One of the biggest hurdles faced by female divers is finding exposure gear that fits properly.
In the early 1950s, pioneers like Dottie Frazier and Zale Parry cobbled together gear out of long underwear, wool sweaters and wool socks.
When the first commercially produced neoprene wetsuits were released in the late 1950s, they were designed for men and quite stiff and fragile, and women faced one glaring issue…
As Dottie put it, “I had a 42-inch bust. There was no way it was going to fit my chest. I took it apart and reconstructed it – this eventually turned into the first wetsuit with a bra in front”.
Until the late 1980s when neoprene suits first incorporated some stretch, custom wetsuits were often the best option for serious female divers.
And then there were drysuits… In the late 1970s, everything about them was big, especially the feet!
In the early 1990s, Faith Orlins of Northeast Scuba in Massachusetts collaborated with Diving Unlimited International in a year-and-a-half long project which resulted in the release of the first readily available line of drysuits cut specifically for women.
Today of course, almost every brand produces female specific exposure gear.
What exposure gear are you ladies using?
#OMSACWomensMonth #WomensDivingGear #ExposureGear #WatchThemRise #OMSAC