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Old 01-24-2018, 01:38 PM   #1
CaliDiverDan
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Custom suit/zipper opinions?

I spent time digging through old posts but couldn't find much of anything on this topic except for with a "pissette".

My issue and consideration for a custom wetsuit and maybe a zipper is that currently when I dive (more often with my 7mm) I feel constricted in the neck area. I have to pull at the material around my neck to clear the phlegm in my throat. It gets so uncomfortable at times that it makes me gag, feel nauseous, and I've even puked a few times. (Not from being sea sick).

So my idea was to add a zipper at the neck going to the loading pad so when I'm out of the water I can loosen up the neck area without having to remove my top. Stefano at Elois did not like that idea. He suggested having a zipper go at an angle from the neck to the hip so the top could be completely open in front. Then a loading pad could go in the usual spot, not interfering with the zipper.

As for material, I am planing on using: "Suit 7mm open cell inside / Hydrorepellent Black outside Neoprene Heiwa, complete with jacket open with zipper in front + separated hood + high waist pants Price Euro 380,00 (include knife pocket and knee pads) this is the ultimate solution for spearfishing, because the lining outside not absorb the water (same like smoothskin) but is very durable and resistant (see photo Hydrorepellent Black) and also Hydrodymanic in the wagter, but for get into must use always talcum or water-soap."

1. Have any of you had similar problems and found a solution?
2. I have never seen a freedive suit with a zipper. Any thoughts on that idea?

Thanks.
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:16 PM   #2
Xylophone
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

Why bother with a zipper? If you're going custom anyway just get the measurements bigger in the neck.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:23 PM   #3
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

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Originally Posted by Xylophone View Post
Why bother with a zipper? If you're going custom anyway just get the measurements bigger in the neck.
What he said.

And if for any reason, the neck is still umconfortable, you can put a deflated basket (or soccer) ball into the neck area, inflate it and leave like that overnight. It works wonders.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:49 PM   #4
CaliDiverDan
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

I for sure was thinking to add a couple cm. to the neck measurement. Probably that is the way to go. If need be I could add a zipper later.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:06 PM   #5
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

next time try a Yazbeck suit, he adds extra material there for your neck just for this.
dk
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:19 AM   #6
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

I hold up two fingers in front of my Adamís apple and have the wife measure around my neck and fingers. I wouldnít hesitate to add more than that if I had an issue. The seal comes from around your face so there is no need for the neck to be tight. Having too tight of a fit around the neck can trigger the vagus nerve and cause feelings of claustrophobia, choking, effect heart rate and blood pressure, etc.

But I would skip the zipper.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:55 PM   #7
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

Thanks. Placing order with no zipper and some extra room in the neck. I'll post what I get and how it works out. Hopefully by the time it arrives from Italy my 4 broken ribs will have healed.
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Old 01-26-2018, 03:35 PM   #8
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

You made the right choice. But for future information let me run this info past those thinking about adding zippers to a suit.
I get request all the time for adding zippers, Most of the time they want them for the wrong reason. The correct reason is to make it easier to get on and off, the wrong reason is to gain some space, because the opposite will occur. If you were to measure the area taken up by a #10YKK zipper ( which is the ONLY zipper you want to see in your wetsuit) with a reasonably small inside flap, that comes out to 1/2". What that means is you just reduced the size of your suit by 1/2", so if it was already tight, you just made it 1/2" tighter...but wait, were not done yet. Lets say your putting the zipper in the neck of your suit, and your neck is 16", the inside circumference of the neck should measure damn close to 16" ( the outside of the hood/neck will measure much more, depending on the thickness of material being used) . So we know that we reduced the inside circumference of the neck by adding the zipper and the inside flap, but that 16" of material going around your neck has a % of stretch ( which can vary greatly with the type of neoprene used and more so with the type of fabric bonded to one or both sides). When a zipper is installed it is Usually glued in or affixed with a double sided tape so that when sewn it doesn't ruffle ( I use a walking foot with walking needle machine, and because of the sponginess of the material it can still be and issue feeding it, and the thicker the material the spongier it is) So the zipper is affixed to the material and now you sew it on. Look at the Overall distance of the stitching holding the zipper to the suit and you will see that you have lost at least 3/4" and often up to 1" of material that would normally be able to add stretch to the suit.
So as you can see, by Just adding a zipper you have effectivly made the suit considerably tighter.

But..so far we have been talking about the effective change to a 16" neck..What if we were talking about an 8" wrist? TWICE the impact!

I'm not saying a suit can't be made larger by adding zippers, but they need to be on a new piece of material ( insert) that is wider to make up for all those issues, with additional material width to adjust for what was too tight a fit in the first place.

Last edited by SEATUX; 01-26-2018 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:44 PM   #9
CaliDiverDan
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

Thanks Seatux. I'm also ordering the jacket with smooth-skin on the outside. I know it is a much more delicate material, but I'm hoping the added flexibility and hydrodynamics will payoff. Not only for my neck/throat discomfort but also more effective breath-ups and down time. I won't be doing any bug hunting in this suit.
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Old 01-27-2018, 12:41 PM   #10
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

Don't you guys primarily climb around rocks up north? Sounds kinda dangerous for a smoothskin suit imo.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:48 PM   #11
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

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Don't you guys primarily climb around rocks up north? Sounds kinda dangerous for a smoothskin suit imo.
Most guys who are using smooth skin or even custom suits are diving off kayaks.

The purely abalone divers that shore dive are using off the rack 7mil suits like xcel or similar surf suits.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:23 PM   #12
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

I guess I'll take one for the team on this one and report back in a year. I really hope the benefits outweigh the cost on a smooth skin suit for the Cali north coast.
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:27 AM   #13
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

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Originally Posted by keenefish View Post
next time try a Yazbeck suit, he adds extra material there for your neck just for this.
dk
I dove with my new Yazbeck today and the neck is tight as hell.
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:29 AM   #14
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

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Originally Posted by CaliDiverDan View Post
I guess I'll take one for the team on this one and report back in a year. I really hope the benefits outweigh the cost on a smooth skin suit for the Cali north coast.
Iíve been using polo sub Forza Tre smooth skin suits on the north coast for the last 6 years.

The benefits are custom paint job and they dry instantly for a warmer ride on a boat or in the wind, possibly a little less drag when diving.

What did you expect to gain?
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Old 02-10-2018, 06:56 AM   #15
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Re: Custom suit/zipper opinions?

Off topic but for off the shelf suits, I was advised to look at the build of the suits manufactures owners. Suit sizes were designed based around the mfgs owners body type, so size charts differ with mfgs.

Im built stocky so I had to get a custom M&B 5mm and it fits like a glove. I wanted a 3mm and I noticed Riffe and Yazbecks didnt fit my melon head. Those were for the skinny guys. I actually, fit perfect, a little long in the legs but my melon fit nicely in a Rob Allen.
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