Scuba diving is an exhilarating adventure that allows you to explore the wonders of the underwater world. As you embark on your underwater escapades, it's essential to prioritize your safety and comfort. Two crucial elements that contribute to both are proper rash guard and wetsuit protection. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of rash guards and wetsuits and provide you with valuable tips to ensure their longevity and effectiveness.
Understanding Rash Guards
Rash guards are essential for scuba divers as they provide protection against various factors, such as sunburn, abrasions, and stings from marine creatures. These lightweight garments offer a barrier between your skin and the environment, allowing you to enjoy your dive without worrying about potential irritants. Rash guards are ideal for warm water destinations that do not require thermal protection, such as the Caribbean, Maldives, and Indonesia.
Choosing the Right Rash Guard
When selecting a rash guard, opt for one that fits snugly and offers maximum coverage. Look for high-quality materials that are breathable, quick-drying, and offer UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) for shielding your skin from harmful UV rays. Consider long-sleeved options to safeguard your arms from the sun and potential cuts or scrapes. If you're sick of rash clothing in monotonous patterns, check out Spacefish Army's eco-friendly collection of vivid prints, including the whale shark pattern worn in the photo above.
Maintaining Your Rash Guard
After each dive, rinse your rash guard with fresh water to remove salt, sand, and other residues. Avoid using harsh detergents, bleach, or fabric softeners, as they can damage the fabric. Instead, use a gentle detergent specifically designed for swimwear. Hang your rash guard to dry in a shaded area to prevent fading and prolong its lifespan.
Maximizing Wetsuit Protection
Wetsuits provide thermal insulation, protection from the elements, and can even offer buoyancy assistance. Proper care and maintenance of your wetsuit will enhance its performance and ensure its durability. It is important that a wetsuit fits snugly to optimize thermal protection, so try on many different sizes and brands to find the right fit, or order a custom-fit wetsuit! You'll also need to know how much thermal protection is required for your destination, as a 7mm suit may be ideal for locations such as Galapagos and Socorro, a 5mm suitable for winter in the Red Sea, and a 3mm enough for warmer destinations such as Fiji.
Donning and Doffing
When putting on or taking off your wetsuit, be gentle to avoid stressing the material or tearing the seams. Use ample lubrication like soapy water or specialized wetsuit lubricants to help slide in and out comfortably. Avoid using petroleum-based products as they can deteriorate the neoprene.
Rinse and Dry
After each dive, rinse your wetsuit thoroughly with freshwater to remove salt, sand, and any other contaminants. Turn it inside out to clean the interior as well. Hang your wetsuit on a wide hanger, avoiding direct sunlight, to allow it to dry naturally. Never use a clothes dryer or expose it to excessive heat sources as they can damage the neoprene.
Store your wetsuit in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Avoid folding it for extended periods as this can cause creases and compromise its flexibility. Consider using a wetsuit hanger or laying it flat to maintain its shape.
Repairing Minor Damage
Regularly inspect your wetsuit for any signs of wear and tear, such as small tears or loose seams. Address these issues promptly by using neoprene repair kits or consulting a professional. Ignoring minor damage can lead to more significant problems and reduce the lifespan of your wetsuit.
By prioritizing the protection and maintenance of your rash guard and wetsuit, you ensure a safe and enjoyable scuba diving experience. Remember to choose high-quality products, rinse them after each dive, and store them properly. By following these simple tips, you'll extend the life of your gear and dive confidently into the underwater world, knowing you're well-protected. Happy diving!
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