DUI INNOVATIONS: Designing Dive Equipment for Women
Designing Dive Equipment for Women
Written by Susan Long, President & CEO DUI
Make it smaller and make it pink. That is what designers and manufacturers of dive equipment used to do in the not so distant past. Another popular way around it is a simple relabeling of sizes from “men’s” to “unisex”. Yea, right.
Let’s face it ladies – we are hard to fit. We come in so many different shapes and sizes that it’s hard for manufacturers to keep up. Plus there is no universal size chart that says what a small is, or a medium or a large. It’s whatever the manufacturer decides it is.
So where does that leave us? First, do your research. Don’t just take someone else’s word for it. Look into the product and see not only if the product comes in ladies sizes, find out what does a ladies-size mean. Speak to other women who have used it. Does the manufacturer have multiple styles or just a token one?
Next, try it on. Be sure to try it in the configuration in which you are going to dive it. For example, if you live in the Pacific Northwest and you are trying on a BC, make sure you try it on OVER your drysuit. Who cares if it “lifts and separates” in the store? In addition to fit, it has to give you complete freedom to move. Nothing is worse than being restricted in your dive gear. Can you reach into the pockets with all of your other gear on?
A great example of a company who designs equipment for women is DUI – Diving Unlimited International. They have multiple drysuit styles in 18 different sizes each plus they specialize in made-to-measure. Then add that to the myriad of colors and design choices and you’ve got the best of both worlds – it fits AND it looks good.
And finally, if there is something you want, let the manufacturer know. Companies thrive on customer feedback and nothing speaks louder than a customer with money!
As seen in the August 2013 issue of North American Dive News