Introduction To Dry Suit Diving

Dry Suit Diving

by Jerry Otte (PADI Master Instructor)

Even though most of my dives are now done in a dry suit, I stubbornly stayed with my wetsuit well into my career as a scuba instructor. Like most divers, I learned to dive in a wetsuit. Although I struggled to get into my wetsuits with the rest of my diving friends, I became very comfortable in my wetsuits and eventually mastered weighting and buoyancy.

Dry suits scared me for several reasons, including what seemed to be the added complexity of diving dry. The dry suit had extra parts my wetsuit did not have. I needed extra hoses on my regulator, special valves, an undergarment, more weight, and maybe even a different BCD or set of fins. Buoyancy seemed even more complex, which stories of divers getting inverted did not help.

So I clung to my wetsuit until the father of one of my students insisted that I certify his daughter in very early spring. The water was very cold that weekend, so cold that his daughter suffered a mild case of hypothermia. That is when I decided to invest in a dry suit and learn how to dive it. Today, I rarely dive in anything but a dry suit unless I am on a trip to a tropical destination.