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Discovery Diving Co., Inc.
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Beaufort, North Carolina 28516


Wetsuit Materials And How To Pick The Right One

Before purchasing a wetsuit be familiar with the materials and designs utilized in making wetsuits, and figure out what kind of diving you do.

How a wetsuit works

Wetsuits are made of neoprene rubber, a closed-cell foam that traps millions of tiny gas bubbles within its structure. Unlike open-cell foam (i.e., a sponge), water won’t saturate neoprene, but the gas bubbles tend to give the material a lot of inherent buoyancy. When you put on awetsuit, your 98.6-degree body temperature warms the gas bubbles in the neoprene, which act as insulation. This, combined with a snug ft, minimizes the amount of water that enters the suit and keeps body heat from escaping.


In order for a wetsuit to do its job, it should:

1: be the correct thickness for the water temperature you’re diving in, 2. have seams, seals and zippers that minimize water intrusion, and 3) fit.
The truth is, no one suit will deliver the same thermal performance for all divers. There are simply too many variables that need to be factored in. So when you hear a claim that one particular suit is warmer than another, you can’t count on this being true for you. But what you can count on are a number of design and construction methods that make a high-quality suit. Find a suit with the right stuff, and you will find wetsuit nirvana.

2. Already have a great wetsuit? Here are some tips to keep it in tip-top shape.

Soak It.  As soon as you can, soak your wetsuit in cold or lukewarm fresh water (hot water can cause the suit to lose flexibility) with a mild solution of baking soda or wetsuitshampoo. using a mild detergent will keep the neoprene from taking on an odor. soak for about 30 minutes. Turn the suit inside out and let soak for an additional 30 minutes.

Scrub It.  During the soak, scrub zippers and velcro patches with a toothbrush. Work the zipper car up and down to dislodge any dirt.

Rinse It. After soaking, give the suit a thorough rinse, inside and out.

Inspect It. Look for tears or gouges, especially along the seams. If necessary, resew the nylon with heavy polyester thread, or repair the neoprene with wetsuit cement.

3. In the market for a 7 mm wetsuit?

Zippers How well a zipper keeps out the cold depends on its seals. some use double — or even triple — overlapping smooth-skin with a long or inter- locking internal flap. Generally, a waterproof chest or shoulder zip will be drier — though more restrictive and harder to don and doff— than a nonwaterproof vertical rear zip.

Diving Style If you always wear a hood, consider a suit with one that’s attached. If you need maximum insulation, look at the thickest suits. If mobility is important, choose a suit that uses thinner materials in the arms and legs.

Seals Today’s suits come with more seal types than color choices – smooth-skin o-rings, double smooth-skin zippered cuffs, single smooth- skin cuffs, internal gaskets, etc. Personal preference and perfect fit are the keys to finding the best type of seal for your suit.

Materials Manufacturers often have proprietary names for their suit materials; you’ll find that one neoprene might be a little stretchier, or another is a bit denser. the bigger differences are in how the materials are used, and how the suits are shaped and put together.

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