It’s not just your dive kit that needs to be ready for the cold water, you need to keep yourself warm and cosy when the temperature starts to drop. Following the advice from Vobster Quay here is some common sense advice on surviving the worst that the winter can throw at you…
Thermal Protection – Whilst a semi-dry wetsuit might be OK during the summer, we recommend a drysuit during the winter months. If you must dive in a semi-dry (Chris aka Sparkles!), keep your dives short and shallow – we recommend a dive no longer than 20-30 minutes. Any longer than this and you could risk hypothermia. Know your thermal limits and stick to them. Currently we have a Massive Dry Suit Sale in the shop.
It’s worth putting some real thought into the sort of undersuit you wear under your drysuit too. The Fourth Element range offers a variety of options – you can’t get much warmer!
Hood & Gloves – It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by the amount of divers that turn up without these two vital items of equipment! During the winter months, we’d recommend a good 5mm fleece-lined hood and some 5mm neoprene gloves. For extra toastiness, a decent pair of dry gloves, such as the Kubi dry gloves, are a good investment.
Hot Food & Drink – To keep the winter chills at bay, tuck into a hearty breakfast containing lots of heat-generating carbohydrates to give your body fuel to burn throughout the day. After each dive, warm yourself up with a hot drink
Pre- & Post-dive – Stay warm before the dive. Heat loss is gradual and can start long before you get in the water. Try to stay warm between repetitive dives – standing around in wet gear between dives can add to your body’s loss of warmth through evaporative heat loss. Instead, get warmed up as soon as possible after a dive. Towel yourself dry, get into some dry clothes and then enjoy a hot drink!
Hot Shower, Anyone? – Although it may seem very tempting, jumping straight into a hot shower after a cold dive is not a good idea. The rapid increase in temperature can stimulate bubble formation, increasing your chances of a skin bend. Instead, towel off, change into dry clothes and get a hot drink!