WETSUITS AND DRYSUITS
Exposure suits, wetsuits, or drysuits, are crucial in allowing your body to maintain warmth by slowing heat loss while underwater. Diving without the right gear puts you at high risk because of how body temperature decreases faster when submerged in water. Interestingly, the exposure suits also give your skin protection from extreme light from the sun, although divers rarely notice it, which affects their skin. For a better insight into the exposure suits, check out the following.
What is a Drysuit?
As the name suggests, this suit keeps you completely dry by ensuring that water doesn’t get into the suit. Materials used to make this suit include foam neoprene, crushed neoprene, nylon, and vulcanized rubber. It’s completely sealed and utilizes a combination of wrist seals, a neck seal, and a waterproof zipper to keep you dry. Amazingly, these suits work by keeping an insulating layer of air in between your body and the suit, which is easily controlled by an inflator valve.
What is a wetsuit?
This particular suit provides thermal protection for divers and often works as per the principle that your body is the best source of heat. In an attempt to contain the heat underwater, this suit is made from closed-cell foam with numerous tiny gas bubbles trapped within the structure.
Differences between wetsuits and drysuits?
Wetsuits use a layer of water to keep the body insulated, while drysuits use a layer of air and are fully sealed to prevent water entry.
Wetsuits due to their skin-tight fit allow quick movement and comfort, while drysuits need to be dragged underwater because of the material they’re made from
In short, both wetsuits and drysuits are used for thermal insulation from cold water temperatures. The two are common for river surfing, standup paddleboarding, and wake surfing. Always ensure you are in an exposure suit before diving underwater.