A drysuit serves as a protective barrier against cold water, enabling divers, boaters and kayakers to wear insulated undergarments for warmth and comfort to stay dry while underwater or exposed to water environments. Standard drysuit seals consist of neoprene or latex. Properly fitting seals do not constrict the extremities. Users must trim these seals to fit snugly around their necks and wrists to prevent water from entering a suit. Trim the seals minimally for a snug fit. Latex seals lie flat against the skin; neoprene seals must be folded in for a watertight fit.
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Marker for dark fabric or background
- Assistant (optional)
Measure around your neck, where the top of the neck seal sits, and write this number down.
Measure around your wrists, where the wrist seals sit, and write down this measurement.
Measure around the seals, and mark the area that corresponds to the measurements (neck seal in Step 1 and wrist seals in Step 2). This measurement mark serves as a reference point for a the seal to fit loosely around your neck, wrist or ankle (the seal will slip over these areas without stretching). For latex seals, mark the ring that corresponds to the measurements, if available.
Align the open ends of the seal and hold these together to ensure an even cut. If possible, have an assistant hold the closed end of the seal.
Cut a quarter-inch strip from the end of the seal. Neoprene and latex seals stretch to fit closely over the body. It's prudent to trim the elastic seals gradually toward the marked measurement and check for a snug fit (without causing uncomfortable constriction). For latex seals, cut the first ring marked on the seal, and continue to cut subsequent rings to trim.
Don the drysuit, and adjust the seals. Neoprene seals must be folded and tucked under the neck and wrists to provide a watertight seal. You can use the measurement mark as a guide for folding the neoprene seal inside the suit.
Observe whether the seals fit too tightly by looking in the mirror to see whether your neck bulges out of the neck seal. Check whether your wrists bulge out of the wrist seals. The seals should fit snugly but should not constrict.
Remove the drysuit, and repeat Steps 4 to 7 until the seals fit snugly. Note: You should not cut the seals to the marked areas; the trim line will be at least half an inch above the marked measurement on a latex seal and at least an inch above the marked measurement for a neoprene seal.
Tips and warnings
- If the seal was purchased or replaced by a dive shop, ask a technician to help you trim your seals to the proper length.
- Test the trimmed, watertight seals and check the drysuit's comfort underwater by submerging in a pool or shallow water before using at greater depths.
- Seals stretch with continued use. Use caution when trimming seals, and it's better to trim the seals to a shorter length (without causing uncomfortable constriction) and make slight adjustments.
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