Posted Aug 08, 2017
At 7TILL8, we build custom wetsuits that fit your body and help you to excel at diving. We all know that it’s passion that makes a great diver but you can't perform without the right gear - properly fitted and built to your specifications. That’s where we come in; you bring the drive and determination, we outfit you with a comfortable, highly technical wetsuit so you can perform at your peak.
We have been taking special requests via email and calls and have been building custom wetsuits for women. We are always curious to know how they have been performing for our customers and just recently have been tagged on a Facebook post by a customer Audrey from Malta on her reaction to her custom wetsuit. We caught up with Audrey Cudel, a Technical Diving Instructor at Gozo Technical Diving with 25 years of experience under her belt to learn more about her passion and how our wetsuit is supporting her.
She began diving at age 16 and completed her Recreational Diving training in France and Egypt soon after her first dive.
“I just adored the feeling of freedom and peacefulness being underwater, chasing rays of lights vanishing into depth, losing track of time and space,” she said.
Audrey left her consulting job eight years ago, to become a full-time Technical Diving instructor and now shares her love of diving with committed divers as well as first timers. Her specialties are sidemount, technical side-mount diving and cave diving.
Her 7TILL8 wetsuit is custom-fitted to her slim frame and is made from #38 Yamamoto neoprene which is compression resistant and maintains its cell structure for maximum thermal insulating properties on deep dives, which is essential for deep dives and cave dives. She chose a 7TILL8 custom wetsuit to match her needs and work well with her body because it can be difficult for women to find wetsuits that fit correctly and provide maximum comfort. 7TILL8 decided to use the Japanese limestone material to provide the best insulation and also durability. Audrey frequently dives and it is important that her wetsuit is built to last to keep up with her active life.
“I find it funny most of the wetsuits manufacturers still add pink flowers or the like on ladies’ suits …I like it simple black so, thank you, 7TILL8, the simpler the better,” she said.
As a diving instructor, Audrey also needs to carry extra equipment and such as, spare masks, wetnotes, SMBs and spools, she added custom pockets to her wetsuit to facilitate carrying extra gear without compromising buoyancy or presenting a problem during cave dives. Her wetsuit also features a front zipper plus wrist and ankle zippers for easy on-and-off.
“Diving is less a matter of place than a feeling of well-being when being underwater...[it] opens a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities,” she said.
Although diving may seem like an individual sport, Audrey reiterates how this experience is really about bonding and teamwork. For example, her most memorable dive was her last dive with her late father. She credits her father with getting her acquainted with the water at a young age and says she will always remember their early morning freediving sessions in the south of France.
“The best part of diving is managing to achieve a safe dive and sharing the moment and experience among all team members,” she said. “With time, the Diving community becomes a big family with loads of memories shared both underwater and on the surface.”
She also does underwater videography and photography on her dives. Her work captures the feeling of tranquility underwater and the skill of other Technical Divers rather than focusing on fish and marine life.
“I am seeking for this moment when [divers] forget about me being there. I try to get the beauty out of their inner self. It all mixes in a perfect instant,” she said. “It extends the inner feeling into something real to be shared among others.”
Audrey plans to continue teaching, diving and sharing her experiences with people in the diving community and those still on dry land. She plans to take her new wetsuit on a to trip to Mexico, where she will enjoy a vacation and take some training classes to hone her skills and experience new underwater landscapes.
“My favorite place to dive is always the one to come,” she said.
Audrey is a 7TILL8 customer who gave us permission to tell her story. All components of her wetsuit were made by 7TILL8 and can be found here. For inquiries about your custom wetsuit, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 283-9440