Much of the advertising one sees for diving involves warm water and divers in swim suits or thin wetsuits. It can be a bit of a shock to those divers who were certified in warm water to make a pilgrimage to a cold water location. For those of us who dive and teach in much of the northern hemisphere, talking about the differences is much like talking about how to choose a mask.
We are often asked about the differences between diving wet and diving dry. Other than the obvious answer – “you don’t need to dry anything but your hair after the dive” – there are some key differences.
- Warmth. This is probably the most important reason to decide to dive dry. You know that neither a wet suit nor dry suit actually keeps you warm. What they do is slow the amount of heat loss. Wet suits do this using a layer of neoprene and a thin layer of water trapped between that and the skin. Dry suits use air and a combination of undergarments. No water to take heat away if a seal is lost and allowed to flush through the suit. With dry suits you can add layers of insulation to slow the loss of body heat.