As it is with everything that is done for the first time, during your first dry suit dive, there will be so many things to think about and remember that it could get a bit overwhelming, especially if it all happens in cold water and perhaps in snowy weather. Therefore, for your first dry suit dive, it does not hurt to come prepared at least for a few things that could go wrong. This way you can just enjoy the dive and eliminate many surprises.
First, add Tulcum powder to your latex seals before you get into your dry suit. This makes the daunting task of getting yourself into the dry suit much smoother thus easier. If you have a neoprene seals, you can stretch them out a little on the tank or on some other round object to help you get into them easier the next day. However, beware of over stretching the seals, be careful here. Also, when we are on the topic of getting into your dry suit, you should lubricate the dry suit zipper with beeswax or some proprietary zip lube before your dive, so when it is time to zip yourself up it goes smoothly and no damage is done.
Second, bring a thermal bottle with hot water with you to the dive site. If you are going to dive in very cold water with freezing air temperature, it is quite possible that your regulator mouth piece or any other valve will freeze up which would mean the end of the dive for you. Also, if there is snow on the ground, it is not uncommon to get snow stuck in your fin’s back clip making it impossible to clip them on, so pouring a bit of a hot water on it, will surely melt the stuck snow.
Third, do not breath into your regulator while on the surface. Instead, when you and your buddy gave yourselves the sign to go down under the water, put your face into the water first and then insert the regulator into your mouth. This simple trick will prevent your regulator from freezing as it will not gather condensation from your breath. So remember, first mouth in the water, then regulator in. Same principle applies when you are surfacing, take out your regulator right before you will surface, so you are not breathing into it out of the water.
Fourth, put on all your equipment (drysuit, bcd with tank, hood, gloves) by your car. If there is no club house or a place where it is very easy to get into your equipment, it is much simpler to put and adjust all your scuba gear by your car (assuming you drove and you are doing a shore dive) and then walk over to the entry area into the water where you will begin your dive.
Fifth, RELAX. Dry suit diving is not complicated if you just relax and have fun with it. You will be better aware of your body and surroundings, so keeping your correct neutral buoyancy will not be a problem. Many beginners are afraid of floating feet during their dry suit dives. However, this is really not that big of a problem just remember to add short bursts of air to level buoyancy and you will be fine.
I’ll leave you with one final advice. In the dry suit courses, it is taught to use the actual exposure suit for keeping buoyancy. As much as this makes sense, I’d suggest you rely on your BCD to adjust buoyancy and leave only enough air in the suit to keep warm. And now, don’t waste valuable time and get diving!