The neoprene wetsuit is the essential in scuba diving. Created in 1953 by Georges Beuchat, the wetsuit fulfills several missions, and among others, it protects the diver from the cold because underwater, the body cools down much more quickly than in the air.
The neoprene used by Beuchat is an eco-friendly rubber made from limestone. Its thickness for scuba diving use can vary from 1 to 8mm and the thicker the neoprene, the warmer it is!
But how do you know what thickness of neoprene to choose for your wetsuit?
Several parameters must be taken into account before making your choice:
Neoprene is a foam rubber that traps air bubbles. As you go deeper underwater, the air compresses. This means that it takes up less space. The neoprene of the wetsuit will therefore compress during the way down. The thickness of the neoprene of your wetsuit will decrease and you will have a thinner protection between your skin and the cold water. You should therefore choose thick neoprene suits for deep dives.
The longer you stay in the water, the more your body will be subjected to thermal aggression. It is very important to protect yourself from the cold when scuba diving. If your body cools down during your session, you will tend to move and kick more to warm up. As a result, you will consume more air, which can be a problem at the end of the dive.
The best thing to do if you start to feel cold is to tell your buddy or your dive instructor, and then to go back up a few meters to give more volume to the neoprene and thus to have a more important isothermal protection thanks to the neoprene that will thicken.
The last parameter to take into account is the temperature of the water in which you will dive.
Cold water: The water temperature is between 10° and 18°C.
You will need to choose a wetsuit with a thickness of 7mm. Choose the Focea Comfort 6, Med C-Zip, Semi Dry X-Trem, Optima or Alize wetsuits!
Temperate waters : The temperature is between 16° and 24°C. Choose a 5 to 6mm thick neoprene suit.
The choice is yours! The Focea Comfort 6, the Optima, the Alize are available in 5, 6mm!
Warm water: The water temperature is above 25°C. A 3mm thick neoprene wetsuit or a shorty will do!
This time, you will find your happiness with the Optima and the Alize available in wetsuit and shorty versions!
Think of combining your neoprene suit with a balaclava, gloves, booties or boots. You can also play with the layers of neoprene by adding a neoprene top, a sleeveless vest, or by adding a shorty over your wetsuit.