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Suit Thickness for California Waters???

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jun 11, 2002
i am getting a custom suit made in a couple of weeks.. i am 6'5", 36" waist,220lbs...off the rack just doesn't fit. What thickness would be recommended for the water temps in California? if i am spearfishing during the colder months....december through may and i am in the water for 4/5 hours +++, is the 7mm my only choice? if i go with the 7mm, will it be too hot during the spring into summer months??

i keep getting conflicting information from people at the diveshops. some say that for water temps down to 52 that a 5mm is fine and anything colder a 7mm is necessary.

i am just confused. $450 for a custom suit is a bit of pocket change and i want to make sure i get the right thickness.

oh, by the way, i ordered my Rob Allen 110cm double band.. should have it soon. i only ordered one extra spear shaft, is that enough for california halibut or are they gonna destroy the RA shafts??

thanks again everyone, sask
dropping the cash for a suit is a big expenditure - but the best thing for california is to have a winter suit and a summer suit. Personally, i dont really get that cold in the water, so in the summer i wear a 3/2, which i also wear all year round for surfing, unless it gets really really cold. about november - december i break out the heavy duty 7mm with the titanium...not as flexy, but hey, its a scuba suit, and it works ok...i just have to wear a lot of weight and i dont feel i can move that much in it. 5 mil is ok if the temp doesnt get below 57-ish on the surface, but once you hit that thermocline and it drops to about 48 (or less? brrrrrr....) youll be wishing you had that extra 2 mil... so what i say is go for the 7 mm and get a surf wetsuit (Xcel makes good suits for pretty cheap) for the summer.

As for the shafts - get two. or three. or four. halibut are STRONG - theyre very diffucult to stone and once you hit them they take off, twisting and slapping at the surface of the water...if that shaft is as thin as i hear, its going to look like a paper clip if you hit a big one. 110 is kinda big for a 'butt gun though...as sven said dakine butt setup is a riffe #0...short, swings well, and power...good luck and happy hunting!
I hope youre not planning on using that RA on rocky ground... Two 16mm rubbers and a shot that hits rocks will turn your shaft into a hoop. Don't under-estimate how powerful a RA is...

If you can get a 7.5 or 8mm shaft with threads so you can attach a pranger.
I'd say for your situation, 7mm is the safe choice. I wear a 5mm in the summer and I'm good for 4 to 6 hours. In the winter I wear the same wetsuit, but only stay in half as long. There's probably a 10-degree swing in surface temps between summer and winter so if you want two wetsuits, go for it. I remember when I used to wear a 3/2 all summer, but I was younger and warmer then...
Youve gotten good advice so far. I too had to upgrade from my surfing wetsuit last year. I went to JMJ in Torrance and was steered toward a skin-in 7 mil one piece suit. There are many choices, but id recommend erring on the warm side.
i dont know about you guys, hawk and mako, but i get hot really easily...and when i get hot i get nauseated...its not pleasant, and while i dont advocate freezing, personal comfort and knowing ones limits is the most important aspect of choosing a suit. a month ago i went for a shallow night dive lookin for 'butts off of blacks...it was a pretty flat night, with only some minor surge - but i wore the 7mm cause i hadnt been out in a while and i didnt know how the water temp would be...it turned out to be horrible, and i got far worse motion sickness than usual
i get hot really easily...and when i get hot i get nauseated...its not pleasant

Dude, stay away from the chicks....

Your right, understanding ones own tolerance for cold water is essential in choosing a suit. Keep in mind the type of diving you are going to be doing. Are you going to be moving constatly, or remaining motionless for most of your session? These factors will determine the amount of body heat being generated, and how quickly you tire. Later
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