After having lots of cold and slightly damp dives due to little leaks here and there I decided that it was finally time to retire my most excellent but well used Otter Britannic to the role of back up suit and look for a replacement. As I seem to get colder and colder on my long North Sea deco stops these days I also decided it was time that I looked into a neoprene suit as I was having way too many layers under my fourth element arctics . I seriously considered an O'Three Ri 1-100 with front entry (could never go back to rear entry after many years of self-donning) but at the last minute was persuaded to look at Hydrotech...
By pure luck, my local dive centre, Core 94 in Aberdeen (ex-Aberdeen Watersports) are the local agent so I was able to pop in and have a look. Have to say I was very impressed with the standard off the peg offerings, especially the quality and features considering the reasonable price tag (approx. £800 rear entry and £1000 front entry) but they only had large and medium sizes in front entry. Being a little vertically challenged I really needed a medium relaxed (otherwise know as short & fat!) so after a few calls the factory was able to send up the required standard suit for me to try in a week or so. During this time I did a bit of research to find that the suits are made at Stoney Cove via the guys that used to be the DUI agents. This may explain where the quality comes from as they obviously know how to make a good suit and what features are important. Anyhow, the suit was a very good fit and it was then down to me choosing the features that I wanted. Some of these it turned out were not normal offerings from the factory (plastic front zip, moved from normal position to go over shoulder more, large pockets with zips instead of Velcro, neoprene only cuffs) but again, after some discussion the factory was happy to accommodate my needs and the suit was ordered. Some 3 weeks later my new suit arrived with exactly the variations I had ordered and I have to say I am delighted. Even though it is an off the peg size, the fit is fantastic, namely due to the telescopic torso which is rare on neoprene suits. The pockets are huge, the zip is in exactly the right place and the suit is very easy to don and doff, unlike the standard front zip position which is too far down your thigh and not enough over your shoulder. The guys have done a great job and having recently completed a west coast weekend of diving with my local BSAC club (Deeside SAC) I am a warm and very happy diver thanks to Core 94 and Hydrotech.
Took a car full of 10 year old boys through from Inverness to do the PADI Bubble maker.
long journey, but well worth it! Boys had a brilliant time. All had own individual equipment, so nobody had to lose out due to sharing. Boys very well looked after by instructors. High recommend as a treat or birthday event that is a bit different.