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Can SharkSkin and Lavacore Replace a Wetsuit? #askmark #scuba


Can SharkSkin, Thermocline and Lavacore Replace a Wetsuit? #askmark #scuba
@bellananicmorgan
Hey Mark, Thank you for all the videos over the years – they've been a huge help. Bit of an odd situation. I travel full time with just a carryon, so everything I own has to fit, and both size and weight are a consideration. I dive in mostly warmer waters with a bp/w. Because I'm trying to streamline what I bring a bit, rather than my normal 3mm shorty, would a Sharkskin/Lavacore full suit be a good option to replace the combination of that and my rash guard? Thank you for everything that you do for the scuba community. #AskMark

#scuba #scubadiving #scubadiver
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Lenny Zimmermann
Lenny Zimmermann
7 months ago

Some differences in the alternatives might be that Sharkskin has their Chillproof line (3mm equiv claimed, so probably really 2mm like mentioned in this video), and a T2 line they claim is 5mm equivalent, which makes me think it would really be closer to 4mm, but still a decent little boost on that front. 4th Element says their Thermoprene line is machine washable, which is also a plus. I think Sharkskin’s line recommends hand washing, but does suggest it can be machine washed on gentle if it gets really muddy or the like. I have a lavacore hooded vest which I just got and wore this weekend on a dive in one of the Florida springs which I wore under a ScubaPro Everlfex Yulex 3/2 wetsuit for the 68F/20C water there and I was very comfy, if not a little on the warm side (for comparison I made my 2nd dive without the Lavacore and was just a little chilly), but I’m also very comfortable in a 3mm shorty in 76F/24C water to give you some idea of my warmth tolerance. I didn’t have to change my weighting at all between the change, so definitely neutrally buoyant for me.

I rather like the material, however, and would be very tempted to try a Sharkskin T2 fullsuit (with hood) in place of my wetsuit in those conditions if it weren’t just as expensive as the wetsuit was. Still, using as a hooded vest for under a wetsuit I’ve been pretty impressed and get the feeling that Mark’s suggestion that for replacing a shorty in warm water it may be an excellent alternative

MaldivianBadger
MaldivianBadger
Reply to  Lenny Zimmermann
6 months ago

I reckon the average price for the Sharkskin Chillproof 1 suit is £395 in uk.
The long sleeve top £135.

SubjektObjektPrädikat
SubjektObjektPrädikat
6 months ago

Don’t know if it can replace a wetsuit, but as I don’t like the choky feeling of a hood and still wanted some kind of thermal protection for my head I bought the lavacore hoodie and wear that under my 5.5 mm wetsuit. Gives me enough protection in water down to 16 degrees.

The biggest disadvantage of the lavacore material: it is soaking wet after a dive while neoprene feels nearly dry between dives. But the hoodie looks quite cool 😀

Phillip
Phillip
6 months ago

They have warmer options, at least with sharkskin, there is also the titanium sharkskin. I’ve used that in 70f (21c) degree water and been plenty warm.

Jake Davis
Jake Davis
6 months ago

Hi

T Bone
T Bone
6 months ago

I wear a pair of lavacore pants and a lavacore vest. Works great in tropical water and if I feel a chill, I add a rash guard over the vest. Using the “rolling” method, I can fit all 3 of these pieces in my backpack/carry-on, no problemo.

Lee McDermott
Lee McDermott
6 months ago

Are sharkskin products in short supply at the moment? Can’t seem to find it anywhere

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