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Spearfishing wetsuits make a phenomenal difference when you first switch to them.
A lot of people come to spearfishing from other walks of life like surfing etc. As such they naturally use what they have handy to get started while they test the waters and see if its right for them. Most people will start using an old surf wetsuit, a 5mm & 3mm winter suit is very common. If you are one of those people and are wondering if buying a spearfishing specific wetsuit is really worth the money then this is what you can expect.
In the UK 99% of spearos will wear a 5mm wetsuit (the hardcore winter divers may switch to a 7mm when the temp drops). Right now you are probably thinking that your surf suit is 5mm so there wont be much difference – very wrong. The main difference is that spearfishing wetsuits are made up of 2 parts, farmer john style trousers that continue up over the torso and held up with shoulder straps like thick dungarees. over that you will also have a hooded wetsuit top.
This means over your core you actually have 2 layers of 5mm wetsuit material giving you 10mm thickness over your torso, this keeps you very very warm. The hood also obviously keeps the heat in, we all know the head loses a great deal of body heat.
The second major difference is the type of neoprene used. Many water sport wetsuits like surf suits are design to used on the surface of the ocean not below it. Spearos spend most of their time fully submerged in the ocean, and this extracts heat from the body much much quicker. At 10m under water a surf suit will be paper thin and prone to damage. A good spearo suit will retain its thickness and thus warmth at these depths and well beyond.
A good spearfishing wetsuit aims to have the perfect balance between stretch (ie comfort), resistance to pressure and durability.
In a surf suit during summer (in the UK, 14 degree temp), you can probably last 60 – 90 mins submerged in a surf suit before the shakes kick in and you need to get out, no matter how resilient you are to the cold. In a two piece spearfishing wetsuit that will increase to 6 – 8 hours before the cold forces you out, a pretty big difference!
So to answer the question of if this upgrade is right for you, it simply comes down to how long you want to spearfish for.
Warmth is the major consideration however there are other factors to bear in mind.
Loading pads – spearo wetsuits have a padded chest area to stop those bruises.
Padded knees and elbows – we tend to find ourselves crawling up all manner of rocks and nasty terrain when trying to get out for a rest, these could damage a surf suit but spearfishing suits are far more resilient.
Camouflage – looking for that extra edge?
Open cell verses closed cell (nylon lined) neoprene. The difference between the two is that closed cell has an extra layer of nylon on the inside of the wetsuit. That is done to make the wetsuit much easier to put on. Open cell suits must be wet and soapy to help them slide on otherwise its a right nightmare. Closed cell can be dry and slide on easily regardless. Open cells are said to be slightly warmer however personally I can’t notice the difference. I also hate putting on wetsuits so a closed cell for me is a dream however that said 99% of the people (in the UK at least), use open.
Are all wetsuits the same?
Most people don’t know that the majority of wetsuits you see online are made in the same set of factories in China, or if they are not put together there, then you can trace the manufacturing of the neoprene back to those same factories. This isn’t a bad thing per say, but many brands will go to lengths to convince you their suits are better/warmer then the others when in reality they are pretty much identical.
We try to stay away from that game and as with everything we stock, we only focus on the real performers that we feel represent the pinnacle options in relation to quality and performance. They may well not be the cheapest option out there, but we are happy with that and wouldn’t compromise for anything.
Long john or high waist pants?
The long john pants are very common for colder waters like we have in the UK because they are a bit warmer due the two layers over your core. Never underestimate how important being comfortably warm is to your fun day out 🙂 The down side compared to the high waist wetsuit is that if you’re on a full day out, 4 – 8 hours worth of hunting then at some point you more than likely going to need a bathroom brake.
In the farmer johns you will need to take off your jacket so you can pop down the pants. With the high waist pants you can simply undo the buttons on your jacket and then ‘take care of business’.
While we would say most divers just pee straight into their suit, this can make your more susceptible to the cold. An alternative is to install a “pissette” which I’ll let you Google 🙂
As we mentioned above, the most common all year round thickness is 5mm but some people opt for a 5mm pants with a 7mm top, or just a full 7mm suit.
While the thought of the extra warmth is appealing there are some serious considerations to be made here. Namely, extra neoprene in the thicker suits will need extra lead weights on your dive belt for you to be able to spearfish properly.
Neoprene is incredibly buoyant so all divers need weights to help them dive to the bottom and stay there without floating back up. You will need more weight to become negatively buoyant with a thicker suit.
Extra weight just makes everything that little more awkward. From walking to your dive spot to cruising the ocean floor during a dive.
Also, over heating during the summer months will end your dive session just as quickly (if not quicker) as becoming too cold in the height of winter.
Finally landed in the UK and we distribute to the whole of Europe.
HECS have been thrust into the spotlight after applying some serious scientific investigation into the art of aquatic hunting. In brief the wetsuits block the electric signals emitted by the human body so we don’t trigger the fishes senses, rendering the user almost radar invisible through this new stealth technology. As well as spearfishing you can imagine the benefits in sharky waters.
We have not seen any real innovation in the wetsuit sector for well over a decade so this advancement is a genuine breath of fresh air.
ALL LIVING CREATURES EMIT AN ELECTRICAL ENERGY SIGNAL
Muscle movement, heartbeat and brain activity all cause the emission of faint electrical energy signals. An electrocardiogram (EKG) measures the electrical activity of your heart. An EKG is a common medical test that checks your heart by measuring the electrical activity. With each beat, an electrical impulse is produced, which the EKG reads. Muscle movement also produces electrical impulses: The larger the muscle, the more significant the impulse.
MANY MARINE ANIMALS CAN SENSE ELECTRIC SIGNALS
Species known to have electroreception include lobsters and crayfish, sharks, rays, eels, lampreys, ratfish, lungfish, sturgeons and some dolphins. This special sense allows those animals to detect electrical energy in the vicinity as a defense mechanism or for identifying prey.
HECS REDUCES THE HUMAN ELECTRIC SIGNAL
HECS StealthScreen reduces the electric signal emitted by the human body. HECS is designed to help you get closer to many marine creatures in their natural undisturbed state. HECS is made with a conductive carbon fiber mesh designed to reduce your electrical energy field. HECS is based on the Faraday Cage principle invented by English scientist Michael Faraday. A Faraday Cage is an enclosure made of a conductive grid that attenuates electrical fields.
Rob Allen wetsuits:
A very solid yet reasonably priced wetsuit that performs on every level. Does exactly what a spearfishing wetsuit should do but will outlast many others on the market. Very warm and very durable, the choice of many top spearo’s around the world.