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Dangerous drysuit


eleeski
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Air 85f, water 66f. Way too cold. I needed to muck out the drain and the boathouse. No way going commando. The wetsuit was cold yesterday tying in buoys. So break out the drysuit.

 

This is an old neoprene suit. Not sure what decade it's from. But there are no tears and it looks close to my size. Zipper is stiff even after lubing but it works. Pretty stiff rubber.

 

Legs go on first. It's hard work but nothing tears. Try the arms. Hmmm, wait! I need a zipper rope. A half meter section of slalom rope is perfect. Try the arms again. Whew!

 

I pull the neck over and get stuck. Can't see, can't breathe, can't move. Easier to keep going so I wriggle in before I get asphyxiated.

 

Now I'm choking to death. Smoothing out the neck and directed tugs at the jugular keep me from losing consciousness. My face is purple.

 

The zipper is REALLY stiff. It moves in 2cm nibbles. I hope the zipper doesn't break. I'm really leveraging the thing. I'm ready to give up about halfway through. But that water is cold. I persevere and the final 2cm closes.

 

I retain consciousness and drive the boat to the drain. I may be choking but I'm warm. Diving down to the drain is an exercise in bad buoyancy and oxygen deprivation. I pull a big clump of weeds out and head back. Wallowing in the mud to clean out the boathouse so I can put the boat away.

 

Now it's time to get out of the drysuit. I'm not getting smarter. I leave the scissors in the boat. The zipper opens barely. Until half open. Then it sticks. Somehow I force it open without breaking the zipper.

 

It was easier getting the neck on than off. If I stuck my fingers in the right place I could sneak a breath. Pried it off!

 

The arms were easier to get off - but that's not saying much.

 

Almost dislocated my hip getting the legs off. I have no idea how my fingers didn't break wedging it over my heels.

 

So after a couple hours to complete a short project, I offer this safety advice. Do not put on or take off a drysuit alone!

 

Eric

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Agree with @UWSkier -Temps don't jive with a dry suite. But Eric, dude, buy a Camaro wetsuit. I spent 3 hours in 40 degree water, 50 air changing buoys, and was only a bit chilled. No need for drysuits anymore, except for extreme conditions.
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This thread is dangerous, can't breath, laughing to hard, need oxygen:) (but I can relate, drove home from the river many, many years ago because everyone left after helping wipe the boat down but I still had a suit on that I couldn't get off)
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on the serious side most dive shops carry a silicone liquid (gel) that a few drops of would have made getting both in and out much much easier -plus you can use it on the zipper. wax on the zipper last longer but in a pinch the silicone would have made your life much better.
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Yep. Decided to go for a late fall swim a couple years ago. Sunny but chili day. Came out of the pond and said oh crap. Had to stop at the neighborhood farm stand to get an un-zip. Luckily we stop there all summer on the way home from skiing so getting out of the car with the drysuit on wasn't a shocker.
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FYI, many drysuits can be unzipped using a doorknob. Close and latch the door first. Then get the doorknob into the zipper strap. Then rotate awkwardly.

 

Not that it's ever come up... :)

 

Still easier to get a neighbor to do it, though, if anybody happens to be outside. They already know I'm insane -- no further embarrassment possible.

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This just happened to me, sort of. After a ski last week, I hopped out of the boat at the launch and the others went to continue. They were still nearby enough for me to yell for them to wait, in case I couldn't get out of the drysuit.

 

Mine has a t-handle (no loop) for the zipper. Luckily, I practice doing the unassisted exit and can complete it by pulling my arm into the sleeve to apply tension to the back. Then, with some contortions, I can actually reach behind my neck and get the zipper handle. I got out and that is not the first time I've had to do it.

 

Always good to have a backup plan and practice it.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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I'm enjoying reading the comments until I get to @liquid d . OK, I don't tolerate cold water. But how many south Canadians can handle water + air = 212f. 212f is boiling! That's our summer. Wuss indeed.

 

Perhaps the drysuit was overkill. I have no idea where it came from other than it was in my garage (I was going to say hoarding pays off but...). (An assassination attempt by Richelle?) But it was a challenge.

 

Eric

 

PS @Than_Bogan I pulled hard enough to tear off a wimpy door knob!

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So funny, and so true! I've almost choked myself out so many times, that I finally just ditched the drysuit, and wait until the water warms up.

 

@Marco Which Camaro suit are you using? I'd order a comfy wetsuit that keeps me warm in frigid water today.

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@Drago yes, 3 hours. I changed all sub buoy bungees from the anchor and secondary bungee and buoys. I was working solo and I based from the shoreline as it was early spring and no boat in the water. It was a tedious process.
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