New to Scuba Diving? Choosing the Right Gear For You
Are you preparing for a tropical vacation or picking up a new hobby? Try your hand at scuba diving next time you visit the coast! Diving is a thrilling experience that allows you to explore the world beneath the surface. Whether you’re a marine researcher, professional oceanographer or recreational diver, you can undoubtedly benefit from the latest developments in dive equipment and technology.
If you’re just starting out, choosing the right gear is essential. It can vary from diver to diver, and it depends on your skill level, your goals and the nature of your dive.
Determining the essentials
The first thing to do when planning for your first dive is to research the equipment you’ll need. Regardless of your location or skill level, there are certain items that are essential for any diver to be safe in the water.
- An oxygen tank and regulator are, obviously, crucial for a successful dive. You’ll need a constant, smooth flow of oxygen to remain underwater and endure pressure changes.
- Snorkels are considered necessary, especially for new divers, as a measure of safety. While you’ll have an oxygen tank and regulator for most dives, carrying a snorkel can help you preserve your air supply while you swim out from the shore or wait for a dive boat to pick you up.
- Diving masks protect your eyes while exploring in salt water.
- Scuba suits keep you warm and protect your skin while you’re underwater. The decision to choose a wetsuit or drysuit depends on the nature of your dive, water temperatures and personal preference.
- Gloves and fins protect your hands and feet from any injuries or snags while exploring caves and marine life underwater. They can also help you control movement and speed.
- Buoyancy control devices make it possible for divers to float to the surface when ready – an essential function of scuba diving.
- Pressure gauges tell you how far down you’ve ventured and how much oxygen is left in your tank. While it may not seem to be as critical as, say, your oxygen tank, pressure gauges are important to keep track of your position and safety while diving.
- A dive computer shows a myriad of information, such as how long you’ve been underwater, how deep you are, and how long you can safely stay at that depth.
If you’re only anticipating one or two dives while you’re on vacation, you may not feel comfortable investing in brand new gear and instead, opt for renting from a local surf shop. However, if diving is quickly becoming a regular activity, purchasing your own equipment can ensure that you get the quality and preferences that you want.
Consider your dive site
Another factor that may inform your decision is your location. If you’re diving in a coral reef off a tropical coast in the summer, you likely won’t need gear that caters to cold water diving. A deep water dive also requires more durable tools than a more shallow dive. If you’re exploring caves or diving at night, you’ll need a dive light, and if you want to document your journey, you’ll need an underwater camera.
Talk to one of our staff to get additional advice on what kind of equipment you’ll need for your first dive. There are endless options and combinations of scuba gear, even just looking at the essentials.
Once you’ve decided on the essentials and determined which variations you’ll need for your specific dive site, come visit us to find the best prices, deals and combos packages. We even offer a 10% discount on purchases if you’ve been scuba certified with us.
You can also do some research online to get other professional recommendations. Your own research, combined with trusted advice from experienced divers, will help ensure you get the best quality equipment for your money.
Add the extras
Finally, if you are interested in trying out any of the new technology available for divers today, make sure you do your research beforehand to know which items are necessary and which are added extras. You may not need all the bells and whistles as a beginner, but adding an extra item or two to your gear checklist can make your scuba experience unique.
For example, take a look at some of the underwater cameras and drones available to capture your dive in photo or video, or some of the advanced breathing mechanisms and dive computers that have more expansive capabilities. These are not all necessities by any means, but can be a fun addition to your dive.
Once you’ve decided to give diving a shot, be sure to take some time and choose the right scuba gear for your circumstances to be both safe and successful.