Our country’s long coastline, stretching over 2500 kilometers, offers some of the world’s best scuba diving experiences. If you are a diving fan living in South Africa, especially near the coast, consider yourself lucky as you do not need to travel far to explore the best of the undersea world.
South Africa has numerous diving spots that offer diverse diving conditions and incredible marine life. No two dives are ever the same. Every dive guarantees a unique experience.
But, before you head out to the sea, you want to ensure that you are well prepped for the dive. One thing you ought not to forget is a wetsuit. Forget your sun block or shades, but not your wetsuit.
Scuba Diving Wetsuit: A Must
Yes. Wearing a wetsuit does make you look good on pictures (like a pro diver), but that’s not the reason you’re wearing one.
When you go scuba diving, your body is exposed to the cooling effects of water. Staying in the water for a long time may cause your body temperature to drop significantly, potentially leading to serious problems. A wetsuit works by trapping a thin layer of water between your body and the wetsuit; your body effectively warms this layer of water to a comfortable level thus your body temperature does not go down.
Aside from keeping you warm, a wetsuit helps maintain your flexibility and protects you from possible scrapes, stings or cut.
Choosing A New Wetsuit
Perhaps you know that wetsuits come in different thickness, material and style. When choosing a new wetsuit, consider one important thing – the water temperature where you will dive.
The average sea surface temperature at South Africa’s coastline is around 23 degrees, although water temperatures may vary in different parts or on different seasons. Ideally, you should get a 5 mm thick neoprene wetsuit. Others recommend a 3 mm wetsuit especially during summer or on warmer water.
You may also consider your body’s thermoregulation, or how easily you get cold. If you get cold easily, such as if you have skinny physique, you may consider a thicker suit with more neoprene for better warmth. But remember that the thicker and more neoprene you wear, the less flexible and more uncomfortable you become while scuba diving.
The construction and style of the wetsuit are other things you need to consider. They usually have to do with the durability and versatility, and the price too. The design details (such as colour combination) are often considered minor.
Price may vary depending on the style, construction, and brand. Some well known brands for scuba diving wetsuits are Billabong, Rip Curl, Quicksilver & Roxy, O’Neill, Xcel, HyperFlex, and Hurley.
If you are having a hard time choosing a new wetsuit, contact Scuba Scene. We’d love to help you!