Staying warm in winter – Ian McKinnon

In winter most divers wear a hood, gloves and boots to keep their extremities warm. Up to 25% of heat loss is through the back of the neck and head. By wearing a hood divers stay a lot warmer. There are two common types of hood, the SHARKSKIN and the neoprene rubber. SHARKSKIN material equates roughly to the warmth of 2mm neoprene. They are less restrictive on the head than neoprene. It comes down to personal preference. When wearing a hood it is important to make sure the hood seals completely over the skirt of the mask otherwise annoying cold drops of water will enter the mask.

When wearing gloves these should be the last item of equipment to put on. Before entering the water it is much easier to make last minute adjustments to diving equipment using bare hands rather than with bulky gloves on.

Winter can offer some great diving. Staying warm and cozy goes a long way to enjoying your dives. Be sure to wear a warm, windproof and waterproof jacket before, and after each dive. Add a woollen beanie as well to keep your head warm.