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What thickness for a wetsuit?

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New Member
May 6, 2002

I'm going to buy a wetsuit this summer and I dont realy know what thickness to buy.I live in central california and possibly would spearfishing/freedive in santa cruz/monteray(if we dont move but if we do,the water is about the same temp)Im pretty sure the water is in the 50's(please correct me if im wrong) also Im 5'5" 140 pounds (and still growing) ;I need to know how many pounds of wieght I whould need with than wetsuit and what size if you know.thanks your anwsers would help me a lot.:p

I wear a 7mm Picasso suit for diving around here in central california (Temp. in the mid 50's deg. F, but can dip to mid 40's too.) It's actually 7mm in the torso, 5mm in the arms and legs. If your budget allows, then consider a freedive wetsuit because the fit will be inherently better than regular scuba suits. Try them out at a dive shop and you'll see. (Stan's dive shop in San Jose carries them. I think Wallins' too.)

If you can rent a suit to try in the water, you should go ahead and do that before you spend big bucks on a suit. Try a scuba suit too if you're curious (be sure it's a good fit), go into some place calm (like the Breakwater) and just see how you move, feel, etc.

With 7mm wetsuits, start with 10% of your weight in lead and play around with it to see where that gets you neutral. For example, I weigh 220 lbs, so 22 lbs gets me neutral around -15', 16 lbs gets me neutral at -33', and so on.

Hope that helps,
Peter S.
oh price is no problem for the wetsuit since my sister is buying it for me :D

oh, btw thanks longfins
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Kevin- check out the Cressi supercomp from Diveinn. Five mil johns and 6.5 jacket. I am 5'7" tall and weigh 140lbs, no longer growing, though. I have a size three and it fits perfectly. Eight lbs makes me neutral at 25 ft in freshwater. Its a great deal for 175.00.
I have been in water for over nearly an hour that was only 46 deg. F. and was plenty comfortable with my 5mm Elios sub smooth outside/open inside. I'm so pleased with the Elios that I ordered in a 3mm with the superstretch inside/smooth outside so I don't have to use the cream rinse all the time. When I got out of the water my swimsuit was absolutely dry (except for the creamrinse mix I needed to get into it). Now that's a good fit! In water that was 59 deg. the other day and I think I would have been comfortable wearing a 3mm.

I'm only wearing 4 or 6 lbs of weight depending on.... I'm 5'10 - 155lbs (and old)

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fred's only wearing depends???

Howdoo Kevin,
Peter, of Longfins fame is correct as is everyone else here- there are lots of pretty good suits and a few really good ones. Being in the same areas as you, here's what you do: get your sister to toodle on over to Stan's Scuba in San Jose, on Bascom. Tell Steve, Walt or Tony that Sven sent you to look at a 7mm Picasso. End of story. I've been diving with these clowns since the Earth was cooling and their top notch characters. Plus, if anything goes wrong, you just bring it in and it's taken care of. Steve's a real patient and educated clown, even if he gets euro in his pronouncing names of things....

I've seen the Cressi supercomp too and you could do a lot worse than it as well; it's put together well and the price is tough to beat. Either way, I'd look for a nylon exterior to ease your way into not having to baby the suit as you progress.

Weight wise, put on enough to float upright with the water at your chest level... that's enough to help you get to the bottom without making the return trip a trial. Add or subtract as you get better and the water conditions dictate.

And here's the best advice you'll get- join a club. The Flipper Dippers are down there and you'll be hard put to find a better bunch of people and divers. Learn from them and make it really easy on yourself.

Thanks guys!!

Hey sven I had emailed stans scuba already .Maybe later this summer I'll take freediving classes there. I'm going to go down the Stan's later this month and get me a wetsuit.Thanks for the advise guys!
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