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 Post subject: Wetsuit Guide
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:23 pm 
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Mumpung lg pd ngebahas soal wetsuit, sekalian aja saya bikinin thread panduan dasar ttg wetsuit. Ini jg dapet googling di inet, buat sebagian besar tmn disini mgkn sdh pd tahu, tp siapa tau berguna buat yg msh newbie spt saya. Om momod, kl berkenan mohon di sticky ya :)

Some people just can't get enough of the water. They love to scuba dive, surf, swim, windsurf, wakeboard or compete in triathlons at every opportunity. If you're reading this, you're probably one of those people. But unless you live in the tropics, there's just one problem with your perennial passion for H2O: the fact that it can be pretty darn cold.

Anyone who has spent much time in and around water knows that even fairly warm water will make you feel very cold if you stay submerged too long, or if the wind and clouds move in. Enter wetsuits. Wetsuits were first designed for one simple reason: to keep the human body warm when submerged in the water. Yet wetsuits have come a long way from the crude originals: raw neoprene-only models that were difficult to put on, poor-fitting, and prone to tearing and leaking.

There is a huge selection of wetsuits available today, designed for all types of watersports. The only drawback to such a vast selection is knowing which wetsuit is right for you. This wetsuit buying guide is designed to help you pick the perfect wetsuit, with the proper level of protection and the features you need to focus on having fun in the water.

How Wetsuits Work

Without a wetsuit, water pulls heat away from your body a full 25 times faster than air. So if you get a chill when the air temperature drops to 55 degrees, just think about how much more quickly you'll feel cold in 55-degree wa-wa-wat-er.

Wetsuits are really not that complicated, even though you might think otherwise, considering the amazing features available on more expensive wetsuit models. Wetsuits work simply by using thick, spongy material to trap a thin layer of water against your skin - which is much easier for your body to warm than all the surrounding water.

Although wetsuits aim to limit the entry of water, they are called "wetsuits" for a reason: water is supposed to enter the suit (albeit just a very small amount of water, with very little mixing between the water inside and outside the wetsuit). For this reason, most wetsuits have "closed-cell" construction so that the water cannot enter through the suit material itself, but only through the zipper, the arm and leg openings, etc.

Why are some wetsuits more expensive than others? They might have a better brand name, better construction, more features, and/or thicker neoprene. A more expensive wetsuit isn't always the best suit for you, however. When buying a wetsuit, you primarily need to focus on these three things: 1) the right amount of coverage; 2) the right wetsuit thickness; and 3) the right fit.

Wetsuit Fitting

More than anything else, you need a wetsuit that fits you right. Loose suits fill up with cold water and don't work nearly as effectively. What good can a wetsuit do you if it's so loose that the "thin layer of water" your body has to warm actually amounts to five gallons of cold seawater? Alternately, suits that are too tight make it difficult to maneuver and breathe. A wetsuit should fit snugly all over, but not overly tight anywhere, and should not restrict breathing or movement.

Wetsuits are sized similarly to clothing sizes you would wear, but you should always look at the manufacturer recommendations when selecting the best wetsuit size. Use the size charts provided with our wetsuits to select your best size. They're located as links on each product page and look like this:


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Last edited by guswid on Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:27 pm 
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Wetsuit Thicknesses

Other than fit, thickness may be the most important consideration in selecting a wetsuit. In the wetsuit world, thickness is always given in millimeters, with a possible range of about 1-10 mm. Generally speaking, wetsuit thickness should be based on the water temperature. The thicker the wetsuit, the warmer the wetsuit.

Wetsuit thicknesses are specifically designed for waters from about 45° to 85°F. Any colder than 45º, and you'll need to wear a drysuit. If a wetsuit style offers two thicknesses, such as "3/2 mm," the "3" refers to the thickness around the torso and the "2" refers to the thickness around the limbs. These wetsuits are often referred to by their numbers only, so that a wetsuit with 5 mm torso and 3 mm limbs might conversationally be a called a "five-three."

A warmer wetsuit isn't always a better wetsuit. Thicker wetsuits are very hot to wear outside of the water (or when worn in very warm water). Also, thicker wetsuits greatly restrict mobility (think "suit of armor"), weigh more and are more buoyant, which can be a concern for scuba divers. You don't want too much protection, but rather just the right level of protection for the activity at hand.

The type of activity will also help you determine your best wetsuit. In the same body of water, constant submersion demands a thicker wetsuit, while lots of surface time means you won't require as thick a wetsuit. Also, the more activity involved with your pursuit, the less wetsuit you'll need since you'll be generating more body heat.

Scuba divers need to keep in the mind the effects of high water pressure at depth when deciding on the best wetsuit thickness. Since the increased pressure during dives compresses wetsuits, they will not perform as well at depth. Scuba divers should therefore wear a thicker wetsuit than would be expected for the water temperature if they plan to be down deep for extended periods of time.

Quick Tip: As a general rule, wetsuits lose about half their insulative power at a depth of 60 feet, and even more as you descend deeper.


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Last edited by guswid on Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:31 pm 
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Wetsuit Styles & Associated Activities

Wetsuits are used for everything from scuba diving to surfing to triathlons to wakeboarding. It comes down to a balance between the necessary insulation and coverage versus the flexibility needed for the type of recreation.

For example, warm-water wetsuits often utilize "open-cell" construction - which isn't really waterproof like the closed-cell construction in other wetsuits - and are usually stretchier for easier movement with less insulation. On the other hand, wetsuits used for cold-water scuba diving need waterproof seams, thicker closed-cell neoprene and full body coverage.

Here are the major types of wetsuits, in order from the least coverage to the most:

Wetsuit Tops/ Rash Guards are essentially long-sleeved shirts made of wetsuit material. They are designed for aggressive movement in warm-water pursuits like wakeboarding and surfing. While these thin pieces offer very little insulation or coverage, they allow full flexibility and still protect you from the sun, jellyfish, chafing, etc.

Springsuits/ Shorties are one-piece wetsuits that combine a short-sleeved top with short bottoms in a one-piece wetsuit. They are generally not very thick (usually in the 2-4 mm range), but do provide more insulation than a rash guard. They are great for most recreation in warmer water.

Three-Quarter Wetsuits are one-piece wetsuits that have short sleeves like a springsuit, but cover the legs down to the ankles for more warmth than a shorty.

Fullsuits, also called "steamers," are one-piece, full-length wetsuits that cover your entire body and include long sleeves and legs down to the ankles. They come in a very wide range of thicknesses, from 3 mm versions for windsurfers to 7 mm versions for cool-water scuba diving.

Farmer Johns/ Farmer Janes (depending on gender) are two-piece wetsuits exclusively designed for cold-water scuba diving. They are comprised of a three-quarter or sleeveless fullsuit that is worn under a loose-cut shorty with long sleeves that's designed to fit over the fullsuit. Both pieces are thick (at least 5 mm), and together provide twice as much insulation (10-15 mm) over your torso region.

Drysuits are designed to almost completely block out water with waterproof fabric and tight rubber seals around the neck, wrists and ankles. They often lack insulation but have plenty of room inside for you to wear as many layers as you need. Drysuits are the only suit option for scuba diving in very cold water.


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Last edited by guswid on Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:39 pm 
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Note: These are general ratings only. A person scuba diving in 60-degree water will need more wetsuit than someone surfing in the same water, since he will be submerged the entire time. Also, for colder water temperatures it is assumed that accessories like a hood and gloves will also be worn.

Wetsuit Materials

Neoprene
Neoprene has long been the king of wetsuit materials. Neoprene is essentially spongy, ultra-stretchy rubber created from melted-down petroleum chips. It makes a great waterproof, insulating layer that will last for many years if cared for properly.

Legend has it that one-eyed, bearded wetsuit pioneer Jack O'Neill first noticed neoprene in the 1940s lining the aisle of a DC-3 passenger jet. The story goes that he figured this material might insulate well if worn in the water, and began to work with it on the first wetsuit models.

While this origin is disputed by some, what is not disputed is that O'Neill, Body Glove and other famous brands began experimenting with neoprene as a wetsuit material in the 1950s and have been improving on it ever since.

Wetsuit Laminates
Originally, wetsuits were made purely from sheets of foam rubber neoprene, which was very fragile and difficult to put on. Neoprene by itself tears easily and is sticky against the skin. For this reason, wetsuit wearers used to powder the inside of their suit with talcum powder to make it easier to slip on.

Later, nylon was laminated to the inside and/ or outside of wetsuits for added durability and ease of entry. An outer membrane helps wetsuits resist tearing and abrasions, while a smooth inner lining makes them easier to put on and off. Modern wetsuits often offer laminates made from a blend of nylon and Spandex or Lycra for durability with added flexibility. Polypropylene is another synthetic material sometimes used in modern wetsuit laminates.

Stitching and Seams

Taped Seams
When a wetsuit description lists "taped seams," it means that nylon tape with rubber backing is glued over the seams, covering up the stitching. This tape prevents the entry of water and reduces the risk of abrasion. Although many older wetsuits offered full seam-taping to keep water out, nowadays tape is sometimes used only at specific stress points. Also, liquid seam tape may be used as a more flexible alternative to nylon tape.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:43 pm 
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Seam Gluing
An older construction method not commonly found in newer wetsuits, seam gluing refers to gluing together the edges of wetsuit panels for a resulting smooth, flat surface with no overlapping material. This raw-foam-to-raw-foam gluing does not make a great bond and is more likely to tear than a reinforced or stitched seam.

Blindstitching/ Double Blindstitching
Blindstitching refers to when a wetsuit seam is glued together and then sewn only halfway through the material using a curved needle for added strength. This type of stitching prevents cold water from seeping through the tiny stitching holes into the suit, which water can do readily at the pressure of below-surface depth. Double blindstitching simply refers to this form of stitching on both sides of the fabric for additional strength, with neither stitch going all the way through the fabric. These forms of stitching appear in the most expensive wetsuits and allow virtually no water to penetrate, but are perhaps the least durable type of stitching. For this reason this feature is most common in thick, cold-water wetsuits but not in wetsuits designed for extreme activity in warmer water.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:44 pm 
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Flatlock Stitching
Flatlock stitching is primarily reserved for warm-water wetsuits used in very active watersports such as surfing, water-skiing, wakeboarding and windsurfing. Flatlock stitching provides great flexibility and strength, and because the stitches are designed to lay flat and not push into your skin, it helps prevent a rash. However, this type of seam lets water through so it isn't ideal if insulation is a top priority.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:46 pm 
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Perks Worth Paying For: Wetsuit Features

Built-In Hoods
Some wetsuits offer an integrated hood, which is great for people who only spend time in colder water, like cold-water scuba divers and cold-climate surfers.

Gaskets
Gaskets are rubber seals that block out the entry of water at body openings. They appear on some wetsuits (and all drysuits) at the wrists, ankles and neck.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:48 pm 
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Touch-Fasten Neck Seals
Touch-fasten seals often appear at the neck of a wetsuit to keep the neck zipper in place and prevent water from flowing into an otherwise loose opening.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:49 pm 
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Flex Zones/ Stretch
Flex zones or four-way stretch may be employed to offer easier mobility in some wetsuits. The flex is concentrated in the areas where you need it most, such as the knees, elbows and shoulders.

Inner Zipper Flap/ Floodgate
A floodgate minimizes the flow of water through the wetsuit zipper.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:51 pm 
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Extended Zipper Pull
Since most wetsuits have a back entry with the zipper running down the back, they require an extended zipper pull or zipper cord so the wearer can easily zip and unzip the suit without assistance.

Knee Pads
Wetsuit knee pads add durability to this very high wear area so that your wetsuit will last longer.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:54 pm 
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Titanium
A soft metal woven into the wetsuit fabric, titanium helps to reflect heat back to the body. A coating of titanium oxide can also be applied to the inner side of the wetsuit, usually in the torso region.

Neoprene Accessories

Hoods
A neoprene hood is vital when submerging yourself for an extended period in very cold water. You lose over 30% of your body heat through your head, so this one accessory can really warm you up.

Gloves
Neoprene gloves not only keep your hands from becoming cold, numb and useless, but also protect them from abrasion. These gloves usually have reinforced palms so that they won't wear out through repeated gripping. Neoprene gloves are generally used for scuba diving and watersports where gripping a handle or pole is common (i.e., wakeboarding).

Booties
Not only are neoprene booties great for insulating your feet from the cold just like wetsuits, they are also necessary for divers who use large scuba fins to protect their feet from blisters and discomfort. Booties usually have durable rubber outsoles for traction and protection from wear, which also makes them useful for rafting or other amphibious pursuits.

Vests
Neoprene vests are usually worn for extra coverage only, as an added layer under a full wetsuit. They also can come in handy for a bit of protection from sun and rashes in warm-water pursuits.

Wetsuit Care and Maintenance

As wetsuits get older, they will naturally stiffen, crack and compress due to the effects of sunlight, salt water, overstretching, etc. In order to slow down this process and get the most out of your wetsuit, follow these simple care, storage and cleaning guidelines:

* Rinse your wetsuit well with fresh water after every use, especially after use in salt water.
* When not being used, always store your wetsuit out of direct sunlight since UV radiation and heat will damage the suit.
* Never put a wetsuit in the dryer or near any other heat source.
* Don't overstretch your suit, as this can lead to cracking. This can be prevented by not buying a wetsuit that is too small.
* Fix wetsuit leaks and holes with neoprene glue as soon as they appear to prevent further damage to your wetsuit.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:00 am 
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Waaahh.. top top,, nih,,,

Ri, ini buat referensi lo ri...hehehe

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:29 am 
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waw...baca sehari ga kelar neh....but thanks for the info !! it's very useful ^^v next time kl mu bli wetsuit baru ud punya pengetahuan lebih deh...hehehe...

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:49 am 
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mantab beneerrrrr


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