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Puttin On an Apnea suit

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Carp Whisperer
Jul 27, 2004
Just got my beauty Elios black shadow suit. First Apnea suit and so far I've been unable to get the top on - though I have got stuck in some interesting positions. can someone clue me in to the proper sequence of events ?
1: Lube entire inside of suit with 1/20 conditioner/water.
2: Insert huge cranium into hood.
3: Insert left arm.
4: Insert right arm, then slide the suit down your waist.
That should do it amigo.
Erik Y.
Hi there,

You can put some shampoo in your suit and some water. Close all exits and shake it around so the foam goes all around. Then follow the instructions on this page:


Just click on "wetsuits, technical notes" and then on "click here" next to the picture of the man holding the suit. Should be easy to do it :)

Panos Lianos
Athens, Greece
I find it helpful if you fold the torso portion of the top (i.e., where the strap is located) up inside-out to around the chest level. Then when you put the top on, you just unfold the torso portion and it's on. If that makes sense....?

Apart from that...lube lube lube!!! ;)
I put on one arm first, then the head, then the other arm.

I hope this is ok - I haven't torn it yet! ;)

:) The bottoms go right on - there is a coating on the open cell that makes it so smoot they'll go right on even dry. The top is another matter. The thing fits so well that I've gotten stuck with my head in the hood and one arm - but couldn't work the other one in - no leverage to stretch the neoprene. Can't wait to try it out in the ice encrusted waters :) Sounds like Lubeage is the key - I'll try more. I knew there was a guide on the Elios site - but couldn't find it for some reason - thanks!
I can't remember where I first saw it but someone showed me that a thin plastic bag (the small one from a delli works best) over my fist helps it slide in, even with the coating. It works on the feet too, after the coating gets a little worn. When I read the instructions on the Elios site it made things easier, so I changed the sequence that I used for 30 years.
I think you'll find the secret to putting on an open cell suit is plenty of lubrication. These suits are a pain to put on, but you'll love how warm you are in that cold Lake Michigan water!
I have an old sunscreen spray bottle with settings for "stream" and "spray" that I fill with dilluted hair conditioner. I spray the inside of the jacket thoroughly using the "spray" setting, and then spray the inside of the arms with the "stream" setting. Finally, I spray some on my arms and my torso directly. It takes a little time to do all of this spraying, but then the suit slips on easily.
I put it on the way Elios does _not_ recommend :t : Right arm, left arm, over head in single rotating movement. Haven't torn it so far, but I use a _huge_ amount of shampoo/water-lube. I seriously tried using the technique Elios describes at their homepage, but I got totally stuck just like Fondueset. What really made me give up with my struggles for the "right" technique was my boyfriend, standing beside me laughing and then running to get the camera :hmm...
Lol , Veronika.. My wife does the samething. Laughs at me when I'm standing there like a deformed statue with a wet suit stuck on my head.
Bill and Bolts are right with those simple but effective tricks to use if necessary.
What i do is: fold the the torso jacket (in the half), steps 3 and 4 (from Erick's post), then step 2. This way its difficult to get stuck, you can work (spread the jacket with your arms/forearms) and make it go down easily.
I never use lube, I only use water to put the wet suit on and never ripped or broke a jacket (open cell), even with the vest on...I guess it's just a matter of practice an patience.

My daughter has defined the situation - New Years day I and my apnea suite will be in lake michigan. Hopefully I'll be wearing it.
I've found that lube is THE key element. I get the suit wet, then squirt liquid soap or conditioner inside, flop the suit around to ensure the lube is spread evenly on all interior surfaces, then fold it (the top of the two-piece suit) back on itself and insert my arms into the suit, one at a time...no problems doing that. Then I pull the suit over my head, pop head into hood portion, fold the suit down and pull over the "john" bottom.

Frankly, my only challenges have been in (sometimes) getting the top portion back OFF again, withouth help, because the lube slowly gets diluted and most runs out of the suit while diving/swimming, so I sometimes need to squirt a bit more lube back into strategic spots, then peel the bottom up and flop the beaver tail up from the back so I can grab it from behind my head. That gives me just enough leverage to get the suit started back in the "off" direction, and once it's moving, it comes of okay.

BTW, the plastic baggie trick is something we've been suggesting to our scuba students for years when they were struggling putting on thick wetsuits and had challenges getting fat hands and feet through the respective openings on suits without zippered wrists/ankles. A pair of shortie nylons (anklets or footies) work well in this regard also.
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the best thing to do in order to take off the jacket is:
fold the jacket almost half way up, then fill this ''bag'' with water, enough water in the back and the front, once this is done just pull the jacket up from the sides. The water attraped there helps slide the jacket.
Try to avoid pulling the jacket from the beaver tail, one time you might break it.
I just don't use lube (conditioner/shampoo) cause after 2 years of using it, I kind of developed and alergy to it and was feeling nauseated and dizzy while diving.The first times it began at the 3rd hour of diving...then after it started just at the beginning. I didn't know why this was happening, then talking with other divers, one mentioned that he had had the same effect and he stopped using the lube.
Once I stopped it was amazing, all those effects were gone inmediatly..so since then I haven't used lube. I just use water. Another thing is that without lube the wet suit gets more sticked to the skin, something that I find better.


how the heck do you get in without any lube at all ? I tried it once and it was one of the worst experiences I ever had, to put it that way rofl ... My buddy even ripped her suit because she didn't use enough lube.

Girls - and maybe mr Fondueset if that picture is up to date -
putting on a slippery silicon swim hat before you try and get your head through the suit helps immensely too

I managed to get mine on OVER my Reed Chillcheater on Sunday. Quite a feat but it did seem to solve my neoprene allergy issues!
Hi Veronika:
as I said, I only use water. I wet the wetsuit and myself, and then voila. I never ripped a jacket in my 20 years of diving (that is, getting dressed or undressed).
If the wetsuit is not wet enough, then sometimes the arms and feet could be tricky, what helps here is to first fold the end of the legs/arms and then try to put it on.
When I arrived to Canada, my diving buddies thought that I was crazy and that it would be impossible to put on the wet suit without lube, but soon after they realized that it was just patience and practice.


Pic is up to date - there were lots of little popping sounds as I crammed my 'huge cranium' into the hood! Maybe I'll put a plastic bag over my head :duh Thanks for all the advise - I will try everything! It has scarcely been above 10f here for a week - with lots of snow and wind - -20f windchills make the prospect of being wet in the open less appealing - I'll be sure and bring a hammer along if i go as planned on the 1st.
Roberto -- sorry to hear you have had skin sensitivity isues with using lube. I've not had that problem, and my "skin-in" suit fits and sticks to my skin as soon as the lube is washed partly out of the suit (within minutes of hitting the water). I don't understand your explanation of folding, and putting water in the created "bag". I have a hard time even folding the suit up half-way, though I can do it. I often put a bit of lube back in at key spots, to help the suit slide off smoothly. I've tried using other approaches that don't involve grabbing the beavertail, without much luck. Best, I guess, is having someone help me with doffing the suit top.
The folding instructions apply to suits with a smooth neoprene exterior - I think. On the lube sensitivity issue - I'd check the ingrediants - theres one in most shampoos that has got some bad press. Don't remember what it's called but the description sounds like more than a skin reaction.
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