Before you set off on an adventure underwater anywhere in the world, you obviously need to be properly equipped. As you will know if you’ve ever done any scuba diving before, the gear that you must use is highly specialised and therefore needs to be picked out with care. If you’re a newbie and looking to do your open water course (the most popular scheme for anyone just coming on to the scene), the school you go with will often provide you with the kit so you won’t need to worry. However, if scuba diving really floats your boat, and we often find that this is the case with people who try it, you may decide to move on to more advanced courses.
Just how far you go is up to you, whether it’s the completion of the advanced open water course which allows you to plunge down to depths of 30 metres and participate it scuba dives at night, or maybe you want to go the whole way and become a diving instructor! Whatever you choice is, if you’re beginning to get more into diving then you probably need to consider purchasing your own gear so that it properly fits your body. In this section of ScubaNevis, we’ll take you through the essential equipment that’s required.
A pretty obvious one to start with – the regulator is the main tool that allows you to breathe underwater. It is the connection between your oxygen tank and your mouth, allowing you to take deep, controlled breaths as you explore the magical sights that the oceans have to offer. The octopus is basically an additional regulator in case your primary one fails, or anyone else on your diving expedition needs emergency air.
The BC is the vest-like backpack that you fit around your shoulders and strap around your waist, essentially the framework for all your equipment. However, it has a much more important function that just this, with the BC (or buoyancy compensator) regulating your vertical position in the water by adding or subtracting air. You use control buttons to do this, and there are quick release straps for ease of use.
Standing for submersible pressure gauge, your SPG is another key part of the equipment as it informs you how much air is left in your tank. Obviously, you aren’t allowed to run it down to the bottom just in case, so always keeping a solid eye on your SPG’s reading is an important diving skill.
Mask, Snorkel, Fins and Wetsuit?
One of the reasons why you may want to purchase your own equipment is because it will adapt to your body. Masks that are worn by multiple divers can never fit your face 100%, almost always being slightly too tight due to the requirement of no leakage. Buying a mask will see it adapt to your face over time, leading to a smoother diving experience. Snorkels are pretty standard and should come with your mask, but fins are another tricky one to get right. Cases of rubbing and subsequent blisters are common, so you can try to alleviate these pressures by taking a pair of your own. Finally, a wetsuit is optional if you’re diving in reasonable temperatures, but anywhere outside of nice warm waters it’s a necessity.
To conclude this list of diving equipment, if you’re going to get more involved then you may want to consider buying some additional accessories. Dive lights for visibility at night, a dive knife to cut lines, ropes and monofilament (these are NOT to be used as a weapon in any way!). Lastly, if you’re looking to dive around the world, a dive case will be needed to transport your specialised kit across the globe.