It’s not a dive skin and it’s not a wetsuit, but the new Lavacore line of exposure suits has the characteristics of both, and actually a bit more. Developed by the American Underwater Products manufacturing group (Oceanic, AERIS, HOLLIS), Lavacore is designed to give scuba divers “the best of both worlds”.
Introduced to dive industry professionals last fall, Lavacore products started arriving at selected scuba diving retailers last month. Preliminary reports from dive stores are that the unique exposure suits are selling out fast as divers discover the unique qualities and comfort of the Lavacore brand.
During some recent test dives in the Caribbean, the DiverWire staff discovered what everyone is talking about first-hand. Most divers wear some form of exposure protection. In warmer waters, skins are often the choice. But the thin material, while providing protection from the sun, corals and the occasional sea creature, doesn’t provide warmth.
Lavacore changes the status quo and adds some “heat” to the product category – literally. Lavacore is designed to be lightweight like a traditional dive skin, but the soft, fleece lining inside provides an extra level of comfort. In essence, it works like a wetsuit to let water in, but unlike a skin, the water is retained adding warmth and comfort. For those wearing a Lavacore suit, it was not only warm, but comfortable without all the “bulk” and added buoyancy of a traditional wetsuit.
Designed by water sports professionals who know the demands and challenges of delivering consistent exposure protection, the Lavacore line can easily be worn as a primary exposure suit in warmer waters or as a supplemental undergarment in colder waters. Lavacore suits are made from an exclusive POLYTHERM™ material. This tri-laminate material retains water next to the body, allows the fabric to breathe, and yet resists the wind and other natural forces that lead to heat loss.
Divers we spoke to also liked the flexible designs and combinations that Lavacore has made available. The many different styles include full suits, tops, shorts, long-sleeve and short-sleeve options and even matching vests, hoods, and boots. “Female divers like the two-piece Lavacore option which enables them to relax in between dives without having to deal with heavy wetsuits,” said Doug Krause, Lavacore’s Marketing Manager.