You can dive in winter, too


Nurkowanie, Sporty wodne by Nina P., 13.12.2017
You may think that diving is purely a summer or warm zone activity. It's nice to dive when it's warm, but you should try it in winter, too.

Here in Finland, waters get very cold and often freeze in winter. The wind is quite strong at sea at this time of year, but when it's not windy, you can definitely dive and enjoy it!

Waters are refreshing, and visibility is often better than in summer since there is no algal bloom making the water cloudy. This is the time when you can enjoy clear waters and watch how the underwater - and overwater - worlds get ready for the winter.


Ice crystal at the lake of Iso-Melkutti in December

Importance of having good skills and equipment
As in many activities, you need to have right and appropriate equipment. When it's cold outside, it is essential for safety to have warm, intact and functioning equipment, as well as skills to use it properly.

Cold waters require almost always a drysuit. Even though drysuit isn't necessarily warm without a good undersuit, many people don't want to spend money on it. Depending on diver's thermal comfort limit, there are also different heating systems: battery driven heated vests, gloves, socks, etc. Yet, the most important thing is to have a proper undersuit first, and after that you can see what kind of extra systems you need.

If diving in Finland interests you or if you want to change warm waters' wetsuit dives to comfortable drysuit diving, register for our DRYSUIT COURSE. It's the easiest and funniest way to get to know this new diving equipment, and in addition, we talk a lot about other equipment and how to choose them. It's one of the most useful courses about diving in Finland.


Sunset over an icy lake

So what do you need?
1) A drysuit
, as we already mentioned. Choose a drysuit depending on the need, and definitely in right size. Think about what material is the best for the purpose. Get to know available models and different options. This can be done, for example, in our Varuste.net store where you can try on suits with front zip and back zip, different boot options and materials. Different manufacturors have different cuts, which means the best way to know what suit suits you best, is to come and try them on.

To give you an idea, here are my favorites:

Ursuit Softdura
Sporty‪»Nurkowanie‪»Suche skafandry‪»
Ursuit Softdura
2 239,90 €
(7)
Dostępny w magazynie
Santi E.Lite
 
Sporty‪»Nurkowanie‪»Suche skafandry‪»
Santi E.Lite
2 819,90 €
(2)
Dostępny w magazynie


These suits represent durability, low-maintenance materials and high-quality cuts which make them comfortable and easy to use. Both of these models have a plastic front zipper so that I can open and close the suit myself. Thanks to the detachable hood, I can hear what people say to me before I dive into the water.

2) An undersuit. There are many kinds of undersuits, made of different materials and with many kinds of fillings. Same as drysuit, choose the undersuit depending on what kind of dives you are going to do in what environment. Notice that here in Finland, waters are always quite cold for diving. We can promise that you won't get hot in any of our suits, even in summer. It's a different case if you want (and I think you should want) very warm undersuit for winter, and a different undersuit for summer or for trips outside Finland (Red Sea in winter, Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean...) - a suit that you can manage with in water of +10-20°C.

For waters of +1-10°C and for very long dives in warm water, I recommend that you buy the warmest suit you can get.

I have bought the following suits for myself. For warm waters, I have Ursuit X-Tex Heavy. For colder waters, I have chosen Santi BZ400 X (Lady) (+ Santi heated vest if it gets way too cold). I have realised recently that I use the warmer suit almost every month of the year... The older we get, the more comfortable we want to be.

Santi BZ400X Ladies First Undersuit
Sporty‪»Nurkowanie‪»Ubrania ocieplające‪»
Santi BZ400X Ladies First Undersuit
od 619,90 €
(2)
Dostępny w magazynie


3) What to wear under the undersuit?
Merino wool, of course. For some reason, I have been diving for years with the assumption that technical underwear is the best. And I'm sure that a good one is quite alright. But after I started to use proper underwear made of merino wool, I would not wear any other underwear anymore.
According to (my) empirical research, one good woolen sock is better than a dozen of ok ones. Don't wear cotton socks! Choose either merino liners and wool socks, or just a pair of wool socks on bare feet. I recommend Woolpower 800g socks. I have a lot of them, so that I can find at least one pair when I go diving.


Devold Breeze Merino 150 Shirt Womens
Sporty‪»Na powietrzu‪»Odzież‪»Shirts‪»Podkoszulki‪»Women's‪»
Devold Breeze Merino 150 Shirt Womens
89,00 €
(46)
Dostępny w magazynie
Devold Breeze Merino 150 Longs Womens
Sporty‪»Na powietrzu‪»Odzież‪»Spodnie‪»Slipy‪»Long‪»Women's‪»
Devold Breeze Merino 150 Longs Womens
92,90 €
(37)
Dostępny w magazynie



4) Gloves / a hood?
I could write a long article about gloves, and about all the other equipment too, but briefly: dry glove is the most reasonable and safest choice. If you aren't used to dry gloves, they might feel very awkward and impossible to use at first. I promise that you get used to them if you just try patiently.

Under the dry glove, choose a liner glove depending on the water temperature. For warm waters, you need a thinner glove, and for cold waters, a thicker one. Choose the size in a way that the gloves are not too tight on dry land. It's the insulating layer of air and the warm material that keep you and your fingers warm. I prefer 5-finger gloves because I find them simple to use, but on the other hand, my friends who prefer dry mittens say that you learn to use them as well. With practise anything is possible.

Thickness of the hood. For summer and warm waters, you can have a hood of 5 mm. For winter and colder waters, choose a 10 mm hood. The hood should fit in a way that water doesn't get between the hood and your skin. The hood shouldn't be too tight either. How to know if the hood is too tight? It is simply uncomfortable and you can't open your mouth well. Shorty, snug-fitting is good, uncomfortable is not. Besides uncomfortability, a hood too tight can disturb blood flow and/or ear pressure stabilisation.

Blogger's choice: Gloves and hoods for summer and winter.
Si-Tech Quick Glove & Quick Clamp
 
Sporty‪»Nurkowanie‪»Gloves‪»Rękawice suche‪»Akcesoria‪»Pierścienie do suchego skafandra‪»
Si-Tech Quick Glove & Quick Clamp
79,90 €
(25)
Dostępny w magazynie
Hestra Heli Ski Liner 5-finger
 
Sporty‪»Na powietrzu‪»Odzież‪»Rękawiczki‪»Rękawiczki wewnętrzne‪»
Hestra Heli Ski Liner 5-finger
39,90 €
(49)
Dostępny w magazynie
Seacsub Standard Hood 5mm
Sporty‪»Nurkowanie‪»Kaptury‪»
Seacsub Standard Hood 5mm
35,90 €
(8)
Dostępny w magazynie


On the short days of Finnish December, you aren't ready to sleep when the sun goes down, the sky looks like this already after 2 p.m... It is beautiful though, I cannot deny that.

Oh well. This post became quite long - as you can see, you need a lot of equipment for scuba diving - especially if you dive throughout the year both in Finland and in warmer countries. But think this way: If you enjoy spending a big part of your time in an environment in which humans can't survive / be safe without an appropriate equipment, you really need to invest in proper one.

Comfortability, fitting, appropriateness, skills to use the gear. They take you a long way, or at least under water.

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