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Novice divers often ask us: Can I dive without a wetsuit? Although the correct question should be: Is diving without a wetsuit a good idea? In today’s article, we see why scuba divers use wetsuits, and what happens when diving without neoprene. So, you will be able to decide for yourself whether or not you should do it.
Is Diving Without Neoprene a Good Idea?
We fully understand that with the summer heat at the Dressel Divers bases located at the heart of the Caribbean Sea, where the weather is ideal all year round, more than one diver feels the temptation of diving without a wetsuit and dive, simply, wearing a t-shirt and a swimsuit. Yes, of course, it is possible in a context like the one we have indicated above, but what consequences can this have for you? Let’s see.
Diving Without Neoprene Leaves Your Body Unprotected from The Cold
Wetsuits were born to keep body heat, which is lost 25% faster in water than on the surface.
As we explained in the article: Scuba Wetsuit Thickness Guide: How to Choose the Perfect One for Your Dives Neoprene diving suits allow a thin layer of water between our body and the wetsuit. Our skin heats the water, so we don’t get cold.
You may have a high cold tolerance. If you are the kind of person, which doesn’t feel cold, even for a longtime swimming on the beach, that’s right, but do not be complacent about it either. The water temperature can be warm due to the high temperatures of the summer. However, the surface temperature is not the same at the shore as it is at 20 meters / 65 feet depth.
As far as you descend, so does water temperature, and you don’t want to suspend a dive just beginning it because you are frozen, right? Furthermore, diving in the Caribbean is not the same as in the North Pacific, no matter how good a summer it may be. The thickness of your suit will depend on the temperature of the water.
So, read our Scuba Wetsuit Thickness Guide and follow your instructors’ advice.
Diving Without Neoprene Leaves Your Skin Exposed
To what? You will say. There are many possibilities: the edge of corals and fire coral, jellyfish, sea anemones, or any underwater critter, stone, or surface that stings or causes reactions on the skin. In addition, you must keep in mind, the skin softens in the water, and it is much more susceptible to injury with.
On the other hand, even when diving without a wetsuit, you will have to carry the rest of your diving gear, but without the anti-chafing mattress that the wetsuit supposes. That is another reason why diving without wetsuits is not a good idea. If the fabric burdens you so much, you can choose lycra suits, just 1mm thick. Of course, they do not conserve the heat like a 3mm neoprene does. 3mm is the thickness we use to scuba dive in the Caribbean Sea.
Diving Without Wetsuit Difficults Buoyancy Control
Diving Without Wetsuit affects Buoyancy Control
Haven’t you thought about it? If you usually dive fully equipped, diving without neoprene, you will have to compensate your neoprene positive buoyancy. So, you will have to take weights off your belt, or you will be overweight. Not doing so will make it harder for you to maintain neutral buoyancy. You will have to add more air to the vest.
Therefore, you will be much more exposed to pressure changes. Why? We explain everything in this article: 3 Secrets of Buoyancy Control to Dive as An Expert Diver.
Now you know the consequences of diving without a wetsuit. Our PADI Course Directors discourage diving without a wetsuit, but it is up to you.