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Buying Your First Scuba Gear

Your diving experience may be affected when you’re not equipped with the right scuba diving gear. Buying a complete scuba gear is not cheap so it’s better to make sure that you get the right gear that’s worth your every penny. Scuba diving gear comes in different shapes, styles, and sizes. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, it’s crucial for you to invest in a good scuba diving equipment to make their diving experience more enjoyable. You will need this equipment each time you go diving. Thus, it’s best for you to familiarize yourself with the gear before you purchase them.

Mask – Get a mask that is comfortable and fits you well. To know if the mask has the right fit, suck your mask through your nose without the straps and see if it stays in. Some masks have prescription lenses for those who need them. The mask should have a tempered glass that’s durable and a silicon seal to prevent water from flooding in. The nose section of the mask should be flexible enough for the diver when equalizing pressure.

Buoyancy Compensator Device (BCD) – Buoyancy Compensator Device is an air bladder that helps divers stay underwater with minimal effort. Divers’ buoyancy changes as they go deeper into the water. A safety device that every diver must have, BCDs allows divers to control their buoyancy. Research on the different brands and give it a try on the water before buying to know which brand will fit you well. There are several rental shops that offer a wide range of BCDs.

Snorkel – This will allow you to breathe through the surface. It helps you conserve energy while keeping your head submerged into the water. As diver, you should always remember to keep your snorkel or regulator in your mouth. The length and diameter of the barrel should be just right. For instance, if the barrel is too short, you would have to exert extra effort in purging the water out of the snorkel.  The snorkel should also fit comfortably in your mouth and alternates with the regulator.

Regulator - also called “demand valve”, the regulator reduces the pressure of the air coming from your tank to the ambient water pressure and supplies you breathing gas. It basically regulates the air flow throughout your scuba system. Since the regulator is one of the most important scuba gear, it is highly recommended that you buy than rent one. In addition, the comfort in using a regulator depends on your breathing pattern.

Dive Booties - Often made from neoprene or rubber, booties serve to protect your feet. Booties are sometimes integrated in drysuits and it will help keep your feet warm under water or prevent them from getting injured when walking out of the water. It also protects heels of your feet from getting scraped by the swim fins.

Swim Fins – Get fins to help you to propel and move efficiently into the deep waters. Men get fins same size as their shoes. Women, on the other hand, get 1 size smaller than their shoe size. If you plan on using booties with your swim fins you would have to buy swim fins that are one size larger.

Scuba Weights and Belts - These are the equipments needed to offset your tendency to float while you’re diving. This means this important equipment will help you maintain the right buoyancy so that you can dive comfortably. There are different types of scuba weights and belts. The weight system, which typically includes a nylon belt and the solid weights, should also depend on your BCD. For warm water diving, weight belts can be used. As for cold water diving in which dry suits are used, an integrated weight system and a weight belt is highly recommended.

Scuba Gauge – The scuba gauge gives you the information you need when diving. The main function of the gauge is to measure the depth and the amount of air supply. Other features of the gauge are the compass, which tells the diver the direction of the travel, and the thermometer, which tells the temperature of the water.  The gauge also has a timing device which can measure your time underwater.

Scuba Tanks -tanks may be made of steel or aluminum and have different sizes. Most dive shops have aluminum tanks for rent. The most common tanks, aluminum tanks are cheaper and float at the end of the dive. Because aluminum tanks are lighter and have the tendency to float when empty, divers have to add extra weight when using them. Steel tanks, on the other hand, are more durable and require less material to hold the pressure.

Scuba Suits - There are factors before purchasing a scuba suit. The temperature of the water, the quality and thickness of the neoprene and your level of activity will help you in deciding what kind of scuba suit you should buy. Scuba Suits reduce the water that flows from the water to your skin.

At 37c, our bodies are in their normal state. If the water is cooler than your body temperature, then your body temperature will drop. If it’s warmer than your body temperature, you will still need a suit with lighter insulation because the water may eventually make you feel cold. Drysuits are also recommended if the water temperature is below 15c. The drysuit is thicker and helps keep you warm.

Dive safely!

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