choice of wetsuit? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 01-30-2012, 09:46 PM   #1
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Default choice of wetsuit?

I'm on the market for a wetsuit. There are a lot of different brands and types. I am going to be doing a lot of snorkeling. Should I get a Shorty, regular, thick, thin? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:21 AM   #2
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If you dive in Pensacola in the winter I suggest a 7 Mill farmer john with a hooded vest nothing less. Oh and two thermoses filled with hot water to pour down between dives will also help.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sealark View Post
If you dive in Pensacola in the winter I suggest a 7 Mill farmer john with a hooded vest nothing less. Oh and two thermoses filled with hot water to pour down between dives will also help.
To me cressi is a great brand and has awesome spearfishing stuff. Anyways, i live over in switzerland (yes, europe) and i have a 7mm here. I have used the 7mm on sunny days when the temp was down like 25 degrees F and was in the water for a good hour in a river. My face felt like it got botoxed, my lips were swollen, fingers and feet were fairly cold (water was prob pretty close to freezing) BUT i was really Warm with my 7mm long john cressi open cell suit! I don't feel cold quickly, but i think this should guve you an idea of how warm the suit kept me.
Other then this i'm not gonna give any advice, since i know nothing about pensacola in the winter.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:52 AM   #4
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I have been diving a 5mm all winter and I am still pretty comfy. I have built up a nice “winter coat” that I need to start running off though.
What suit you go with is going to depend on when you plan on getting in the water. Just be sure and look around the local shops and try them on to make sure they fit comfortably before you buy. Especially, if you go with a 5 or 7 mm. +1 for the setup Sealark suggested.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:22 AM   #5
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I use a 1mm for summer snorkling (to keep jellyfish off of me). I switch to a 3mm when it gets cooler. When it gets real cold (water temp 62 degrees or below) I use a 5mm with a hood. All of these are one piece suits (hood not attached). If you really want to stay warm, the 7mm with hooded vest is a solid idea. However, for snorkling, you will need a Buick strapped to your back to sink that much neoprene . I can kick down to depth with a 5mm on and no weight. It's the staying down that is a chore.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
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For winter, no matter what thickness you're wearing, opt for the hooded vest. Best comfort and warmth for the money. I wear a 5mm farmer john with a hooded vest (totaling 15mm on my chest) and stay warm year round. Its warm enough to not need the hood when I'm diving in the springs (68 deg).

For summer, I wear a Ripcurl 3mm fullsuit. I wouldn't bother with the shorty, it won't protect you from jellyfish or any reefs that may scratch your arms or legs. It is warm and also very flexible, which is nice for spearfishing. You can also add the hooded vest if its cold, but not enough to use the big 5mm. I feel kind of like the Michelin man when wearing the big suit

Last edited by aquatic argobull; 01-31-2012 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:29 PM   #7
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If money is no obsticle go get two suits for summer and winter. For me I just use the 7 mill top in the summer. Then for me I will have to get a new top every other year. Oh and this year has really been a warm one. Never seen the temps in the mid 60s in feb.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:43 PM   #8
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I surf and dive/spearfish. I have found that as far as brands and styles go, even if just diving, get a wetsuit designed for surfing as opposed to diving. They are designed to allow more movement, and typically have softer and higher quality neoprene. I stay warmer and more comfortable in them.

I use a 3mm most of the year and a zipperless 5mm in the winter (you enter the suit through the armpit, hard to get into but no water leaks at all, warmer than many 7mil I have worn.)

As far as brands I like Ripcurl Ultimate Elastomax series the best. They have held up for years for me and still are good. Excel makes good suits also. Remember you get what you pay for with suits so if you are serious about diving for a few years I'd save up and get a good one.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:57 PM   #9
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Just remember any wet suit compresses 1/2 its thickness every 33 ft. So if diving to 99 ft a one piece 5 mill suit will be approx. 5/8 of 1 mill, Not much insulation from a sheet of paper.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:00 PM   #10
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I dive a 1mm wetsuit in the warmer half of the year with a "skin hood," and a drysuit and 7mm dry hood when it is colder.

The 7mm hood makes it hard to hear, but that's ok. Some of my dive buddies yak too much.
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