You can buy a neoprene cover for your Dome port from Aquatech, but it costs $20 plus shipping, I decided to make my own with a spare bit of neoprene and a little spare time.
Here’s how you can do the same:
This is what you need:
- Neoprene – if you don’t have any spare I’d suggest the local pound shop, mine has a nice selection of 15″ laptop covers which would do the job, or you can always pick up a sheet of 2mm neoprene on Amazon for 99p.
- Marker Pen
- large sheet of paper
- Masking Tape
- Sewing stuff – just a standard needle and thread needed.
What to do
It’s pretty straightforward, check out the pictures if the description of each stage is confusing.
- Make a template out of your paper, I used a dinner plate as a guide and a page from some junk mail leaflet.
- Tape the paper around your dome at the top, bottom and both sides, then you can fold four equally spaced pleats into the paper, crease them well so they show up when you take the paper off.
- Now you want to cut the basic shape out of your neoprene, give yourself some extra around the edge. Once it’s cut out you can lay the paper on top and poke the pen through the paper to mark the corners of the pleats.
- now this stage is tricky to explain, you want the edge of the cover to wrap under the edges of the port to hold it in place, so if you lay the neoprene on top and squeeze up the pleated section you will have some overhang, gather this up and mark on the neoprene where the edges meet once it’s in position.
- once you’ve done this once you can just fold a bit of paper into the correct angle and use it to mark off the other sections.
- Now you cut out the bits you don’t need and you’ll end up with something like the photo.
- Stitch the edges together, start in the middle and hold the two sides together when stitching, keep going until the edge, if it doesn’t quite match up just trim any extra off with the scissors to keep it neat.
- That’s it, it should now stretch over the dome, fitting snugly and giving it protection from bumps and scrapes when it’s in your surf bag.
There are other dome covers available but the bigger sizes, like the one I need for my 8 inch LP-3 dome port, are mostly designed for dive ports which have built in hoods so they’re not suitable for this hoodless style.
Making anything from scratch is satisfying and this is a cheap, effective way to protect your port when it’s not in use and I have already benefited from using mine.
In a future post I will list the kit I take with me when surfing and shooting photo’s, it’s quite different from what I take if I’m not surfing and this port cover allows me to stick the housing in on top of the other gear without worrying about it.
I finished mine in two evenings in front of the TV and I hope this will make it a bit easier for anyone else planning on doing something similar to get it done even more quickly.