Recreational

7mm Nylon out / metalite inside Yamamoto 39

For ordering please contact Mandy-Rae Cruickshank at [email protected]"

don
 
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The111

Shallow Water Whiteout
May 29, 2004
155
29
118
Originally posted by donmoore
Freediving in a thick, cold water, scuba suit is about the most unpleasant experience I can imagine.

How thick is thick? I just got a 5/4/3 SCUBA suit for diving 72F spring water in FL. I've tried it a few times and love it - my bottom times have almost doubled (~45sec - ~80sec). The most unpleasant thing I can think of is going back to no wetsuit like I used to do. I opted against open cell because I couldn't find any without a built in hood, which I don't like, and I dislike how difficult they are to get on.

EDIT: Another reason I decided against a hooded suit - I have a relatively lanky body and an enormous head. I think it would be very tough to find a hooded vest that fits me, and the fact that I can't go to local shops and try them on doesn't help. Are Picasso's "custom" suits made for individual body measurements or something?
 
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bolts

New Member
Jun 1, 2004
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Originally posted by The111
How thick is thick? I just got a 5/4/3 SCUBA suit for diving 72F spring water in FL. I've tried it a few times and love it - my bottom times have almost doubled (~45sec - ~80sec). The most unpleasant thing I can think of is going back to no wetsuit like I used to do. I opted against open cell because I couldn't find any without a built in hood, which I don't like, and I dislike how difficult they are to get on.

Newbie time.... 5/4/3? What's that mean? :head
 

The111

Shallow Water Whiteout
May 29, 2004
155
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118
5mm chest, 4mm upper arms and thighs, 3mm forearms and lower legs.
 

The111

Shallow Water Whiteout
May 29, 2004
155
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118
Originally posted by Alison
Oh come on the 111 your talking like a guy with your head up your arse!

WTF? I'm talking like someone who isn't sure of himself, AS I SAID. I made it clear that I was quoting someone else and I didn't know how true it was, although I considered him a reliable source.

Thanks for your kindness.
 
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spike

New Member
Jun 11, 2004
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Getting a custom Elios would be a great compromise however I'd suggest looking at getting 2 seperate suits. One for diving and one for freediving.

I've got a Picasso Mimetec for freediving and a Mares Isotherm for scuba. As started earlier on Scuba you spend significant time at depth so cold becomes the major issue. That said, I'm sure Elios could suggest something that will be the "best compromise"

I dont like freediving in the Mares because its bulky and usually has lots of bouancy due to trapped air whereas the Picasso fits like a second skin and feels so much better when freediving!

good luck!
 

Alison

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Mar 6, 2004
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Sorry the 111, that was unfair to say that, that way, please accept my apologies :)
 

The111

Shallow Water Whiteout
May 29, 2004
155
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Originally posted by Alison
Sorry the 111, that was unfair to say that, that way, please accept my apologies :)

No problem. I've seen a million arguments/misunderstandings on the internet, but I've rarely seen anyone apologize. You're good people. :)
 

bolts

New Member
Jun 1, 2004
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. :D I'm not really keen on buying two suits, but perhaps there's a comprimise out there that would be suitable? :confused: Ideally, of course 2 suits would be perfect, but I want to stay in a decent budget.
 

Pezman

We pee deep. Ew!
Sep 24, 2002
591
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Pez pulls head out of arse to reply ...

Allison,

The quote is from me. A low density suit definitely compresses at depth (say 20-25 meters) and reduces the insulating properties of the suit.

I have freedived in my Cressi competition down to the freezing point w/o discomfort. Took the same suit scuba diving at an average depth of 20 meters on a few winter dives (say about 6 degrees C) and was a little cold at the end of each dive, despite the fact that I was moving the whole time and despite the fact that the average SCUBA session was much shorter than the average freediving session.

It may be my arse talking, but it is the voice of experience;).
 

cebaztian

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2003
827
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I just helped a friend ordering an intresting http://www.eliossub.com suit.

She wants to do competetive style freediving and needs a smoothgskin outside.

But at the same time she wants to dive from cliffs and climb around without spoiling the suit. That asks for some superstretch nylon on the outside or kanoke.

And I gave her the advice not to have open cell since it is a nuisance to get on.

So she bought a suit with smoothskin on one side an superstretch on the other side and BOTH can be outside or inside. Training and competition suit in one.
Not as warm as open cell or black coating inside lining but good enough.

This was a 3 mm Heiwa medium. If too cold water just add a cheap oversized shorty on top.
A very priceworthy alternative.

Sebastian
 
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Alison

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Mar 6, 2004
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Re: Pez pulls head out of arse to reply ...

Originally posted by Pezman
Allison,

The quote is from me. A low density suit definitely compresses at depth (say 20-25 meters) and reduces the insulating properties of the suit.

OK I should have mentioned that a compromise suit would also be made of a compromise neoprene and therefore be of a less comperssible type. All one needs to do is ask a specialist manufacturer such as Elios and Im sure they will deliver.

Originally posted by Pezman
It may be my arse talking, but it is the voice of experience
I have apologised for that statement, I rather hoped it may be forgotten! Obviously not! Please remember that there are other people on this board other than yourself who have more than five minutes experience and some that were diving before you were born!
 

donmoore

New Member
Aug 19, 2002
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Sebastian,
That’s a really cool idea! I just ordered a 1.5mm with nylon inside, smoothskin outside. I have wanted to see how much difference in drag there really is between smoothskin and nylon on the outside. By reversing the suit, hopefully there will not be any major seams to cause extra drag, I should be able to tell. I think I will try some dynamics both ways. That seems like the most objective test.

Reversing might also help extend its life when I spearfish for species that like to be inside of the oilrigs we usually dive at. Sometimes I get pretty personal with the coral covered legs and cross members.
don
 

aahunt03

New Member
Jul 10, 2004
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eliossub wetsuits

I have to agree with Alison. The represenatives at Eliossub know their stuff. If you think about it, they spend a great deal researching their products, and put many hours into the technical aspects of wetsuits. I have considered Picasso, Omer, Sporasub, and others, researched for a long time, and finally narrowed it down to an Eliossub. I believe that their quality is unsurpassed, and they know their stuff. Now I am just trying to deside on my outside lining...
 

Pezman

We pee deep. Ew!
Sep 24, 2002
591
72
118
Superannuated Pez

some that were diving before you were born!

I dunno -- I'm pretty old;). For example, Roan was running Watergate era jokes past me, and I was laughing at 'em. The post was meant to be mildly ridiculous and not meant to be mean in any way and/or cause offense.

At any rate, I think that the concensus is that you can get a suit that performs ok in a double role.

That said, most guys that I know who do a lot of freediving and SCUBA get different suits for each sport and if I SCUBA'd more frequently, I'd definitely get a different suit for it. Suit compression aside, the main reason that I'd go this route is that I get nervous about the amount of wear and tear that the harness (or BC jacket , depending on what kind of rig you're diving) inflicts on a freediving suit. Even the beavertail of my Cressi top has caused noticeable wear on the johns -- I'm not looking forward to the day when the affected part of the suit fails, and the cold water somes rushing in ...

Update: Some newbie branded me a prick for my prior post, shooting a negative karmic blank my way. Man, that is thin skinned! rofl
 
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Pezman

We pee deep. Ew!
Sep 24, 2002
591
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In excellent company

DP (I'm afraid to actually type your name out)

Your karma lacks potency, so made a perfect companion to the other blank. BTW, I apologize for hitting back w/ negative k seeing as how you were unarmed -- I'll make it up to you when the karma system lets me re-in-karminate 'ya. Suffice it to say that I came out net positive on the whole exchange.

Really, guys. I was out of town for a few days, logged in and saw Alison setting fire to something I said to someone else in an e-mail. I thought it was a pretty mild rejoinder given the vituperative nature of the remarks. Arse talking, voice of experience -- get it? It's a little flatulence humor. The ;) symbol at the end was a clue. Figured I'd gently make a point, we'd all chuckle and that would be that.

Sorry for inadvertently setting off a bomb in your thread, Bolts. rofl
 
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