Open cell vs closed cell is for another debate; but in my opinion open cell wetsuits are far far warmer and more comfortable than closed cell wetsuits. Most spearfishing and freediving wetsuits such as ours are open cell which essentially means there is no lining on the internal surface of the neoprene. This means only a very small amount of water is between your skin and the wetsuit, this water warms to your body temperature and coats the skin like a blanket keeping you warm.
Without internal lining the internal surface is very slick and sticky and can often cause difficulty when putting on if you haven’t done this before. But with a few tips an open cell wetsuits can go on easier and quicker than a closed cell wetsuit.
Heres how it’s done:
1. Grab an empty clean container, such as an empty juice or milk bottle – approx. 1L to 1.5L.
2. Fill it with water (warm if you enjoy that steamy feeling on a cold day).
3. Add a couple of squirts of lubrication. This can be dishwashing liquid, shampoo or liquid soap. Personally, I think the best option is baby shampoo as it is easy on the eyes.
4. Give it a shake to generate some froth.
5. Grab your wetsuit bottoms and pinch off at the ankles to form a seal.
6. Pour about half of the frothy mixture into the wetsuit, then pinch off at the top forming another seal.
7. Shake the soapy liquid around inside the wetsuit ensuring all areas are lubricated and drain.
8. Now slide the wetsuit on (remove underwear), avoid pulling on the the wetsuit, the best way is to use your palms and fingertips to push/slide it on. If it gets stuck, it will be because some areas of the wetsuit may not be lubricated and you will need to pour some more of the soapy liquid inside the suit.
9. Repeat this for the top piece of the wetsuit and slide on. Again use palms to work wetsuit into a comfortable position against the body.
10. Get in the water and enjoy being as warm as toast.