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Why are most suits made from 2 pieces, not one?

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

Member
Jul 1, 2019
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3
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I'm kinda new to this (yet no spring chicken) and I was wondering why most suits are made from 2 pieces, the bottom and the top.... which dates back quite a while looking at those beaver tail suits.

Why not a one-piece suit?
I don't see the advantages of a two-piece suit with the advances of rubber suppleness in the last few years.
All the suits I see online for free diving or spearfishing are two-piece.

So much easier to don a one piece, whether it has front, chest or back zipper.

Coming from surfing, we mostly have one-piece suits.
So, why stick to the beaver tail (which I hate, btw!).

:)
 
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Nathan Vinski

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2015
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I'm kinda new to this (yet no spring chicken) and I was wondering why most suits are made from 2 pieces, the bottom and the top.... which dates back quite a while looking at those beaver tail suits.

Why not a one-piece suit?
I don't see the advantages of a two-piece suit with the advances of rubber suppleness in the last few years.
All the suits I see online for free diving or spearfishing are two-piece.

So much easier to don a one piece, whether it has front, chest or back zipper.

Coming from surfing, we mostly have one-piece suits.
So, why stick to the beaver tail (which I hate, btw!).

:)


Short answer.. Zippers Leak (and I don't care how expensive the suit is.. Zippers leak)


Long answer..

Unlike most water sports, in freediving about 85-90% of a dive session is spent motionless (floating on the surface just breathing). So you won't generate any extra body heat and it's very easy to get cold freediving compared to other water activities like surfing or distance swimming where you move a lot the whole time.

The number 1 priority of a freediving suit is to be as warm as possible, which means removing the zipper to completely minimize any leaks.. (in my suit for example, If I use soap to help put in on, after 1hr in the water the soap is still in there.. So pretty much zero water infiltration)

--

Some competitive freediver's use the 'orca free' wetsuit (1-piece specifically designed for freediving) and it has loads of flaps, seals, and all sorts of other things to minimize the zipper leaks.. It's also only a 1.5 or 2mm thickness and no hood. So pretty much only good for doing 1-deep dive/ session (10:00 in the water), so the priority on this suit is hydrodynamics, not warmth.
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
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I've been using a one piece for freedive spearfishing for over 20 years since I have trouble pulling the a jacket over my head and shoulders. There is a gusset behind the zipper and as long as it is place, I don't notice any water intrusion.
 

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perceval

Member
Jul 1, 2019
10
3
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53
So, no consensus... alright! :)

Thanks!

And Bill... nice hangout spot to dry your suit, or is it last year's Halloween's decoration? ;)
 

perceval

Member
Jul 1, 2019
10
3
18
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Our water never gets really cold around here.

It might drop to about 23C (75F), and the air temperature can go down to 15C (60F).
In summer, the water will be around 28C (82F) and air temp about 35C (95F).

So, an easy to don wetsuit might be enough... no need for much cold protection.
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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For those kinds of temps, a really warm suit isn't all that necessary. At23C, a good 3 mil will be required for a long session, if you are skinny. Otherwise, a 3/2 surfer suit that fits well will do the trick. Surfer suits have gotten much much better over the last 15 years.

And there is concensus. If you are primarily interested in warmth, a 2 piece ,custom fitted, freediving suit is top of the line, not withstanding the fact that surfer suits and zippers have gotten a lot better.
 

Retto

Member
Apr 18, 2019
13
7
18
Heat aside, I really don’t care how much rubber has advanced, a 2 piece suit will still have more unrestricted movement and another point to the freediving(every piece of gear) is to minimize unnecessary energy use as much as possible
 

marco15499

Laguneros Spearfishing
Apr 4, 2011
259
98
68
Get a two pieces. I respect Bill very much, but zippers leak. Maybe a little but they do. Additionally, they don't have the flexibility of plain neoprene and will affect your ability to breath.

For 23°C you'll need a 3 mm wetsuit. We do in South Florida.

Once you have put on your 2 pieces open cell wetsuit with soapy water (Yes, it MUST be open cell for freediving), you'll forget about it until you have to take it off at the end of the day. Once you learn how to do it, it is really easy.

If you see that 99% of people does things in a certain way, there's a reason...

By the way: Glad to see you around, Bill. Stay safe!
 
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perceval

Member
Jul 1, 2019
10
3
18
53
Ok, I get it now.

One little thing I forgot to say is that we rarely swim/dive in winter.
It's windier, bigger waves, and rainy, so the waters are not clear.

Summer is the best time, with calm and crystal water. Water temp will be around 27-29C.
Could a 1.5mm be enough?
I have an aversion towards wetsuits... even for surfing,I much prefer the freedom of a rash guard!

There's a local company that has a different product. Outside is nylon, in the middle is a windproof layer, and inside is polar fleece.
I got the top to try. Not bad. Not super flexible, but also no difference in buoyancy.
They have a full suit and a 2-piece suit.

Here's a link:
 

Retto

Member
Apr 18, 2019
13
7
18
You’re NOT looking for buoyancy. You’re looking for flexibility and for it to virtually feel like it doesn’t exist because it perfectly fits against your skin. In fact, we wear weights to Counter buoyancy.
 

perceval

Member
Jul 1, 2019
10
3
18
53
I know.

That's what I meant.
Wetsuits add buoyancy, then you need to add more weight.

The suit that I linked is neutral, it doesn't add buoyancy like a wetsuit. So less weight, which makes it more comfortable.
 

Retto

Member
Apr 18, 2019
13
7
18
Look, if you’re dead set on using a one piece, do it. But I promise a two piece will preform better
 

perceval

Member
Jul 1, 2019
10
3
18
53
I am not, I just showed a link to a suit with the material I mentioned, but they also have top + bottom.
 

Retto

Member
Apr 18, 2019
13
7
18
that suit seems like it would be marvelous for scuba or snorkeling but I feel like it would cause movement to take a bit more energy. Don‘t quote me on that one though as I’ve never used this specific suit, but honestly I’d still always highly recommend open cell neoprene. It’s super flexible, lightweight and unrestrictive. I personally find it to be well worth the investment(as long as you take care of it properly) but not to tell you you have to go that rout
 

DivingNomad

Active Member
Sep 21, 2015
205
91
43
Short answer.. Zippers Leak (and I don't care how expensive the suit is.. Zippers leak)


Long answer..

Unlike most water sports, in freediving about 85-90% of a dive session is spent motionless (floating on the surface just breathing). So you won't generate any extra body heat and it's very easy to get cold freediving compared to other water activities like surfing or distance swimming where you move a lot the whole time.

The number 1 priority of a freediving suit is to be as warm as possible, which means removing the zipper to completely minimize any leaks.. (in my suit for example, If I use soap to help put in on, after 1hr in the water the soap is still in there.. So pretty much zero water infiltration)

--

Some competitive freediver's use the 'orca free' wetsuit (1-piece specifically designed for freediving) and it has loads of flaps, seals, and all sorts of other things to minimize the zipper leaks.. It's also only a 1.5 or 2mm thickness and no hood. So pretty much only good for doing 1-deep dive/ session (10:00 in the water), so the priority on this suit is hydrodynamics, not warmth.

A scuba one piece jump "semidry suit" with dry zipper and integrated hood will do just fine. It is practically dry and much easier to put on than the typical freediving suit.

Examples:



 

marco15499

Laguneros Spearfishing
Apr 4, 2011
259
98
68
Listen (or read), here in Miami we have pretty much same temperatures as you state. What I have is a two pieces open cell hooded 3 mm wetsuit and a two pieces hooded rash guard. From 22°C to 26°C I wear a full 3 mm 2 pieces open cell wetsuit, from 26 to 28°C, I wear lycra pants and neoprene top and when it is above 28°C, I wear full lycra 2 pieces rashguard.
I find that a 1.5 mm is too cold for cold water and too hot when water is hot.

Then, is your decision and you can buy whatever you want.

Another BIG advantage of a two pieces wetsuit is that if you need to take a shit, you don't have to take it all off. Just pull up the top and down the pants just enough to expose your butt hole. :LOL:
 

DivingNomad

Active Member
Sep 21, 2015
205
91
43
Another BIG advantage of a two pieces wetsuit is that if you need to take a shit, you don't have to take it all off. Just pull up the top and down the pants just enough to expose your butt hole.


It is much easier and faster to remove a one piece jumpsuit however especially if you are in a rush :p
 

marco15499

Laguneros Spearfishing
Apr 4, 2011
259
98
68
It is much easier and faster to remove a one piece jumpsuit however especially if you are in a rush :p

Believe me that is not. I take a dump almost every time I go out and I know what I'm saying.

With a one piece, you must take your belt off, the sleeves and take all the top part down. I used to have one...
 
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