And just like that, October is upon us and fall is in full swing. Unless you live in Florida, temperatures are slowly dropping and the weather is starting to change. Sadly it's time to say goodbye to those thinner wetsuits, lighter weight pockets, and overall "easier" diving. In fact, many divers just give in to this change in temperatures and hang up their dive gear until next year! Our goal at Underseas Scuba Center is to help you NOT do that. We want to see you enjoy diving all year round so we've compiled our list of ways to stay in the water all the year through.
5 Ways To Keep Diving In These Colder Months
1. Correct Exposure Protection
Having the appropriate thickness wetsuit or dry suit is the most important factor in diving through the colder months. Whether you just need to upgrade from a 3mm to 7mm wetsuit to keep in the water this winter season or invest in a dry suit system, having the correct type of exposure protection will ensure your comfort when the water and air temperatures drop. Follow this chart's guidelines for choosing the right exposure suit to match the temperature of your local divable body of water.
2. Use A Steel Cylinder
Using a steel cylinder may not be something most divers think of to help them continue diving in the winter, but as you increase the thickness of your neoprene suit, or start using a dry suit, you become more buoyant in the water. With increased buoyancy comes the need to add weight to your weight belt, making additional work in carrying that extra weight. Why not make your life easier by putting the extra weight into your cylinder by using a steel, instead of aluminum, cylinder. Using a steel cylinder is like adding 5-8 pounds onto your weight belt as they are negatively buoyant both full and empty. An added benefit is that most steel cylinders have a higher fill pressure rating than aluminum, allowing you access to more air on your dive and letting you stay down longer.
3. Proper Accessories
When the water temps drop, you may have to add extra accessories to your gear that you normally wouldn't use in the summer months. This may include a hood or hooded vest, dive boots (3mm or 5mm), and thicker dive gloves. If you switch to using a dry suit you'll need a whole list of additional accessories that you normally wouldn't use with a wetsuit. Make sure to get advice from your local dive store like us at Underseas Scuba Center to make sure you have all the accessories you need.
4. Ensure Proper Fit
Nothing makes you feel colder than water flushing in and out of your wetsuit; or worse yet, your dry suit! Having gear that fits you properly is just as important as having the correct thickness exposure suit. You want a wetsuit that fits nice and snug and that all neck and wrist seals on your dry suit are snug against your skin.
5. Stay Warm On Land
You are guaranteed a chilly dive if you start the dive off feeling cold. Make sure, before your dive, that you are keeping yourself warm beforehand during gear set up or the boat ride out. Invest in a thick, warm dive or "swim" jacket. These are usually hooded, fleece lined jackets that are extra long. Also, consider gloves and a knit hat for your head.
So, don't get discouraged as the air and water temperatures begin to fall. By following these 5 steps you can enjoy a full year of fun diving.