Latex or Neoprene Seals?
Last week was a week of disasters for me to go diving, it started last sunday morning with torrential rain, but as the days diving at stoney cove had been planned I was going to get wet anyway so what harm will a little bit of rain do? So I set of at 7.30 to pick up my buddy and then on our way, to me suddenly remembering that I had left my dive computer on the sideboard.
After a quick detour to pick up my computer we set of, to be met with the annoying question of should I fill up the fuel or will it last?? I decided to be safe and that is where the problems began. After filling up, only 30 minutes behind schedule we went to set of to fin that the car would not start!! After a couple of hours of trying to bump start it and waiting for the AA after all else failed we decided to call off the days diving.
Wednesday came around (the first Wednesday of the month) and last minute organising a few of us arranged to go for a night dive that evening, so left of work on time to rush home to get my kit ready. After arriving at Stoney Cove the morning rain had disappeared and was a nice evening with a beautiful full moon. No need to worry about spring tides at Stoney!! We kitted up and jumped in the water.
A gush of icy water ran down the side of my body, brrrrr! First I thought that my glove had tucked under my seal and was letting in water but after descending deep I realised that I had big hole in my cuff seal. I persevered for about 5 minutes but my left hand side had become numb with the cold, so decided to abort my dive, luckily for my buddies we were diving in a three, normally not the most convenient dive number but this time they continued and I ascended and got out. To find that I could not find the car keys or unzip myself from my drysuit so I stood in the car park for 40 minutes waitng for them to finish there dive.
As usual when you miss out on a dive every one else has a great dive, so I spent the rest of the evening listening to the full run down of the dive, normally I would be interested but this time the green eyed monster and the cold made me uniterested. I now need to take my suit to get repaired. I currently have a membrane suit with latex cuff and neck collar but have been told that I should change to neoprene because they are stronger. I have always had latex seals so do not know different but other than this dive they have always been strong enough and have never had a problems with seals leaking before.
Let me know your thoughts of whether you would choose a neoprene seal or a latex.