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Why Wear a Wetsuit in the Tropics

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Why wear a Wetsuit in the Tropics
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Meridian Adventure Dive explain why it is a good idea to wear a wetsuit in the tropics

Wearing a wetsuit in tropical waters during scuba diving might seem counterintuitive since tropical waters are generally warm. However, there are a few reasons why divers might still choose to wear wetsuits even in warm climates.

Protection: Wetsuits protect against various potential hazards in the water. They can protect your skin from stinging jellyfish, sharp corals, and other marine life that might cause irritation or injury.

Sun Protection: Spending extended periods in the water, especially during surface intervals or snorkelling, can expose your skin to the sun's harmful UV rays. Wetsuits offer an extra layer of sun protection and prevent sunburn.

Wetsuit 1

Thermal Protection: While tropical waters are generally warm, they can sometimes feel colder at deeper depths due to temperature variations and currents. Wetsuits provide thermal insulation by trapping a thin layer of water against your skin, which your body then warms up. This insulation helps prevent rapid heat loss and can make longer dives more comfortable.

Extended Dive Time: Wearing a wetsuit can extend the duration of your dive. Even in warm waters, you might experience mild cold stress after prolonged periods, which can lead to fatigue. Wetsuits help maintain a more stable body temperature, reducing the risk of cold-related pressure and allowing you to enjoy longer and more comfortable dives.

Buoyancy Control: Wetsuits provide buoyancy control, crucial for maintaining proper trim and stability underwater. The neoprene material of a wetsuit adds a bit of positive buoyancy, making it easier to control your position in the water.

Wetsuit 2

Equipment Protection: Wetsuits can protect your body from rubbing and chafing when wearing scuba gear, such as a weight belt or a BCD. This added layer can enhance overall comfort during the dive.

Personal Preference: Some divers prefer wearing a wetsuit, even in warm waters, as it provides a snug and secure feeling. This can contribute to a sense of safety and comfort during the dive.

It's important to note that the thickness of the wetsuit you choose should be based on the water temperature and your comfort level. In warmer tropical waters, a thinner wetsuit (such as a shorty or a 3mm full wetsuit) is often sufficient to provide the benefits mentioned above without causing overheating.

Always consider the specific conditions of the dive site and your preferences when deciding whether to wear a wetsuit in tropical waters.

About Meridian Adventure Dive  

Situated in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Meridian Adventure Dive is a PADI 5 Star Resort and winner of the PADI Green Star award. Scuba divers enjoy our professional services that have become synonymous with both the PADI and Meridian Adventure names.

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Jude
Jude
7 months ago

Yep, I aways wear my 2.5mm wetsuit in the Philippines, even if my dive computer shows 27c

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Picture of Adrian Stacey
Adrian Stacey
Scuba Diver ANZ Editor, Adrian Stacey, first learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef over 24 years ago. Since then he has worked as a dive instructor and underwater photographer in various locations around the world including, Egypt, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Saba. He has now settled in Australia, back to where his love of diving first began.
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