Why We Dive Otter Drysuits!
Dive Team Uniform
For me, there is no better review of a diving product than seeing it being adopted by the Scuba Leeds dive team. If you have been lucky enough to dive with the team recently, you will have noticed that Otter Drysuits have almost become our second uniform. With over half of the team currently diving Otter suits and the rest of the team joining the clan one by one as they replace/upgrade their suits. I went out to the team to find out why?
Who are Otter Drysuits?
Otter Watersports is an industry leading manufacturer of drysuits based on our doorstep in Bradford. Established in 1986 by John Womack Snr, Otter has remained a family run business. Producing top quality, made-to-measure drysuits and providing unrivalled customer service and after sales support is something that Otter are renowned for.
With so many other manufactures in the market, why choose Otter?
Otter offers a fully bespoke, made-to-measure service for drysuits. They offer the choice of different materials and styles to accommodate all diver requirements and budgets. Choosing the type of suit you want is just the beginning. Each divers precise measurements are taken ensuring a perfect fit and very comfortable diving. As well as choosing the style of suit you can also fully bespoke a large number of add-ons. This will ensure that the suit will fulfil all of your diving needs and requirements.
So, what are the Dive Teams favourite features of their Otter Drysuits?
Otter offer a full range of standard features and add-ons to accommodate for all diver preferences and styles. I went out to the Scuba Leeds dive team to understand what add-ons everyone had and why.
As PADI Pros, diving in single tank wings, cargo pockets are a must. Otter offer various sizes of pocket and also allow you to choose the positioning. This ensures that you have the right things, in the right place, at the right time. Internal bungees in the pockets allow us to to attach reels, SMBs and other 'diving stuff' we might need for training. Drain holes allow the water to escape easily when you exit the water. This means that you don't have to carry a few extra unnecessary kilos back to the van!
At Scuba Leeds we like to dive all year round. We are often some of the only divers found at the training sites on the colder, winter days. As well as diving, we also like to stay warm. The addition of dry gloves has been adopted by many of the team. Dry gloves keep our hands dry and warm even in the coldest of waters.
I'm sure that you will have heard about divers peeing in their wetsuits.... but surely not in their drysuits? The addition of a 'Pee Valve' makes this possible and means that you don't have to worry about how and when to plan your toilet breaks during a busy training day. However, just be sure that you are 'plumbed in' correctly!
Anyone who has had to replace a zip on their drysuit will understand that this is not a cheap repair. Unlike many other drysuits on the market, Otter fit a second (non watertight) zip which allows you to cover your precious drysuit zip. This ensures that your zip is protected from bumps and scrapes, allowing you to get many happy years of diving without having to replace it.
Braces are installed in the suit to keep the legs and waist of the suit up and in place when you have the suit undone. This allows the team to carry out briefs and debriefs without suffering from what Alex Varnals would call 'Gangsta Pant Syndrome'.
As well as all of the extremely useful features above, Otter also allow the option of personalising your drysuit with different coloured materials and panels. This allows you to finish off your truly bespoke suit to create a unique, one off item. This also helps students recognise members of the dive team under water.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is simple. Are you a diver who is serious about cold water diving? Do you want to dive in comfort in a fully made-to-measure and bespoke drysuit with an excellent quality finish? Do you want to purchase a drysuit with the piece of mind that any product found to be faulty within 12 months will be replaced or repaired as necessary? If you answered YES to the above then get yourself down to Scuba Leeds and speak with the guys about how you to can get your hands on your very own Otter drysuit.