Appeared in DIVER November 2006

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WETSUIT Ralf Tech Power Line Storm

INVITED TO JOIN A GROUP OF DIVERS from the Gay & Lesbian Underwater Group for a liveaboard charter in the Red Sea, I was concerned about what I should take to wear.
I wanted to look my best on the dive-deck because I assumed that my fellow-travellers would all be the essence of sartorial elegance. How wrong I was!
However, not knowing that beforehand, I asked Denney Diving to send me one of the uniquely designed Ralf Tech suits. It provided the Power Line Storm, which fitted me like a proverbial second skin. I didnt want to let my side down.
I remembered this suit as carrying a pattern that enhanced ones abs and pecs but once I had slipped into it I realised I was going to look more like Spiderman than a runner-up in a Mr Universe contest.
However, I still felt I looked rather impressive.
Its a semi-dry in a mixture of 4 and 5mm neoprene with a long entry zip at the back and smoothskin seals at the neck, with a good helping of Velcro on the tape that pulls over. There are Glideskin seals at both wrist and ankles with cuffs that zip closed over them.
As my suit fitted me snugly, there was no question of any cold water flushing through. I was safe and secure from any untoward effects that came from diving in it.
The pattern, in silver on black, appears to be applied as an additional layer of stretchy material that adds to the hard-wearing properties of the suit.
The interior is lined with non-pilling nylon Spandex jersey material, which adds to the comfort it affords. Panels are both glued and blind-stitched, with added reinforcement at the stress-points of the joins. The kneepads added a robustness that was needed when I crawled about inside the wreck of a wartime tugboat to get those elusive interior shots.
In the event, I felt I was the only person on Blue Seas with any sense of style when it came to dressing to dive. The rest looked like members of any diving club, some of whom had got their kit from a car-boot sale. I looked and felt delicious!
Perhaps few DIVER readers will have the courage to wear such a flamboyantly styled suit. However, I had no trouble enlisting the help of divers on the boat to do a spot of fashion-modelling.
The Ralf Tech Power Line Storm is available in a range of off-the-peg sizes from XS to XXL. It costs £199. Ralf Tech can supply hood, boots and gloves to match, as well as a version of the suit in a thicker 7mm material (£237). There is also a similarly styled over-vest with asymmetrical zip and attached hood available.
  • Denney Diving 01642 486666, www.divingdirect.co.uk


  • Divernet
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    + A suit for those with a sense of style


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    - Are you man enough to wear one