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SpaceRacer
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Drysuit questions

Postby SpaceRacer » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:13 am

Hi,

Just purchased an OR Pyro:

1) What are you folks wearing under your drysuits?
2) I've heard that pulling the gaskets up high (to the fleshy part of both your wrists and ankles works well). True?
3) Any other tips or tricks for the endless summer?

JP

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El Rudo
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Re: Drysuit questions

Postby El Rudo » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:28 am

Hi SpaceRacer,
Good choice to go OR for the dry suit.
I'm in my third dry winter now, here some tips that go for any brand dry suit:
> don't overdo it on the layers. OR sells a rather warm overall, for me that's too hot.
In temperatures of 5-10 °C I go with a thin jogging pant and thin ski-undergarment on top, sometimes with a cotton sweater. Don't wear cotton on your skin as you'll stink up your car afterwards.
When it's colder I start adding layers, ski undergarment pants and maybe an extra sweater.
Look at air temperature rather than water temperature, unless you're a beginner laying in the water all the time.
> Pull your ankle and wrist seals a few cm past the joint, to where the leg/arm is thinnest. Make sure you have high boots to go over the seals to avoid spray to enter your suit.
> Other tips:
- lube the zipper with zipper wax every two or three sessions, get it from OR or a dive shop
- try to avoid operating the zipper with sand in it
- squeeze out as much air as possible after you closed your zipper by squatting and lifting the neck seal. This will improve swimming a lot.

There's a very good donning video for the surf dry suit (it's a 2 layer version, still some very useful stuff in there for your Pyro), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utM7NbRGF9k
and the manual that came with your suit can be found here:
http://oceanrodeo.com/images/uploads/ki ... __2005.pdf

If you have more questions feel free to post them here or on the OR forum. Enjoy the dry ride!

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Re: Drysuit questions

Postby cookiemonster » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:27 pm

Also don't forget to rinse your drysuit with fresh water after a session.
It's to extend the life of the gaskets more than for the fabric
With warmth and time, the salt on the rubber create a chemical reaction that alter the rubber and it becomes more fragile and sticky. You can notice the change after a few winters!

I got this tip from the diving shop where I had to change the gaskets one by one!
Divers always rinse their equipment after use.

Stephane
www.SeaThroughBoards.com

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Re: Drysuit questions

Postby Woody71 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:22 pm

Also, use french chalk (very fine, un scented talcum powder) on your seals, inside and out, helps stop the seals from rotting and acts as a lube when putting the suit on. You may look a little antiqued but that first dip soon sorts that out.

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Clarencephil
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Re: Drysuit questions

Postby Clarencephil » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:37 pm

I also have a Pyro

Beside what is suggested above, you can also wear neoprene pieces underneath when it gets colder, such as a neoprene short sleeeve vest or neoprene shorts, or even a shorty.
As long as your core is warm, the extremities should be OK

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Starsky
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Re: Drysuit questions

Postby Starsky » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:05 pm

Neoprene under your drysuit?

Go with the lightweight, comfort, mobility and dry feeling of wicking performance materials.

Thin polypro or similar long johns and shirt with varying thickness of fleece overtop depending on WATER temp.

Be cautious of underdressing in spring. If you spend any amount of time in the water when is really drysuit worthy you will be glad to have the polar fleece layer thick enough to stop the water from sapping your core warmth. I have had a long swim once in spring with only a light wicking layer on and it was not enough to keep my core warm despite being dry. Could feel the cold right through it. Had to swim pretty hard just to keep my breathing from getting shallow. Feet and hands were numb as posts by 20 min and it took about 40 to get to shore. Spring can be misleading when its sunny 12-15 degree air but freshly thawed water. I havent used a single layer since, but definitely go with thinner stuff in fall when the water is warmer.

Not sure about the neoprene! Probably works just fine for warmth but its more restrictive than Fleece PJ's and why get all clammy when there are such great wicking materials easily available.

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El Rudo
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Re: Drysuit questions

Postby El Rudo » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:00 pm

Starsky you correctly mentioned the water over air temperature - I mostly ride knee deep water and stay within 100 or so meter to the beach in winters, hence the air temperature for comfort. When you are venturing out to deeper/colder water/longer swim hazards do think safety over comfort!

SpaceRacer
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Re: Drysuit questions

Postby SpaceRacer » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:09 pm

Hey,

Thanks for these tips. They are great. And perhaps the best ones pertain to the safety aspect as opposed to the comfort aspect. I know that it is so easy, despite what time of year it is, to forget yourself: to be so jaded by sunshine and good winds that you forget how quickly a line can snap, a pulley can fail and then you are 1/2 mile off shore in deadly waters. I agree with dressing according to the water temperatures for safety over the air temperatures. Also, has anyone ever blown a gasket or know what happens if you do? Since this is my first drysuit, I was always under the impression you would be screwed, i.e. your suit fills with frigid water and you become a human sea anchor. Thoughts? Experience?

Paul

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Clarencephil
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Re: Drysuit questions

Postby Clarencephil » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:16 pm

Starsky wrote:Neoprene under your drysuit?

Not sure about the neoprene! Probably works just fine for warmth but its more restrictive than Fleece PJ's and why get all clammy when there are such great wicking materials easily available.


That's why I'm mentioning only small pieces of neoprene.
I'm not talking about a full wetsuit which would defeat the purpose
Anyway, works for me !

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Re: Drysuit questions

Postby Starsky » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:06 pm

Never heard of someone blowing out a gasket while riding. Not that it couldn't happen, but they are pretty well protected with the long cuffs on that suit and it would be really very flukey and as rare as many other hazards. Most times when a gasket fails its while putting on or taking off the suit. Other than that you would have to actually catch it on something and like I said they are pretty covered up. Even then, a small hole will not be as catastrophic as you might think. Water pressure would limit how quickly you take on water unless its a real big tear. The pyro is pretty bomber built. Always has been. Would think there is time enough to try and ride in with a few pounds extra in a leg. If your swimming, might be a serious issue, but Coast guard and Navy personnel use this type of gear so I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it.


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