As its name states, a dry suit will keep you dry inside water. You may wonder why. The reason is that you need to keep your body temperature. Some waters or seasons are too cold for using a wet suit. Also some activities, that are more static (like sub aquatic photography), will required more insulation than more energetic ones.
Even divers with a lot of experience diving with wetsuits find it challenging to use scuba dry suits. Some say that is like learning to dive again.
But let’s have a look at the main issue with this type of equipment: air. Dry suits are filled with air. It is precisely this air between the suit and your skin which helps maintaining your body temperature (as you already may know, water absorbs 25 times faster the body heat than air).This air in your suit means some trouble when trying to control your buoyancy. As any other airspaces, they are compressed when pressure under water gets higher, which causes folds, squeezes and pinches. No worries here. There is an easy way to prevent this: just let some air in the suit through the appropriate valve (in most suits is the one on your chest) as you descend.
It could also happen that you are distracted by something that gets your attention in the bottom or a bit deeper than you are currently in. Naturally and guided by curiosity instead of security, you got for it head down. What occurs then, is that all the air goes to your feet and expands (as the pressure there is smaller because they are the highest point). So you are suddenly and steadily pulled up and you struggle to regain control of the situation. (A quick ascend can cause decompression sickness, DCS which can be lethal if not addressed immediately) Don’t panic! The solution is simple: bring the air to the upper part of your body so you can release the excess of it. The trick is to roll yourself in a ball and then turn till your head is up. In that position, use the valve in your arm.
Scuba dry suits are fantastic tools to help you have a great diving experience in situations in which a wetsuit would not be sufficient, like sub aquatic archaeology or exploring shipwrecks. Our only advice is that you make sure you follow the appropriate training and certification before you get yourself in one and that you acquire the necessary practice.
Amalia Perez is an amateur diver that provides useful information for people like her that are just learning to dive http://scubadrysuits.blogspot.com/ Check out more at http://scubadrysuits.blogspot.com/2009/06/dive-skin.html
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