Even after over twenty years of underwater adventures, I have found that, at every diver's experience level, we are always learning new things about the world we are exploring, our companions, our gear and ourselves. As more information becomes available about all of these components and our understanding grows, our journeys become easier and the experience becomes enriched. The following tips will make your diving experiences much easier and much more fun. See more
In general, SCUBA is an equipment intensive activity that involves a basic technical understanding and requires that the diver has equipment that is appropriate for the conditions they plan to be in. This doesn't mean that you have to break the bank, but you don't want to skimp either. The most common phrase that applies to buying a Life Support System is to “Get the best gear that you can reasonably afford.” This means that you won't find yourself needing to replace gear that's not that old.
The most important piece of dive gear a diver uses is their scuba regulator. This is where we get the air that we are going to breathe once we slip into the world beneath the surface. It should be quite apparent that we want as high performance as we can get. This insures that it will fit a wide variety of applications and requirements for different locations and conditions. For example, a regulator that works well in both warm and cold water and in deep and shallow water will cover all of a diver's bases for years to come without needing to invest in a new one as the diver's skill level increases.
This piece of Safety gear is what goes into action in the rare instance that a buddy runs low on or out of air. Most divers are trained with an alternate that has its supply hose wrapped around the rib-cage on the right side. The second stage is secured somehow within the triangle from the bottom of the chin to the lower corners of the rib cage.
An excellent way for a diver to streamline their gear and maintain the safety of an alternate air source is to get one that integrates into the B.C.. This attaches on the left side of the BC and is used in conjunction with the inflator hose or replaces the inflator entirely.
A dive computer is a fantastic time-saver and information resource. This piece of gear is an information management system. They will not only display critical information about the dive you're on but, while in surface mode, they will allow you to view the dives you have previously logged or run simulations for upcoming dives. They come as wrist-mounted units, in consoles with other instruments or as tethered units that utilize a retractor for quick deployment.
Some of them even integrate the remaining air function into the display. The integrated hose-less/wireless units eliminate a hose from the rig. When these are used with the BC integrated Alternate Air Sources, you wind up with only two hoses. This makes the unit compact, lightweight and again, STREAMLINED.
Taking the time topside to make sure that all of your dive gear is adjusted properly before you even get in the water can save you time once you're in. Be sure that straps of all kind (BC, Mask, Fins) are not twisted and quick-releases are shut and snug but not restrictive. A mask strap that is too tight will cause headaches and a ring around your face. A fin strap that is twisted will be uncomfortable on your ankle and may cause a failure on the release, resulting in its loss.
A diver will also want to be sure that their gear is set up with easy access to pockets and D-ring storage. This means that, if you need to use a piece of gear you brought with you, it will be available.
Photographs and images of all kinds have described the world around us for thousands of years. Modern underwater cameras allow us to capture moments that otherwise, no one else would ever see. This is a great way to further enrich your diving and that of those around you – divers and non-divers alike. Quite simply put, “One picture is worth a thousand words.”
Making sure that all of the dive gear you are taking with you is secured so it can't be lost is a good idea. It is also good to have your Gauges and alternate air source secured to your body so that they don't dangle on the rocks, coral or sand. This keeps them from damaging the area and your gear. There are many different types of clips and retractors for these purposes.
Why is owning a gear bag full of scuba gear so important when it can be rented fairly readily around the world? Easy! In no other sport or recreation is fit, comfort and ease of use not only a very pleasant convenience but an extremely necessary aspect of the gear itself. The fit and comfort of a diver's scuba gear make each trip underwater more pleasant and enjoyable as it allows them to spend more time enjoying the beauty of the creatures and reef and less time adjusting or fiddling with their dive gear. The buoyancy compensator that fits snugly around the torso won't shift from side to side or slide up or down on the diver as they move about on their dives. A gauge or computer console that displays information clearly and cleanly when ever the diver wants it means the scuba diver spends less time looking at their gear and more time looking at the scenery. Fins and masks that are made of soft materials and comfortable to wear mean that less time is spent adjusting the gear through the dive, again leaving more time for paying attention to the reason we are underwater in the first place. Wetsuits made of newer, more elastic neoprene offer increased flexibility and mobility and eliminate the oppressively restricting feeling of older style wetsuits while still keeping the scuba diver warm and comfortable.
In each of these examples, the goal of each piece of scuba gear is to be so comfortable that the scuba diver forgets about it entirely and spends their time effortlessly moving through the water enjoying the beauty of the creatures and scenery they encounter.
In no other sport is fit and comfort as important to the safety issues of the gear as it is with scuba gear. The buoyancy compensator that stays securely and comfortably around the scuba diver's torso isn't shifting and trapping air that affects the scuba diver's neutral buoyancy. It also allows the controls of the piece of equipment to remain where the scuba diver expects them to be. The fins made to allow the scuba diver to move effortlessly through the water are not fatiguing the diver or causing dangerous cramps. Scuba masks and snorkels are made to fit comfortably but also to remain dry and not allow an excess of water, if any at all, inside. Regulators that allow the scuba diver to breathe naturally and comfortably in all conditions allow the diver to relax, not use up their air supply too quickly and help to avoid hyperventilating.
The computer console that is easy to operate and simple to read tracks all the necessary information a scuba diver needs to avoid potential injury from staying underwater too long and/or ascending from the dive too quickly. After the dive, it will remind the scuba diver of how long they may be able to remain underwater on another dive or track when it is safe to get on an airplane again.
Many scuba accessories are designed with these concepts in mind as well. Dive knives, slates, surface marker buoys, dive lights, and even underwater cameras and photography gear are all engineered to fit comfortably on the diver's body or in their hands in order to perform a necessary task all rotating back to the scuba divers comfort and safety.
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