On Saturday we went to Diving Unlimited International's (DUI) Dog Rally and Demo Tour at Dutch Springs, PA. While there, we completed our requisite dives for a Drysuit Specialty. Look out in the future for a drysuit diving article.
First off, the demo tour was pretty cool, and I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in drysuit diving, for several reasons:
- Not many places rent out dry suits. This can make it difficult to try one or get your specialty. Often, divers have to make the expensive purchase before even trying out a drysuit.
- If you can rent a dry suit, good luck having a choice. DUI has the full line available, so you can try out multiple dry suits made of different materials.
- While not the only dry suit manufacturer, DUI is one of the main ones. Their line of suits is fairly complete for everyone's needs.
- It's cheap. Pre-purchase tickets are $10, which includes lunch.
- It's complete. I supplied my own air, BCD, regulator, and weights. DUI provided everything else, including insulation, hoods, and fins.
- DUI's ZipSeals are awesome for drysuit diving.
- You get a free hat.
The day wasn't perfect, though. Most problems weren't DUI's fault. We had a few misunderstandings with Dutch Springs about tanks and weights rentals, and then it started to pour rain as we packed up to leave. The irony of remaining dry while scuba diving all day only to get soaked by the rain did not escape us.
One major annoyance was the lengthy wait to get fitted for a drysuit. We were told because the next day's forecast called for rain, everyone went on Saturday. Regardless, I would think most tickets were pre-purchased and DUI would be aware of how many people would show up.
We finally got through the line. I was saved by the fact that although I'm average height, I'm about 30-40 pounds lighter than the "average" diver (why so many overweight divers? Sounds like a topic for another article). I got the last trilaminate suit in my size.
Not wanting to wait in line again, we did repeat dives with the same suits. I was curious to try crushed neoprene, but since I was new to drysuit diving, re-using the same suit was okay with me. I hope this was a localized problem, because everything else was great.