One of the most exciting parts for beginners in scuba diving is the first time they get to lay their hands on a diving gear set. Such equipment is highly important in this activity mainly because it’s gear-intensive. Meaning, you will need a complete set because the sport doesn’t allow you to see, breathe, or swim underwater. Thankfully, the right dive gear allows you to do just that.
At first, newbie divers might find the variety of equipment quite intimidating. Once you know how every piece works, you’ll easily get the hang of it. To hasten your journey through the learning curve, we’ve created a convenient guide to all crucial gear that divers require.
The primary role of a dive mask is to provide a pocket full of air for your eyes and nose. This is to allow you to enjoy the majestic view underwater and balance the pressure that goes to your sinuses and ears. Snorkel, on the other hand, enables you to breathe while you’re swimming face down beneath the water’s surface. It’s a tube and usually attaches at the left side on the head.
Ever wonder about the name of the gear that divers wear, which looks like a backpack or vest? It’s the BCD. It holds the oxygen tank and is used to make you weightless while hovering underwater. Moreover, it gives the power of control into your hands in case you want to float at the surface, kneel at the bottom, or swim gracefully along mid-water. To fully manipulate movements with ease, you’ll need a BCD that’s perfect-fitting to your physique. You’ll also need a good weight system to complete your buoyancy devices.
The regulator connects to the tank and gives off air to your mouth with every inhale, allowing you to breathe underwater. Octopus acts as a backup for the regulator. More often, it comes in bright yellow color so it’s easier to find in the dark. Its hose is also usually longer. Both the regulator and octopus are attached to the user’s right side.
These transform your feet to make efficient and smooth movements under the sea. There are different types of fins that divers could use. One is full-foot fin, which can be worn on bare foot. Another is the open heel, a type that requires wearing of neoprene booties to get a perfect and comfortable fit.
Ocean water, even during warm situations, can take off heat from your body faster than air by 20 counts. Come wetsuits – a gear that provides proper insulation whenever coldness attacks. Most divers use the 3-mm thick wetsuits, which come in either shorty or full category. There are also full suits that are either 5mm or 7mm. Sometimes they come with gloves and hood to shield the skin from cold temperature. Semi-dry suits prevent the water from moving through, thanks to their neck and wrist seals. However, unlike wetsuits, they can’t be inflated or deflated.
To closely monitor your diving stats, you will need to bring a dive computer with you. Some of the things it monitors are your depth, the length of time you’re under water, and the time left before you need to float up. Some computers can even tell how much air is left in the tank.
Diving knives come in handy not as a weapon, but as a tool for cutting ropes, lines, and so on. Specially sealed diving lights are also necessary for you to witness the true colors of the reefs, even during a dark night. Of course, we all want to document and share what beauty lies beneath the ocean waters. Hence, it’s always nice to bring underwater cameras along. In some instances, you may also need to carry a hard-shell dive case. This securely seals your valuables, keeping your things dry and away from moisture.
Nothing beats the excitement of the first dive. However, you must ensure safety beforehand so as to have a more memorable diving experience. Since you’re diving for the first time, be sure to listen to your instructor. Don’t go underneath by yourself and don’t attempt to use or wear the gear if you’ve never trained or understood the technicalities to the fullest. The usual depth limit for beginners is around 30-40 meters. If you want to go deeper than that, you may need to undergo a special training or simply have a trained buddy along.
To make sure you’re doing everything right, you might want to considering signing up at a scuba diving course or enrolling at a diving school. After such, try to put all the dive gear together, learn the importance of each, and double check if everything is worn properly before you go splashing through the water. Happy diving!