There’s no such thing as a completely dry glove that will last forever. That is, unless you carry a spare at all times. This post is all about carrying a spare and fitting it as quickly as possible —something that any dry suit diver needs to learn how to do.
Imagine you’re diving along in the Waterproof D1 Hybrid good zone, feeling warm dry and comfortable. Suddenly, you get a small ice cold sensation at the tip of your finger. On closer inspection, you notice there is a small trail of bubbles fizzing out. You’ve guessed it: the dreaded leaking dry glove caused by no less than the smallest nano-hole you have (never) seen in your entire life. Where did that come from? Who cares! You’re underwater so there’s nothing you can do about it anyway. You have no choice but to let your gloves slowly fill up with ice cold water, let your fingers go numb, and put up with it until you get out of the water.
Back on the dive boat with a soaking wet under glove and a punctured dry glove, you’ve got about 30 minutes until your next dive so it’s time to get a wiggle on. First things first: take the dry suit off and sit down with it between your legs. Find somewhere relatively stable. I know that may sound difficult if you’re on a boat and it is rocking from side to side, but the quarterdeck usually offers a good working area. Make sure you have your diver’s toolbox beside you because you need all of your tools to hand.
For the purposes of arguments sake, let’s imagine that you use basic marigold dry gloves these are probably the most simple of dry gloves any diver can choose. If you dive using a Waterproof D1 Hybrid dry suit, attaching these to the suit is relatively easy and quite quick. In your toolbox you should have a small waterproof wheel thingy (that’s the technical term for the pizza cutter looking tool included with your D1). This tool allows you to move the ring alignment away from the dry suit. Try to position this wheel in between the stiff ring alignment and the top of the cuff. Apply progressive torque and slowly maneuver the stiff ring out of a dry suit cuff holder. On successful completion of this, the dry gloves literally come straight out. It’s actually surprising how easy this is when you practice it a couple of times.
Here is a youtube video showing just how easy it is to remove and replace dry gloves (starts at 1 minute 21 seconds).
Once you’ve got the damaged dry glove out, throw it straight in the rubbish bin because you don’t want to mix it up with the new one. This may sound silly, but I’ve done it myself. What an idiot!
Take the new gloves and position them along the seam that runs across the chest of your dry suit. Additionally, look for the words stiff ring alignment and position the seam of the dry suit glove in line with this. Fold the dry suit gloves over the stiff ring and make sure they are flush with the ridges on the ring. Again, the video demonstrates precisely how to accomplish this task in no time at all.
Once you have the glove fitted to the ring simple place it back into the stiff ring holder and clip it back into place using both thumbs and your upper body strength to push down, clipping the new dry glove into position. You should hear a nice clicking sound when it is properly secured.
By now you may be wondering if you did the job right. Unfortunately, there is only one way to make sure the new dry glove is secure and ready for your next dive. You must submerge the dry glove in water. If you don’t fancy jumping into the ocean wearing a dry suit, find a dunk tank where the underwater cameras go and ask if you may test your glove system. This is a perfect place to see if you connected dry glove to your dry suit properly. Wow! Great success! It works — you did it! Yes, dry suit maintenance can be as simple as that.
Fantastic you got your brand new drysuit gloss fitted to your suit and you’re ready to go in for a second dive. Well done!
With more practice you will learn how to change out your dry suit gloves like a pro. It’s more simple than you think and just carrying a couple of spare pairs of gloves in your dive bag will give you peace of mind the future diving activities. And you will always have a completely dry glove!