Scuba Diving Gloves
Many may think that in Cyprus' warm waters you would not need to wear any Diving Gloves on your Scuba excursions.
But the utilization of diving gloves is not limited to the protection against cold waters and loss of body heat.
Diving gloves protect as well against stings and abrasion underwater.
Types of Diving Gloves
Snorkeling / Windsurfing Gloves
Some gloves are designed for snorkelling and/or windsurfing where their main function is to provide grip.
These gloves may come fingerless to enhance your dexterity and fine motor gestures such as tying or untying a knot, fine-tune your camera settings in the
water, etc.... Not easy with thick gloves !
Concerning real scuba diving gloves, the main difference is most certainly due to the type of diving suit used: wetsuit and dry-suit divers do not use the same types of gloves:
Dry suit Glove systems
Dry-suit gloves are specific to dry suit diving as they are part of the dry suit itself. These gloves form a seal against the wrist seals of the dry suit and usually with 'dry rings' that connect the glove watertight to the dry suit. The gloves might have their own latex seal but air must allow to circulate between the gloves and the dry suit for pressure compensation.
Dry gloves are generally not extremely thick as you normally wear a thin liner below to keep your hands warm. They come in black or blue, often the
blue glove colour is preferred as they are more visible against a black suit underwater when signalling.
Semi Dry Diving Gloves
Semi dry diving gloves are used in conjunction with a semi dry suit. These gloves are normally rather thick with 5-7mm neoprene for thermal protection. They have their own latex seal that inhibits water circulation. Your hands do not remain dry, they get wet but no water is really circulating around your fingers.
The latest models have a different thickness in several locations of the glove to enhance thermal protection but keep dexterity. These gloves are generally
made of neoprene and sometimes special materials are woven in either to increase grip or thermal protection without increasing their thickness.
Wet Diving Gloves
These are the standard neoprene diving gloves as we know them. They come in many different colours and shapes. There is a lot of marketing in it, and if you prefer diving in pink, chequered or camouflage gloves, there's nothing against it.
The main element is the glove thickness that varies from 1mm (very warm water) to 7mm cold water. The thicker the glove, the better the thermal protection but allowing lesser dexterity and adding more buoyancy.
Diving gloves do not only provide protection underwater but add grip and abrasion protection when climbing in and out of a rocky diving entry point.
Special Diving Gloves
How to chose your dive Gloves based on Water Temperatures
There are many different factors that must be taken into consideration when choosing the thickness of diving gloves and the water temperature at your diving depth is an important parameter. The following chart provides a general guideline. Remember, you lose a significant amount of body heat from areas like your head or hands. So, choosing the right gloves is a scuba diving safety factor.
Water Temperature / Diving Gloves Thickness Recommended
24 - 30C – 1.5mm neoprene with Lycra/Polartec or 3mm neoprene
18 - 24C – 5mm neoprene
10 - 20C – 7mm neoprene
2 - 10C – 9mm neoprene or dry suit