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Old 04-01-2017, 06:12 PM   #1
Dkintz
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new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

Im from New Hampshire heading into my second year spearfishing. Looking to upgrade the thermal protection and would appreciate some suggestions!

last year I started in May using a 3/2 wetsuit I had for surfing. water temp around then is 50-56F. With no hood or gloves I was usually able to last an 30mins-1hour (some of the colder days I actually got brain freeze and only last 10-15 mins).

Id like something I can use in maybe 40-68F (We usually only get high 60s water temp for a short window)

One suit that seems popular is the mako 5 mil. But I cant find a one piece online (which I would prefer).

Id like to stay away from the 7mil because Ive rented them for scuba and felt hot the whole dive.

Id like to find something around 200 if possible, but I understand you get what you pay for. Pretty much anything will be an upgrade from my old 3/2 that has small rips and holes in it. It helped a lot vs going bare skin but I'd really like some more comfort that can extend my season as well! Thank you!
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:32 PM   #2
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

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Originally Posted by Dkintz View Post
Id like something I can use in maybe 40-68F (We usually only get high 60s water temp for a short window)!
Id just like to add that I can handle extreme temperatures very well. Especially the cold. I know 28 degrees is a large range for one recommended thickness, but I can push the recommendations from what I've experienced using the 3/2.
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:42 PM   #3
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

I freedive in 50 degree water and that requires a 7mm wetsuit. There is no cheating that. If I were paddle boarding etc I could get away with less, however, not for freediving. After one hour in the water it starts getting cold. Freediving is about relaxing and you cannot relax if you are not as comfortable as possible. The scuba wetsuit that I wore was constricting, consisting of a 7mm double lined farmer john and top. Modern freedive suits are nothing like that. A two piece suit gives added warmth where you need it and an open cell wetsuit will give you the mobility to spearfish etc. You will end up needing a 5mm suit as well. Don't believe for one second you will last in 50 degree water or less with a 5mm suit. As it sounds like you will be new to open cell wetsuits check out the internet (this site and others) on how to put the suit on and take it off. Open cell neoprene is warm and flexible but very fragile. You will need to lubricate it with conditioner, soap or a suit lubricant. You will find a lot of posts on lubricants. You may find a used suit on this board. You will be money ahead by finding the closest freedive shop and getting advice. I have a garage full of stuff that I bought cheap and do not use from finding deals. Good luck.
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:14 PM   #4
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

I'm a spearo in Rhode Island what I do is use my 5mm closed cell surfing wetsuit with a hood, but to be frank I would go with the 5 mm mako wetsuit personally. My next purchase for spearfishing will be a mako 5mm.
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:08 PM   #5
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

Don't cheap out on a suit. Get it right the first time and it'll last 2 or 3 times longer and still keep you warm. Check out our Yazbeck 7.5mm or call us up and we'll get you into a Riffe 7mm. Tax free and 2 day free shipping.
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:04 AM   #6
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

For temps well below 50, you will be much happier with a 7 mm suit. For the summer, the 5 mm should be great. The thicker suits are going to require more lead, much more than the old 3/2 one piece

In cold water a one piece back zip suit can be an issue with water leakage at the back zipper and neck. A two piece freedive suit with an attached hood is the design you should look for.

To be honest,you will probably end up with two suits if you want to dive spring to Fall.
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:35 AM   #7
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

I've got a size large 5 mil Mako (new reef camo) suit I bought in November and used twice. It's way too warm for me in 65-68* water. I'll be posting it up for sale here when I get time but PM me if you're interested.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:04 AM   #8
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

I dive in November in Michigan with a Mako 5mm two-piece. The water can be mid 30s to mid 40s.

You should go with the Mako 5mm and see how you like it. You can always step up to a different suit down the road, but the Mako is exactly what I would recommend for a first freediving suit.

The biggest change for you is going to be lubing it up to get it on. Don't discount the idea just because it's different from what you're used to. You'll be surprised by how much more comfortable it is than the surf suit. Once you get your pre-dive protocol settled, it won't feel like you're spending more time getting ready than you did with the surf suit.
It's all about efficiency. For cold water, have a cooler with a laundry detergent bottle full of hot water and a 20oz full of hot water and about an inch of conditioner, (well shaken). When you get on-site, you dump the conditioner water into the two suit pieces, then get changed. Move with purpose so you don't end up putting on a cold suit.
When you get out, you've got all the other hot water to rinse the suit slime off of you. Then you get dressed as fast as you can and get in the heated car.

A nice big plastic tote makes a good shower stall to stand in, (between that and a car door, it blocks a lot of wind.) and it gives you a place to dump all your suit pieces so you can deal with it at home instead of standing in the wind longer.

Good luck.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:52 PM   #9
Dkintz
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

Thank you I'll definitely check that out. I live close enough to the beach I usually just drive home in the suit and wrap a towel around me. So they get pretty slimey from the conditioner? I have pretty sensitive skin too so I wonder how it will work out for me. are they easy to keep clean?
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:22 AM   #10
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

I used. 3/2 surf suit with a 4mm hooded vest for years before I got a cheap 7mm open cell. It worked but the real suit made it so much better. I've had great experiences with Neptonics. The lube is annoying but I just use a squirt of baby shampoo in a 32 oz water bottle with a hole poked it the lid.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:24 AM   #11
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

Also an unscrupulous scuba shop pushed me to use their "wetsuit conditioner" for lube. They said it was better for the suit. The only difference I've seen is it burns your eyes.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:19 AM   #12
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dkintz View Post
Thank you I'll definitely check that out. I live close enough to the beach I usually just drive home in the suit and wrap a towel around me. So they get pretty slimey from the conditioner? I have pretty sensitive skin too so I wonder how it will work out for me. are they easy to keep clean?
You need to get it slimey to get it on. When I first got my wetsuit, I put it on dry. Once. It was like getting indian burns every time I moved a limb. That rubber has a lot of friction against skin.

As for what kind of lube, I use whatever hair conditioner is cheapest at Walmart and has the faintest scent. Some people use baby shampoo. Some people use a "suit product" like suit slip. Some people swear by water. Whatever works for you.

As for cleaning, you just have to rinse it off when you're done diving. If it gets the super-funk, there are suit shampoos, but I haven't had a big problem with that. There are threads on here about it.
Again, I dive in the cold, so everything I do is geared towards getting done and in the car as fast as I can. When I get out, I get the tote and the hot water out of the back and stand in the door well of the car. I get the top of the suit off first, and pour some hot water over my head. Then I get the bottom off and take a minute to rinse myself off good with the rest of the water. Towel off, clothes on (cold wind, towel off faster. Clothes on FASTER). dump out any standing water in the tote, turn the suit right side out, so it doesn't tear and throw it in the tote.
When I get home, I rinse everything off in the utility sink in the basement and hang it inside out to dry. When it's dry, I turn it right side out again and put it away until the next trip.

The only thing that has gotten "offensive" is the wetsuit socks. All the suit soup drains there and they can get nasty. Wash it better or use some shampoo or soap when you wash it. There will probably always be the ghost of suit pee haunting the depths of your suit.

You just don't want to let the suit dry with the conditioner slime in it. It can glue itself together and rip when you try to pull it apart.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:08 AM   #13
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

Good description above. A solution for funky socks or dive boots and gloves is to make a drying rack for $12 worth of thin pvc pipe. You want to have some horizontal arms that connect to a 6 inch vertical piece​ , so the boot and glove sits more or less vertical and all the water drips out right away and the vertical pipe helps to keep it open for air circulation.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:02 PM   #14
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

Mike, thanks for sharing your routine. I'm not in nearly as cold of conditions, but am admittedly a pansy when it comes to temperature. I may have to use your post dive routine.

OP, Mike basically hit the nail on the head right there. Cleaning is not too difficult. All about rinsing and proper drying. The only thing I would add to his cleanup suggestion is Pine Sol. I don't use it after every dive, but every few or couple dives when I have my suit in my utility sink rinsing I fill the sink with water and Pine Sol and let it sit for a bit then rinse. Gets rid of the smell and any leftover piss/sweat/etc. Would also like to reiterate what Mike said about drying inside out. I have had a very expensive suit glue to itself due to improper drying. Avoid that and make sure it dries completely before turning it right side in.
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:37 PM   #15
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Re: new spearo wetsuit reccomendations?

Yes and his advice to turn the suit right side out for transport is spot on. I see people throwing suits in with other gear when turned inside out and the unprotected smooth rubber interior is vulnerable like that
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