Scuba diving gives you access to an otherwise unattainable underwater world. Our human make-up means that we are not equipped to breathe underwater. So the oceans’ depths have remained an exciting and mysterious place to us. Scuba diving allows you to explore these underwater worlds using breathing apparatus. Read on to learn more about scuba diving equipment.
A few pieces of basic scuba diving equipment are necessary for those wanting to start scuba diving. Here we’ll explore the essentials you’ll need for a successful and exciting start to scuba diving.
A mask is one of the crucial pieces of equipment needed for scuba diving. Allowing distance between our eyes and the water lets our eyes focus and improves our vision underwater.
Snorkeling masks and scuba diving masks are similar in construction, with them both having a glass front in front of the eyes and a silicone seal around the edges that prevent any water from getting into the mask. Scuba masks may be better made using better materials than snorkeling masks, and masks can vary in fit and the way the frame is structured. It’s essential to get a good fit with a secure strap to keep the mask against your face.
Unlike goggles, a mask incorporates the nose into the piece. This allows you to equalize the air volume in the mask as the water pressure compresses it. Brand new masks will fog upon first use, so applying a product that helps prevent fogging and coats the lenses is important.
While there are many mask options and many lens types, the main criteria for those looking for basic scuba diving equipment are a good and comfortable fit with a leak-free seal.
Efficient fins will allow you to move easily through the water. Beginner divers will be most comfortable with flexible smaller thins as these are easier on the leg and hip muscles. Experienced divers with muscles used to diving tend to lean toward bigger, firmer fins.
Open-heel fins are adaptable and can be used by different-sized people as they are worn over diving shoes and can be adjusted to fit the wearer. Full-foot fins are generally used in warm waters only and must be better fitted to the individual and provide less foot protection than fins that require wearing diving shoes.
Your fins should be chosen to match your experience and strength and should help aid your movement through the water. Fins should not hurt your toes, but they should be a close fit to the foot. A good fitting pair of suitable fins will allow you to use your leg strength to move you through the water.
Clothing – drysuit/wetsuit
Scuba diving can be cold and uncomfortable without a well fitted appropriate wetsuit. Wetsuits provide warmth and a layer of protection against stings and scrapes. Generally, wetsuits are made of a type of rubber known as neoprene. They insulate your body by keeping water out and trapping air in the layers of the fabric. These two methods prevent heat loss and allow you to cope with cold temperatures. A good wetsuit should fit securely to the body without any gaps while still being comfortable to wear.
While not an essential piece of equipment, it is recommended that diving gloves are part of your basic scuba diving kit. They are designed to keep your hands safe from cuts, bites, and stings and reduce any damage to your skin that may happen when diving. Basic diving gloves should be close fitting but still allow for easy movement of your hands. They are often made from neoprene, the same material used in wetsuits and diving booties.
Dive cylinders provide the crucial element to scuba diving, being able to breathe underwater. They come in various materials and sizes and can often be rented. This provides a simple way to get one that suits you and try out different sizes and models.
A standard dive cylinder is 12l in capacity. Smaller ones are available for children or smaller people, and larger ones are available for extra long dives, but 12l is the standard capacity used. Many divers dive two or three times per excursion and require 2-3 dive tanks. It would be best to talk through your options with a specialist dive shop before purchasing to ensure it will suit your needs.
A smartwatch doesn’t necessarily seem like the most crucial piece of kit, but a watch such as the Garmin Descent MK2 works both as a traditional smartwatch and a great diving gadget. It allows you to track your entry and exit points and apnoea levels, and it has different dive modes and can be used to track and store data for up to 200 dives. The Garmin MK2 works as a dive computer offering you technical information while diving and rebreathing features and oxygen sensors.
A tank banger is a simple, inexpensive device for communicating underwater. It sits around your tank and is used to bang the tank to get the attention of your dive partners. It’s a great basic piece of dive equipment that can be helpful.
Depth Gauge, Pressure Gauge, Compass
Diving consoles are an all-in-one gadget that contains a depth gauge, pressure gauge, and compass. However, these items can be bought individually if preferred. These instruments need to be specifically for diving to be able to cope with the water pressure that they will be subject to while being used. Knowing how deep you are in the water and the pressure of the water is very important when diving. It helps you understand how much air you have left in your cylinder and how long this will last you.
You can check out more diving articles here.
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