Drysuit leaky wrist seals - solved

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Drysuit leaky wrist seals - solved

Post: # 59Post George »

When snorkelling and sniping for gold getting wet can really dampen the enjoyment of a good day out. When you get wet, it's time to start thinking about packing up. If you start shivering it's time to go home. For years I've had problems with leaky wrist seals. Of course, once your arms get wet it isn't long before water finds its way to your feet. I've tried for years to solve the problem but without success. I've tried cone latex wrist seals, bottleneck seals, heavy duty latex, neoprene seals and I've tried silicon seals under latex seals, all to no effect. As I've learned in life, if you don't know the cause of a problem you can't fix it.

My drysuit was in need of work as it required new wrist seals, new boots, and a new rear entry zip. The pee zip was leaking as well so that needed to be taken out and patched. I was hesitant though because I wasn't sure new wrist seals would prevent me from getting wet. While I pondered the problem I visited countless websites and read pages and pages of stuff but learned nothing I didn't already know. A lot of people swear by the new silicon wrist seal system, but after trying silicon seals under latex seals and still getting wet I was reluctant to send my suit off for repair. In the meantime I kept reading.

Then I visited Hammond Drysuits and something they mentioned when comparing latex cone and bottle neck wrist seals caught me attention and I realised with shock that the seals were not the problem. Here's how they put it on their website.
They are also better at sealing against the skin if you have tendons that protrude away from your wrist.
And here is the problem!

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As you can see, there isn't a wristseal on planet earth going to stop water getting in there. Now that I understood the cause of the problem it was time to find a solution. First thought was to simply slide the wrist seals up my arm past the protruding tendons. I'm sure that would work, but I'm also sure it would be uncomfortable and might even cut off blood flow to your hands. These drygloves look promising, but it looks as if the seals would go too far up your arm. They would only need to seal over the latex seals on the drysuit. Sniping is extremely hard on gloves too and I go through a couple of pairs a year, so this would be a very expensive solution. Also you need to wear 3mm neoprene gloves inside to keep your hands warm so getting the right size might be a problem. Perhaps if the fingers were aquasured so they wouldn't wear out that might work. I suspect these would work with neoprene wrist seals if the latex was worn under the neoprene, but I have no way of testing that right now.

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Then I had a look at disposable examination gloves. These can cause skin problems with prolonged use, but there are various materials available, some of them treated with aloe vera, so I decided to buy some nitrile gloves and give them a go. They worked and these kept me dry for 3 days without causing any skin problems. They're also dirt cheap.

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By the way, Hammond Drysuits are excellent. They do repairs and also make their own drysuits. They repaired my drysuit and made an excellent job.


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