zaterdag 28 september 2013

Choosing Wetsuits

Here around the Gili Islands the customers are mostly diving in a 3mm shorty wetsuit. But it is good to have your own one. Here a nice article about wetsuits: The metric unit used to measure wetsuit thickness. A 3mm Wetsuit would mean the wetsuit rubber measures 3mm thick in all areas of the wetsuit. Wetsuit Thickness (or "Density): The density or thickness in millimeters, of the rubber in a wetsuit. The thicker the rubber, the warmer the wetsuit. Wetsuits usually have two density numbers (for example: 3/2mm) The first number (3mm) refers to the "core body" thickness of the wetsuit that covers your chest, stomach and back. The second number (2mm) is the thickness of the rubber that is covering your extremities like your legs and arms. Example: A 3/2mm fullsuit would mean: 3mm neoprene rubber on the chest, stomach, and back and 2mm rubber on the arms and legs. Wetsuits are constructed in multi-densities for several reasons. 1. Your body will stay warmer for a longer time with your "core" (chest, back) insulated in thicker rubber. Also, in most watersports, your core does not move as much as your arms and legs, so thicker rubber in the torso area is not noticed. 2. Your extremities (arms and legs) do not need to be as insulated as your core. Plus, most watersports tend to require flexibility in your arms, legs and neck. Therefore, the rubber in these areas is often thinner and, as a result, more flexible. Essentially, you are giving up a little bit of warmth in favor of flexibilty and ease of movement. (All things being equal, the thinner the rubber, the more flexible and pliable it is on a wetsuit). Wetsuit Seams: Seam construction is an important factor in selecting a wetsuit. Cold water temps (under 13 degrees Celsius) need sealed seams to keep in the warm water your body is heating and the cold water out of the suit. Currently there are 3 major types of seams available on wetsuits, flatlock, glued and blind-stitched, and glued, blind-stitched and taped. There are many types of wetsuit seams: Flatlock Stitching: Recommended for warm water above 13 degrees. The fabric is layered where the seam meets and stitched completely through to form the seam. This seam looks like railroad tracks. The interior seam construction is flat on both sides. Some water may seep in through these seams. Glued and Blind-stitched: Also referred to as GBS (Short for Glued and Blind-stitched). Recommended for cold water 13 degrees and up. This construction is best for cold water because the seams are glued, then stitched. It looks similar to Flatlock stitching, but is narrower in width. Very little water will seep through these seams. Sealed & Taped: (Glued Blindstitched & Taped) Recommended for very cold water 13 degrees Celsius and below. Same construction as above plus interior seam taping. Tape can be fabric tape, rubber "liquid tape", or neoprene tape. The tape reinforces seams for added durability, and prevents any water from seeping through. These features are commonly found on very cold water suits and most high end suits. Water Temperature Range: The suggested water comfort range that the wetsuit is used in. This is a general guideline only. Many factors need to be taken into account when selecting a wetsuit for specific conditions. Some include: wind-chill, length of use, water temp, air temp, type of activity (kitesurfing, jet skiing, surfing, kayaking, etc.) If you are unsure, always go a little thicker on the gear. It is always better to be a little warm, than cold! Different activities have vastly different effects on how warm you stay for how long. With surfing for example, it is a very aerobic activity, so your body will stay warmer longer than an activity like scuba diving which you are completely submerged and not moving very fast. Wetsuit Neoprene: The rubber product used in wetsuits. Wetsuit neoprene is laminated in hundreds of styles and fabrics. It is very easy to be confused by the selection available to the consumer. However, there are really only a few things you need to know. Wetsuit neoprene can be broken down into a few categories. 1.Standard Neoprene: This neoprene features nylon fabric on both sides with rubber sandwiched in the middle. Standard neoprene is the least expensive neoprene and offers minimal stretch. Entry level suits can be 70-100% standard neoprene. The benefit of standard neoprene is that it is very durable and does not break down as fast as super stretch neoprene. 2."Skin" Neoprene: You can instantly determine mesh skin neoprene by its "rubber" like appearance. Skin neoprene has Nylon laminated to one side of the rubber only. The other side is the exposed rubber. Skin is extremely warm because it doesn't hold water like Nylon fabric. The Nylon fabric that regular neoprene is laminated with holds water it cools and evaporates while you are wearing it. This is called evaporative cooling. Because rubber skin does not hold water on the outside, there is no evaporative cooling on your skin. Plus, skin neoprene is wind chill proof. Wind cannot penetrate the rubber surface. This makes skin very warm. The downside to skin is its durability and flexibility. Even the best skin is not nearly as stretchy as superstretch nylon neoprene. And because it is exposed rubber on the outside, it is vulnerable to rips, tears and punctures. Skin is used mainly in the "core" torso area of wetsuits like chest and back panels. Skin is used in the torso because it aids in keeping your "core" warm during extended sessions. In addition, some cold water gloves, hoods and boots are made from skin because they are so warm and beneficial in cold water and cold wind-chill causing air. Skin can be regular, superstretch, or speed skin. Speed Skin is very smooth skin used on all triathlon wetsuits. 3.Stretch Neoprene: Superstretch neoprene is the most flexible neoprene available. Suits made from superstretch neoprene offer incredible flexibility and minimial resistance while moving. They fit extremely well because they stretch to fit each persons unique body shape. An added benefit is superstretch wetsuits are also extremely easy to get in and out of. Many wetsuits feature superstretch panels designed to offer freedom of movement when in use. Superstretch panels are used under the arms, on the shoulders and around the neck of most surfing wetsuits. This enables the wearer to paddle and move without resistance while paddling. Wetsuit Stretch: Superstretch suits come in many different types so the easiest way to classify them is by the percentage of superstretch rubber used in the construction of the wetsuit. The superstretch is placed strategically for maximum flexibility, usually in the underarms, shoulders, knees, crotch, back and thighs. Simply put, the more stretch in a wetsuit, usually, the more it costs on the rack. To keep prices down on certain lower to mid-range priced models, wetsuit manufacturers use combinations of standard and superstretch neoprene.

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