When you’re diving in cold water, or water that you know will be at least cooler than the temperature of your body, thermal protection is almost always necessary. Even if you go swim in the warmest of tropical countries, you may still want to get thermal protection. This is because water gets colder the deeper that you go. This is exactly why people buy thermal protection suits, such as dry suits or wet suits. One more advantage of these suits is the fact that they can provide your skin some protection from UV rays that the sun produces. But when you are going for a swim or a dive in warmer waters, what kind of suit do you wear? Do you know what to wear scuba diving in warm water?
In scuba diving, the temperature of the water will also determine the kind of gear that you wear. Wearing a suit meant for cold water in warm water can also be problematic, because then you can overheat. Overheating in warm water is not good – you don’t want to be uncomfortable or feeling any symptoms of heat stroke when you are underwater. Thankfully, most water isn’t really that hot – chances are you will not find yourself in waters that are much warmer than 70F. Sometimes, it can get to temperatures of about 80, maybe 86C. Nevertheless, most people would likely prefer to wear clothing that would be more comfortable under the water.
If you want to learn more about what to wear for scuba diving in warm water, hang around to read more!
What to Wear for Scuba Diving in Warm Water
If you are ready to experience what the underwater world has to offer, then undoubtedly, you’ve already looked into scuba diving. Scuba is practically one of the most popular (under) water activities out there today. With this activity you can see so many creatures beneath the sea – from fish, to shellfish, to turtles, and even more. Let’s not forget the amazing seascapes full of coral and marine life.
However, just like any other sport or activity done in the water, you will need some equipment. After all, we humans are not amphibians, and as a result we clearly cannot survive or function underwater for very long. Even more important is the fact that with no equipment whatsoever we cannot dive very deep. Of course, there are exceptions such as those who are able to free dive for over 5 minutes to depths that normal average humans would not be able to reach. But of course, the people who can do this are few and far in between – and more often than not, they require a great deal of training before they can get to this point.
This is exactly why when scuba diving, most of us need equipment to help us breathe and see the life that exists under the surface. If you are new to scuba, we are here with a guide to help you figure out what kind of equipment you need for this fun activity.
The Diving Mask
When it comes to scuba diving and warm water, we can’t neglect to mention the diving mask. This piece of equipment is absolutely necessary whether you’re going diving in cold water or in warmer climates. Human eyes aren’t designed to see well beneath the waves. Add salt to the equation and you’ve got a recipe for really red, sore eyes, and bad vision underneath the surface! Swimming for a little bit without goggles or a mask is fine… but imagine going DIVING to depths of forty, fifty, sixty feet – with no mask!
If you have a high-quality diving mask, your experience with the water can be vastly different. You may have a much more fun time than if you were to rent a mask that might not fit you right. On top of that, a rented mask may not always be well sanitized – plus you have no idea how many people may have already spit in those goggles! Saliva is often used for treating masks and preventing them from getting all fogged up. Can you imagine wearing goggles with peoples’ saliva? Of course, there are many situations where renting makes far more sense than purchasing a mask. Nevertheless, buying may still be a good idea – especially if you plan on going diving more often.
When buying a mask, make sure that the one you get will fit you perfectly. That way, you will have a much better experience overall.
Another component of your complete scuba diving gear is a pair of fins. You want fins in any temperature of water, cold or warm. In fact, you’ll even want them if you’re just going snorkeling. A pair of fins are just far too valuable when it comes to propelling yourself through wherever you are swimming. Human feet just aren’t as efficient at paddling since we’re designed for land. As a result, you will most definitely need fins if you want to go anywhere without expending all of your energy immediately.
There are two different types of fins that you can buy, and the choice between them purely depends on what you prefer. If you’re more comfortable with full foot, go right ahead – they’re rather comfy in most cases. However, for those who don’t particularly enjoy having their entire foot enveloped in what is essentially a closed shoe, you can choose an open heel fin.
Furthermore, you can choose between two different type of fin tips – slit tips, or blade fins. When purchasing your fins, make sure that you do your research! That way, you can pick the one that is the most efficient.
Although gloves aren’t an absolute necessity when diving, it’s still always a good idea to pick up a pair. You’re not really supposed to be touching anything when you are underwater, considering the fact that there are so many different things that might be harmful to you. On the flip side, you very well could also harm some underwater sea life by touching them. Nevertheless, gloves are very useful if you are diving to see shipwrecks, cave systems, and the like. You never know what you might encounter, and as a result it’s best to keep your hands protected just in case you accidentally scratch yourself.
Gloves can also keep your hands warm in cold water. But for scuba diving in warm water, look toward thinner material. Otherwise, your hands might get a little too warm and uncomfortable!
The Scuba Tank
You can’t go scuba diving if you don’t have a scuba tank! Your diving cylinder is literally what will allow you to breathe when you are under the water. Without it, you obviously won’t be able to breathe. Scuba tanks use either compressed air (normal air), or Nitrox, which is a special mix of gasses made for diving.
Most people who want to casually scuba dive don’t generally need to purchase a scuba tank. In most cases, you can just get by with renting.
Regulator and Gauges
Naturally, when you ask what to wear when scuba diving in warm water, gauges and regulators are always included. These are tools that are necessary for scuba diving. Without them, you won’t be able to tell how much air you have left in your tank. They’re also necessary for keeping track of how deep you are underwater. Depth gauges will also record the maximum depth you reached during your dive.
Compasses are also rather useful for diving. With them, you will be able to get your bearings and tell where you are. This is important especially in lower visibility.
To help you stabilize underneath the water, a buoyancy compensator is important. They’re also known as devices for buoyancy control. Essentially, it serves the purpose of preventing you from sinking all the way to the bottom of the ocean. On the other hand, it can also prevent you from floating up to the surface when you want to stay at a certain depth. These compensators are basically jackets or vests worn on your torso. They can be inflated or deflated to help you control your buoyancy/depth.
As an added bonus, some of these vests/jackets also have pockets or straps to help you organize your equipment.
Snorkels, Cameras, Accessories
There are a ton of other accessories that you can use to give you an easier time when diving. For example, you can use underwater cameras to capture the memories and sights that you see underwater. There are a ton of cameras these days that can do very deep dives – especially with special attachments or accessories.
Snorkels are a great addition for your gear/setup. Though not necessary, they make it easier for you to check out relatively shallow areas.
There are so many different accessories (optional) that you can add to your equipment. You can add things such as tank bangers, defoggers, dive knives, writing slates, underwater lights, first aid kits, logbooks and more.
To be honest, your gear entirely depends on what you feel you need on a personal level.
What Kind of Wetsuit Should it Be?
When purchasing a wet suit, there are many different things for you to consider. It all depends on how comfortable you are. For your wetsuit to be perfect, you have to get the perfect balance of style, thickness, and fit. There are a lot of different styles for you to choose from, so you are not at all at a loss for options.
Full Body Wet Suits
You can choose a full body suit which is exactly what it sounds like – a wet suit that covers your entire body, all the way to your legs and wrists, and even up to your ankles. In essence, this will offer you the full protection you need from the elements. It will also be better for keeping you warm and preventing heat loss. On the other hand, wearing it in warm water may not be the right choice. It’s easy to become uncomfortable when practically every inch of your body is covered, and it gets too hot under the water.
If you don’t want to cover your entire body in a suit, you can opt for a shorty. Shorties are basically wet suits that have short sleeves and are cut just around or above your knee. These are often a good choice for scuba diving when you know that you are going to be in warmer waters. A lot of divers actually prefer these because they’re much more comfortable. They are also easier to put on and take off. Additionally, these suits allow much greater range of movement and flexibility under water.
Farmer John or Farmer Jane
Finally, you have the Farmer Johns or Farmer Janes, which are basically two-piece designs. It’s usually a full-length suit that is sleeveless, with a jacket worn on top to cover it. You can also get this style in shorty style.
Considering Wet Suit Thickness
When you are diving, the thickness of your wetsuit depends entirely on the expected temperature of the waters you’ll be diving in.
Simply buying a wet suit in the style you want isn’t enough. Most of the time, you will need to take its thickness into consideration. Especially when diving in warm water, where you will need to prevent yourself from getting too hot.
Here are some suggestions for the thicknesses:
- 85 degrees F choose a 2mm thick suit.
- 70 degrees F to 85 degrees F, a 3mm suit is ideal.
- 60-degree F to 70 degrees F, a 5mm suit is a good choice.
- 50-degree F to 70 degrees F, pick a suit that is 6.5mm. You may also choose a dry suit, which is often recommended by experienced divers.
Wet suits or dry suits are a great way to protect yourself underwater. With one of these, you should be able to be comfortable in both warm or cold water – provided that you choose one in the right thickness.