Did you recently fall in love with the underwater world and are planning on going scuba diving on your next vacation? You are definitely not the only one! Scuba diving is beyond doubt one of the most popular water activities, as many people want to explore the ocean’s hidden beauties. Scuba is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, and even though everyone can try it, it requires some preparation. Before you embark on your next ocean adventure, make sure you have the right scuba diving gear and a friendly instructor. Check out the list below to ensure you have everything you need to enjoy your dive!
Essential Gear for Scuba Diving
The first and most important purchase is a mask, because well, if you can’t see when you’re underwater, what’s the point of going scuba diving? Human eyes are not designed to see clearly when in the water, so a good mask is essential. And the number one rule is - try it before you buy it! Always make sure your mask fits and does not leak. A comfortable, high quality mask can make all the difference when exploring the great oceans. And if you wear glasses, make sure to get yourself a prescription mask.
A wetsuit or drysuit is essential for protecting your skin and keeping you warm. You might wonder what the difference between the two is, so let us explain. Wetsuits are designed to keep you warm when wet, but are not waterproof. They are tight and allow you to be more athletic. Drysuits, on the other hand, are waterproof, but not designed to keep you warm. They are loose and act as a shell between you and the water. The colder the water, the thicker you want your wetsuit or drysuit. Whichever one you choose, make sure they fit well and are comfortable.
You might wonder why you would need a snorkel when you have an air tank. Well, divers use snorkels to conserve air when floating on the surface of the water. It is also an important piece of equipment for newer and less experienced divers. When choosing a snorkel, make sure it is comfortable and has a durable, easy to use attachment system. You want your mouthpiece to feel good in your mouth and you want to be able to easily attach it to the mask. Find the right middle of easy to breathe through and dry comfort.
Another essential piece of equipment are the fins. They provide you more control of movement and they make you faster and more flexible in the water. When getting your pair of fins, look for a snug fit that doesn’t hurt your toes because you want to be able to move them. Fins come in different sizes and designs. The more experienced you are, the bigger fins you might have. If you are of smaller built, smaller fins will work better for you. It's important to choose a good pair of fins because you don’t want to get all cramped up when you should be exploring the corals.
Gloves are important to keep your hands safe from any cuts and bruises that you might get from exploring diving environments. They also work like wetsuits to keep you hands warm when underwater.
The most essential piece of equipment and one you cannot go diving without - the air tank. Try not to forget that one! Its purpose- to keep you alive. Also, allow you to breathe easily when underwater. You might choose to rent one when you first start diving, but might want to invest in your own when you become a more serious diver.
The BCD aka Buoyancy Compensator holds your gear in place and allows you to carry the tank with minimal effort. It is also the piece of equipment that lets you float on the surface with neutral buoyancy, as well as at any other depth level. When deciding on a BCD make sure its the correct size when you are wearing your wetsuit or drysuit. When you put it on, check that all adjustments, straps and pockets are easy to use, especially the inflation hose, and that you can reach it easily with one hand.
Depth Gauge, Pressure Gauge and Compass
A depth gauge records your depth when diving and lets you know your limits. A pressure gauge shows you the amount of gas left in your tank so that you know how much you have left. Finally, a compass is essential for navigation so you don’t get lost at the bottom of the ocean - and you don't start panicking!
Scuba Regulators allow you to breathe air from the tank by converting high pressure into ambient pressure. When choosing a regulator, there is not much you can go wrong with as they have all been perfected, and also you can’t really try them on in a store. Just look for high performance and comfort!
The final item you need for a smooth dive is the dive computer. This piece of equipment measures how long you’ve been under the water, how deep you are and how long you can stay at any depth. They constantly recalculate your decompression status, giving you longer dive time. When picking a dive computer make sure it is user-friendly. The last thing you need is having to figure out all the features when you’re exploring an underwater cave.
Additional Scuba Diving Gear
In addition to the essential scuba diving gear, you might want to check out some other pieces of equipment you'll find useful. Each diver has their own agenda and priorities, so take whatever you will need to make the most of your dive. Some other gear options to explore are: Underwater Camera, Defogger, Dive Knives, Writing Slates, Underwater Lights, Tank Bangers and more. These are not necessary tools, but you might want to consider them when preparing for your dive. Have fun exploring the beautiful ocean floors!
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