Water takes away your body heat 25 times faster than air so it is crucial to choose the appropriate thermal protection when diving. A few dives in a wet suit in cold will diminish your abilities and efficiency seriously. Under 55ºF/16ºC a scuba dry suit is essential.
As its name states, the main function of dry scuba suits is to keep the diver dry. This is achieved through several seals that prevent the water from coming in. In addition to it many divers wear undergarments under scuba dry suits because they create layers of air inside the suit that improve thermal insulation. This means that a dry scuba suit can be used in a wide variety of water temperatures needing only to adjust the underwear type to go underneath. We must also consider when making the choice of underwear, the type and intensity of the activity we are planning to do and our body size.
Scuba dry suits are easier to put in and off than wet suits, but they also required specific and professional training (do not try to figure it out on your own!) and some practice to learn how to use them.
Scuba dry suits have a buoyancy control system incorporated to help you maintain neutral buoyancy. This is achieved through valves: an inflator valve (usually in the middle of your chest) and an exhaust valve (usually in the outside of your left bicep). On top of this, you must always wear a buoyancy compensator as a back up to guarantee you a surface flotation device (in the rare case that the one on the suit would not work). It is important to remember that it is very difficult to control both systems at the same time and to do so could distract you from the basic measures to have a safe dive, so do never use them together!
Tips about Scuba dry Suits
You may want to consider the following recommendations when planning to dive with a dry suit.
* Check your suit a few days before the immersion: make sure waterproof zippers, seals and valves are in good condition and if not send them to repair.
* When wearing the suit, your seals and neck seals must be correctly trimmed and adjusted. Latex seals are trimmed often till they are 15% smaller than your neck and wrist circumference. Neoprene seals need to be stretched over night: the neck on the widest part of the scuba tank and the wrist over a tin can.
* Use the minimum amount of weight possible to help you achieve neutral buoyancy.
* Make sure you choose a body that understands how your scuba dry suit works.
* Practice, practice and practice till it becomes a second nature for you.
More information on: http://www.immersionsuits.info