..I made it extra lubby this time.

7am in the Pacific Ocean with no land in sight – besides making me chuckle, Matt’s comment gave me an idea for this post. We were at our first dive site and it was the most dreaded time. Time to take off my warm clothes and put on my cold, wet, slippery spearfishing suit.

Making Lube for Spearfishing Suit

Putting on an open cell suit would be close to impossible without lube. For most, lube is a mixture of hair conditioner and water. Usually prepared in a rush right before heading out for a dive. I like to keep an extra bottle of conditioner in my dive bag in case I forget. The lube is used to coat the exposed neoprene inside of the open cell suit. It helps slip the suit without damaging it or ripping off your body hair. Conditioner to water ratio is as varied as the spearos who make it.

  • Light – A little half ounce squirt of conditioner into a 12 oz. water bottle is my personal favorite. I leave some room in the bottle so I shake it up and get a good mix. I’ve seen some divers use mix like this in a squirt bottle.
  • Extra Lubby – More conditioner than water. It uses more conditioner but the suit slips right on. This is for the ballers out there where money aint a thing.
  • Warm – Make lube in a thermos with hot water before the dive. I did this a few times but by the time it goes through the suit and I put it on, it was already cold again. It might be better if I took a larger quantity to get the whole suit up to temp but it’s not worth the weight.
  • Fresh/Salt – I use fresh water. On a few dives where drinking water is more important than lube I have used salt water. The conditioner does not dissolve as well as it does in fresh water. It just gets lumpy. Still better than no lube.
  • All Natural – Sometimes I forget the conditioner. Water will work but there is a technique to putting on the suit and not giving yourself a leg and arm wax. Get the suit and yourself completely wet then scrunch up each part of the suit into your hands so you can apply outward force with your thumbs as you slip it on. Like putting on tube socks.
  • At Home – The ultimate in comfort. Start a nice warm shower. Take your suit in with you. Lube it up and put it on. The best if you live close to the beach and don’t have a long boat ride ahead of you. You also have to be OK with your seat getting wet. I do this on lobster night dives. I don’t want to change into a freezing wetsuit in a shady dark parking lot.

Lube Etiquette

So you forgot your lube and your dive buddy offers to share. Let them put on their suit first. Don’t take any lube until they are done. Take what’s left and add more water if it doesn’t look like enough. If you are on the other end and your buddy forgot his lube, be a nice guy and try to save him some. Ive been on both ends so I keep a bottle of conditioner in my dive bag to make more as needed.

Don’t Do It

Don’t use dish soap, body soap, or shampoo. I have seen guys use these. All complained about itching shortly after getting in the water and had nice rashes at the end of the dive.

How Do You Lube?

What’s your technique for putting on your open cell suit? Share it in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!


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