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Capt. St.Zoomer
04-29-2007, 09:37 PM
Hello all...

I'm new to diving (actually I did some diving years ago but never got certified) and will be starting classes in a couple of weeks but I have a question about wet suits. What would be the best purchase if I was only going to dive a few times a year, probably in the Western Caribbean--Cozumel or the Caymans? I would like something that I could also use for snorkeling which, I assume, would be the same.

There seems to be quite a few types of materials and styles that can be somewhat confusing for someone new to the sport.

TIA

dalehall
04-30-2007, 01:48 AM
If budget is of no concern, I would go with a 3mm Henderson Hyperstretch. Best feeling wetsuit I've ever worn. Shorty or full length would be your choice in the waters you are planning on visiting. Either will work fine.

Sarah
04-30-2007, 01:49 AM
Captain,

A 3 mil one piece jumpsuit should work fine for the Caribbean. The really stretchy material wetsuits are quite comfortable, like the Henderson hyperstretch.

Pinnacle has a stretchy version that also is excellent.

But we'll expect a trip report and photos from your next dive excursion, and tell your Mrs. she's welcome here too!

I am editing the post because Dale was typing the same recommendation but just hit the post button a few seconds before me. I guess great minds think alike! ;)

dalehall
04-30-2007, 01:57 AM
I guess great minds think alike! ;)

I guess they do.. :D

Capt. St.Zoomer
05-01-2007, 06:36 PM
Thanks for the replies. I can't quite decide if I want to buy the "best" right now or a "cheapo" to see how things go. However, looking at the prices, the cheapest don't seem to be much of a bargain and I've always found that it is more economical to "bite the bullet" and get the best right at the start.

BTW, *D*, nice website, especially for someone like me who is just starting out--lots of interesting info. I also like flying and am using a picture of the plane I used to own as my avatar--a 1974 Cherokee Warrior--I had lots of fun with that plane. :)

Zero
05-01-2007, 11:34 PM
If the budget allows get a custom made one. They fit much better than an off the rack one and can have extra bits added while its in production. Get pockets or pee zips put into the design of it not stuck on as an afterthought.

Matt

dalehall
05-02-2007, 01:29 AM
BTW, *D*, nice website, especially for someone like me who is just starting out--lots of interesting info. I also like flying and am using a picture of the plane I used to own as my avatar--a 1974 Cherokee Warrior--I had lots of fun with that plane. :)

Thanks Capt. I enjoy working on my site and it's makes it worth my time when newer folks like yourself read my info. That's the whole reason it's up there. Warriors are nice airplanes. There are a couple in our local EAA chapter.. Not near as squirrley as my Dad's "Trauma-Hawk." LOL..

Bill22
02-22-2008, 12:58 PM
I'm sure you've bought a suit by now, so it's all moot, but just for the sake of discussion and to offer another point of view for others who will look at this topic.(I loved debating when I was in school :))

If you're only diving a few times a year, I think a cheap one would be ok. The low end suits from the major manufacturers work fine.

I agree that for the tropical destinations, a 3mm will work just fine. I wear a full suit and I have my hood with me just in case I start to get a little cold. Cold tolerance can be very individual. Personally after 3 or 4 days of 4-5 dives a day, I can start to get a little cold even in 85F water.

I have an Akona 3mm Jumpsuit that I bought for less than a $150 bucks last year. I'm hard on suits. I did over 70 dives in 5 months and it held up fine. I'm diving a drysuit now that it's winter, but I expect to get at least another 40 or 50 dives out of it later this year between going on trips and diving here in Japan when the water temp warms up again. That's less than a buck per dive!

Based on the amount of diving you do, the type of diving you do (ie. deep or shallow, beach or boat, etc...) and how well you take care of the suit, you're probably going to be getting a new suit every couple of years anyway :)

By the way I hear Henderson Hyperstretch is a great suit, I may buy one for my next suit :D

Mountain Dog
02-22-2008, 04:59 PM
Here's a slightly different take on the Henderson Hyperstretch. I have four wetsuits - Bare, Pinnacle, O'Neill, and a Henderson Hyper. Each of these suits has at least a few dozen dives to it's credit. The one that looks the most worn is the Henderson. The outer material is pilling up quite a bit and the edging on the cuffs is fraying. The other suits still look off-the-rack new.

Also, because of the super-stretchy nature of the suit, it compresses at depth more than less elastic suits. The lost insulating quality is noticeable, particularly on deeper dives.

That said, the suit does have it's place in my arsenal of dive gear. For warm shallow waters, it's a comfy suit that is easy to get on and off. But given the relatively high cost, I don't think it's the first suit someone should buy.

I don't have an Akona, but I have dive buddies who do, and they are happy. My personal favorite is my Bare. For about $150 bucks I have a suit that wears like steel, and fits like a second skin because of the wide assortment of sizes that Bare offers.

Mountain Dog

hbh2oguard
02-24-2008, 02:34 AM
Ok here's a new question: Does anyone have an Xcel? I'm looking at the SCS polar tri-density 9/7/6. I've always loved my body gloves, it's the only company I've ever used for all my different suits but I don't see any dive suits over 7mm. Do you know if they make suits over 7mm, I didn't see them on their site? Also right now I dive a 7mm and hooded vest how much warmer do you think the xcel would be?

acelockco
03-26-2008, 06:21 AM
I also like flying and am using a picture of the plane I used to own as my avatar--a 1974 Cherokee Warrior--I had lots of fun with that plane. :)


Good to meet you. Funny, I have been diving for years, and am just getting into flying.

Ace