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DOG TRICKS: A non essential body part? Really?


Written by Kathy Long, Diver & DUI Web Systems Manager 

I remember a dive trip to the Northern Channel Islands off Southern California. One of the wetsuit divers would soak his frozen hands in the hot tub for 20 minutes after each dive.  He would just stand there, leaning over the edge letting his hands defrost in the hot water.  You could tell his hands hurt … a lot.  I just thought to myself, “why?”

Why be cold and miserable? There is a better way!

Did you know that the human body considers the hands to be non-essential? That’s why when external temperatures drop, your body shuts off circulation to the hands.  This loss of circulation adds to the cooling of the hands and the discomfort that comes along with it.

It’s pretty basic: blood flow equals warmth. The hands and feet are kept warm by blood circulation.  When your body senses the temperature is less than ideal for life support, it will minimize blood flow to the extremities which causes a cooling of the hands and feet.  Add a wrist seal and this further restricts blood flow to the hands making them colder still.

The good news? When you dive a drysuit, you don’t have to suffer with cold hands.

If you want the warmest hands possible you will want to remove any restriction of blood flow.  DUI ZipGloves offer the warmest option.  With no seal at the wrist neither the blood flow or air movement is restricted.  You will be amazed at how much warmer your hands will be.

warm scuba diver hands

Even in frigid waters your hands can be warm and comfortable

Some might say, “What if I puncture a glove?”  98% of the time a punctured glove means a wet finger and makes little to no impact on completing the dive.

If you are diving with long decompression dives where a puncture could be more troublesome, we suggest DUI ZipGloves with a donut damn inside that would mitigate water penetration into the suit.

For drysuit divers without a ZipRing on their drysuit, there are dry gloves with attached wrist seals called Dry5 Gloves.  These can be worn with any brand of drysuit and are great for other cold water activities like wind surfing, kayaking and more.

Diving in an extreme environment like the Arctic?  Upgrade to active heating.  DUI BlueHeat heated DiveWear insulation offers a heated dry glove liner.  It’s an electric blanket for your hands!

A DOG TRICK WITH ZIPGLOVES:  Adjust your hand position during your dive.  When you need the dexterity drop your hands and the squeeze on the gloves will increase dexterity.  Need warmth?  Raise your hands to the highest point allowing the trapped air in your drysuit to enter the gloves and warm your hands.  This is a perfect thing to do during your deco stop!

Helpful information

The San Diego Shuffle: Learn how to put on your DUI drysuit with ZipGloves attached

Previous DOG Tricks

That ‘F’ thing we don’t talk about or what the heck did you do to your neck

It’s all in the tuck or don’t be caught hanging out

The San Diego Shuffle

I swear I didn’t pee in my drysuit

How to keep cool when the heat is on

Are drysuits a drag?