What equipment will you need to freedive Melbourne?
The first thing to understand is that the water temperature in Port Phillip Bay varies drastically during the seasons. In the summer months the temperatures can reach a balmy 22 degrees in the northern parts of the bay with the southern parts of the bay being marginally cooler reaching around 19 degrees as it has more of an inflow from the ocean. During the winter months the northern parts of the bay can reach a frigid 9 degrees while the southern parts of the bay (from Frankston south) can be around 13 degrees due to it getting slightly warmer water from the ocean during the tidal changes.
There are a few things to consider when purchasing a wetsuit:
- 2-3mm generally for tropical water with temperatures that vary from 24-30 degrees
- 3mm suited to more subtropical water with temperatures that vary from 18-24 degrees
- 5mm suited to cooler climates and suit water with a temperature range from 13-18 degrees
- 7mm suited to cold water climates with water temperatures ranging from 5-13 degrees
- 1 piece (like a surf suit and generally has a back zip). These suits aren't very good for freediving unless you are pool training as they tend not to keep you as warm as water leaks in at the neck and the zip. These suits tend to be surf suits and surfing wetsuits are designed for surfing and not freediving so they tend to compress really fast. They can also be scuba suits and generally these suits have very little flexibility and will not perform well for freediving.
- 2 piece (with integrated hood). These suits are designed specifically for freediving/spearfishing in mind and have great flexibility to help you breathe and feel comfortable while diving. These suits are generally open cell which means there is no fabric on the inside of the suit and will require lubrication to put on (a mixture of conditioner and water is a great way but there are many other options).
As you can see that due to the water temperatures in Melbourne you might require both a 5mm and 7mm wetsuit. The advantage of having both is that you can mix and match your suit in the transition times of the seasons.
If you are only going to purchase one suit a 5mm 2 piece wetsuit with the integrated hood is best as it suits the majority of the water temperature range.
Once you have your new freedive suit you will be ready to freedive here in Melbourne and explore the surrounding oceans and bays.
Get in touch with us if you are not sure what to purchase or if you would like to join a freedive course. We have hire gear available for those that have not purchased their full set of freediving equipment.