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View Full Version : A question for the Scuba folks out there



Trebuchet
2013-May-05, 12:51 AM
I'm sure we have a diver or three here!

Earlier this afternoon we were waiting for a boat on the Edmonds, WA, ferry dock. The dock is next to an underwater park and there were a couple of divers out there. Perhaps more than that, but these two were on the surface, perhaps one of them getting some initial training as they were right near the shore. As I was watching them the following question popped into my head:

How come wet suits are (or so it seems) always black? Wouldn't it be safer to have them in a high visibility color? Dayglo orange or yellow, perhaps?

neilzero
2013-May-05, 02:24 AM
The wet suit color is very close to a perfect black body radiator, so it keeps the person warmer which is it's primary purpose. A high visability color would however be almost as warm, so ecconomics and tradition are likely the reason for few color choices. The original frog men were placing exposives under enemy ships so they did not want to be seen by the enemy. Neil

Glom
2013-May-05, 02:48 AM
Because black makes us look so damn sexy. Have you noticed how those form fitting shirts that gym vets wear are black also?

Or maybe not. My exposure suit has plenty of sea green on it.

Solfe
2013-May-05, 04:11 AM
Silly question, but how long to dry suits last?

I got into rock climbing in 1993-4. At the time, Jurassic Park was huge and every single piece of fabric based rock climbing gear I own has a good size dinosaur themed logo on it. Shoes, bags, even a pair of harnesses. Marketing, right?

Last year, I took my kids rock climbing and someone snorted the only meaningful trash talk I have ever heard while rock climbing: "Whoa, dude, like Garanimal gear!"

Don't try to make utilitarian things look cool. It never works.

Jens
2013-May-05, 04:47 AM
Isn't is simply because the natural color of neoprene is black? Just like the reason rubber tires are black?

profloater
2013-May-05, 09:00 AM
Isn't is simply because the natural color of neoprene is black? Just like the reason rubber tires are black?
tyres are black because of carbon black added to absorb UV and thus reduce UV damage to the rubbers. the elastomer properties of many rubbers are reduced or destroyed by UV and this might be the main reason for using black. Carbon black is cheap and very effective at absorbing the uv.

Trebuchet
2013-May-05, 02:32 PM
Right. Natural rubber is off-white, I'd expect synthetics to be also. I'm not sure how much UV resistance is required for a wetsuit, however!

HenrikOlsen
2013-May-05, 03:16 PM
It seems like many divers actually prefer less flash because it's less likely to scare off fishes.

Trebuchet
2013-May-05, 03:23 PM
It seems like many divers actually prefer less flash because it's less likely to scare off fishes.

That makes sense. It only works near the surface, however, because if you get very far down you need to carry a light.