Posted by MHK on November 17, 2000 at 12:07:57:
In Reply to: Newbie questions about dry suits posted by msblucow on November 17, 2000 at 11:38:09:
You ask a lot of good questions so let me try to address them..
A drysuit is used for a variety of reasons but most notably is to keep diver's from getting cold. That's not to say that the drysuit keeps you warm, that's left to the undergarments, but the drysuit prevents you from getting wet. By using proper undergarments you can keep yourself warm..
You have two kind of seal that seal around the neck and the wrists;
The goal of the seals is to form a tight enough seal to prevent leaks, but not to be so tight as to cut off circulation. Also, these are the two areas ( wrist and neck ) that tend to wear out more often than the suit itself.. The seals can be replaced for around $100 or so..
The materials vary and run the gament from Neoprene, crushed neoprene, trilamant.. The DUI 350's seem to work well.. But what you are looking for in the outer shell is a suit that is durable, that is rather resistant to damage.. Many new diver;s confuse the issue of thinking that it is the suit that will keep you warm, when in point of fact it is the undergarments that provide the insulation. The shell keeps the water out.. Furthermore, a drysuit can and does act as an alternative inflation device...
The learning curve is that it usually takes about 10 dives or so to get comfortable with a drysuit and a class is a good idea. I've heard, but I'm not 100% positive, that DUI's warranty is inapplicable for diver's not trained in drysuits.. As I said I'm not sure of that so maybe someone else can confirm...
The biggest problem most new dry suit diver's face is how to vent the air trapped in the suit, which usually ends up with a diver getting air trapped into the feet and then not being able to correct the problem.. For this reason alone it is a good idea to practice in a pool first...
As far as cost goes it's like anything else, you get what you pay for...
In terms of maintanence and repair alot depends on how you treat the drysuit.. For the most part they are pretty durable but if you mistreat it, or don't wax the zipper enough of pull on the seals you could have some problems...
I use the DUI 200 and if I ever break down and buy another one it would be the DUI TLS 350, although I've heard some good things about the new 450 but I haven't used it yet..
The 200 takes FOREVER to dry, it is heavy and has alot of drag.. But it takes one helluva beating..
Hope that helps..
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