Scuba Diving with a Dry Suit
Water covers about 70 percent of the earth and most of that water is either temperate or cold. For scuba divers, that means you have several choices when it comes to diving in most regions; don’t dive (never!), cut the dive short due to shivering and blueness of skin (What? And miss all there is to see?), struggle with a thicker than normal, extra bulky wetsuit or scuba dive in a dry suit (mmm… toasty warm).
Although diving in a dry suit is a little different from diving in a wetsuit, it isn’t difficult. You’ll just need to learn what kind of dry suit is best for the diving you do and how buoyancy control techniques differ slightly from those you use while scuba diving in a wetsuit. The best place to learn all this is in a PADI Dry Suit Diver
course conducted at your local PADI Dive Shop or Resort.
Here are some additional tips and suggestions for fun and enjoyable diving in a dry suit:
- Always make sure the entry zipper is firmly closed. If not, you’re diving in a poorly fitting wet suit, not a dry suit.
- If it's a warm day, put the dry suit on last so you don’t get too hot. If it's a cold day, put the dry suit on first, or at least the undergarments, to help you stay warm.
- Remember to include information on how to control the dry suit when completing your buddy check. That way your buddy can help you if necessary.
- You want to maintain a near horizontal position underwater (like a sky diver) so the air in the dry suit doesn’t end up around your feet. And, depending on the type of dry suit and kind of diving you’re doing, use your BCD for buoyancy control after equalizing the dry suit during your descents and ascents.
- Practice your dry suit diving buoyancy and emergency skills. Consider doing this as part of the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course.
- Adjust the amount of insulation or undergarments you wear under your suit based on the water temperature and your planned scuba activity.
- Carefully don and doff the suit to avoid tearing any seals. Fold or roll it according to manufacturer recommendations and consider completing a PADI Equipment Specialist course to learn additional storage and maintenance tips.
- Carry a roll of duct tape for emergency repairs.
- Have the dry suit serviced once a year or per manufacturer recommendations.