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Drysuit seals latex vs neoprene and Ocean Waves

 
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surfalex



Joined: 08 Aug 2008
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:15 am    Post subject: Drysuit seals latex vs neoprene and Ocean Waves Reply with quote

Someone told me that sailing with a drysuit in the ocean is a bad idea. If you get crushed by a wave your latex seals could easily bust and soon your suit will fill up with water.
Any thoughts ?

Also, my current drysuit latex seals are in bad shape, I need to replace em
I have not found anywhere I can buy neoprene replacement seals.
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johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1170
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never heard of that. I can't see them "bursting". Latex seals are far from flimsy. I can tell you my experience with neoprene seals. My first SCUBA drysuit had neoprene seals. They were far from watertight. In normal SCUBA function I was damp 1/2 way up my arms and down to my chest (from the neck seal). And that was in a somewhat static SCUBA function.

Latex seals are the norm in whitewater usage. And although not the same as getting beat up by a wave, getting tossed around and banged into rocks in a rapid is somewhat violent and turbulent....
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14163

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love my Kokatat w/latex seals, but I wouldn't dare wear a bag suit, especially with latex seals, in serious surf. Latex seals work fine right up to failure, which, as with monofilm, is sudden and total. Even in a lake, a flooded bag suit is highly life threatening. In surf I'd expect a flooded bag to kill me. If properly handled and maintained, a latex seal will last for years, and they're easy to replace when degraded. Hint: replace them BEFORE they burst. I've seen poorly maintained latex cuffs explode just by pushing a hand through them when putting the suit on.

I doubt that even surf would damage latex seals which are in good shape. Their major threat, assuming proper maintenance, is being cut by a fingernail when getting them on or off. A bud who competes nationally year-round in white water kayaking says he and his team use nothing but Goretex Kokatats, and get many years out of their seals.

Trickles and dampness don't threaten our lives, and in a Gortex Kokatat the resulting trapped water vapor leaves the suit, even when we're IN the water and especially when not submerged. That's one key to their supreme comfort.
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