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Peeing in Your Wetsuit?

Hawaiian Diving Adventures

There are two types of divers: those who pee in their wetsuit, and those who lie about it! While this may sound a little gross, I want to discuss the pros and cons of peeing in your wetsuit.

Caleb looking to the surface
Caleb checking in on his divers

Being in the water actually triggers your need to pee. Read all about it here or here. So, should we pee, or hold it until after the dive?

First of all, peeing feels good. Peeing underwater is a calming feeling. The ocean itself is making you want to pee through ‘immersion diuresis.’ A forty-minute dive can be agonizing and impossible to hold it in. Furthermore, the pee warms your wetsuit. One of the worst parts of cold water diving is feeling 54 degrees down your spine as the wetsuit fills up. If you fill that wetsuit with warm, body temperature liquid, then you never get that chill.

Peeing in your wetsuit isn’t without risk. The biggest downside is the smell! The urine sits next to your skin for quite a while. A wetsuit’s design doesn’t let water flow between your body and the suit very much. So water movement makes a diver cold.  As the urine degrades, it causes odors that attach to the skin; the result is a stinky diver and a stinky wetsuit. The smell can last for quite a while too, and usually requires a shower to remove. As if the smell wasn’t bad enough, all your dive buddies know where the smell came from! Our friends would never let us live that down!

Wetsuit stink is another big issue. Simple rinsing is not enough to remove the smell. A commercial cleaning agent is usually needed to detox your suit. Hawaiian Diving Adventures carries wetsuit cleaner in small single-use sizes and large bottles. Of course, harsh chemicals in the urine and in the cleaners degrades the suit much faster.

In the interest of full disclosure, I, Andrew of Hawaiian Diving Adventures, am a pee-er. I began my diving career peeing and have been unable (and unwilling) to stop. But I don’t worry about smelling bad: my solution is to not wear a wetsuit! In the sunny climates of Hawaii, the water is warm enough year-round to go without. The urine flows and the seawater flushes it away.

So be honest: do you pee in your suit?