Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Choosing a Wet Suit

Wet suits have been around since the 1950s. Originally they were made from foamed neoprone, but now that material is usually sandwiched between layers of nylon or lycra. This not only provides more protection and insulation, it also allows a wide variety of colourful designs to be added to the wetsuit.

Almost all modern wet suits used for scuba diving use a method known as blindstitching to bind the seams together. This technique provides an excellent seal which is less prone to tearing than traditional methods. However many wet suits also use bonded seams for decorative and stylistic effects. Modern wetsuits are often made from materials such as spandex and even titanium fibres which is cut to an exact size using computer controlled water cutting machines. This allows for a very even finish which does not bulge.

Wet suits come in many different sizes. Winter wetsuits and wet suits used in very cold conditions are usually full length and cover every part of the body except for the face. For scuba diving in warmer water a "shortie" wet suit can be used which only covers the main torso.