Scuba diving is a thrilling sport that allows you to explore the underwater world in a way that you never could before.
But before you can scuba dive, you need to have the proper gear, including a wet suit.
Many first-time scuba divers wonder if wet suits make you float. The answer is yes and no.
In this blog post, we’ll explain how wet suits work and why they make you float.
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How wet suits work
Wet suits are made of neoprene, which is a type of synthetic rubber.
Neoprene is very buoyant, which means it wants to float to the surface.
When you’re wearing a wet suit, the neoprene material traps a layer of water between your skin and the suit itself.
This water acts as insulation against the cold water outside of the suit.
The trapped layer of water also provides some buoyancy, which helps keep you afloat.
However, wet suits are not meant to be used as life preservers.
They will not keep you afloat if you’re unconscious or unable to swim.
That’s why it’s so important to always use a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) when you’re scuba diving or swimming.
Why do wet suits make you float?
So now that we know how wet suits work, let’s talk about why they make you float.
As mentioned before, one reason is because they’re made of neoprene, which is a very buoyant material.
So when you’re wearing a wet suit, you’re effectively adding a layer of buoyancy around your body.
However, this added buoyancy might not be enough to keep you afloat, depending on your weight, body composition, and the type of wet suit you’re wearing.
Another reason is because the trapped layer of water between your skin and the suit provides some buoyancy as well.
Why you still might sink in a wet suit
Even though wet suits provide some extra buoyancy, they are not magic suits that will make you float no matter what.
There are a few factors that can affect your buoyancy while wearing a wet suit, including:
The fit of the wet suit: If your wet suit is too loose, it will fill up with water and actually weigh you down instead of helping you float.
On the other hand, if your wet suit is too tight, it will restrict your movement and make it difficult to swim. That’s why it’s important to find a wet suit that fits you well.
The type of activity you’re doing: Activities like scuba diving and surfing require a lot of movement, which can cause water to enter your wet suit and weigh you down.
The temperature of the water: Colder water makes your body work harder to maintain its core temperature, which can lead to fatigue and make it more difficult to float.
The water: salt water is denser than fresh water and will provide more buoyancy – you’ll find it easier to stay afloat in the sea than in a freshwater lake.