Whether you are an experienced diver in the tropics, thinking of exploring some
well-preserved wrecks or a total newbie to the underwater world, you will hear
the word ‘drysuit’ used a lot in cold water diving.
You may find that in the summer months, wetsuit diving is no problem, but as
winter rolls around and some of BC’s best diving is available, you may find that
no drysuit means no diving until the summer months.
Diving in a drysuit is not difficult, but does differ from diving in a wetsuit. The
PADI Drysuit Specialty Course teaches you about the technicalities of your drysuit, ways to
control your buoyancy and dealing with emergency procedures.
So what is a drysuit and how does it work?
Drysuits can be made from a range of several materials, with waterproof zippers
and silicon seals on the arms and neck to keep you dry. With most types of
drysuit, you will wear a thermal undergarment, to keep you toasty warm in the
cooler waters. Drysuits have an inflator valve on the chest to connect to your
tank, trapping air inside of the suit for insulation and buoyancy.
So does a drysuit keep you dry?
If used correctly YES! Regular zippers do not keep water out, so a watertight zipper is used on modern day drysuits. Drysuit zippers can be traced back to the U.S. Space Program where air-tight zippers were created for astronaut pressure suits. Drysuit seals are typically made from latex or neoprene. The seals create a watertight barrier between your neck/wrists.
What are drysuits made of?
Drysuit materials vary between manufacturers. The materials used could be
neoprene, vulcanized rubber, trilaminate and composite, but as with new
techologies, it is ever evolving.
Drysuits generally divide into two categories: neoprene drysuits and shell dry
suits, the difference being that neoprene provides insulation, but the shells
require undergarments for warmth.
The Fusion Drysuit
One of our favourite drysuits here at Rowands Reef is the Aqualung Fusion Drysuits
– the most innovative advance in drysuit technology in over 20 years.
What makes the fusion suits unique is their twin layer system – the internal inner core
is moulded to the body by the elastic outer skin, providing freedom of movement
whilst in the water. This beneficial for a diver both in and out of the water as:
- Its better than custom fit – The oversized inner combined with the skin compression layer moulds the suit to the individuals body shape, ensuring flexibility and comfort.
- The Two-Layer system distributes air flow inside the suit evenly, helping you maintain trim & buoyancy
- The two-layer skin system has 25% to 50% fewer seams, and with a replaceable out skin this allows for durability and longevity.
The Aqualung Fusion Bullet drysuit was originally designed for Canadian Special Forces Divers in extreme harsh conditions. . If it’s good enough for the Special Forces, it’s good enough for us! Check out the range of Fusion Drysuits available from Rowand's Reef here: