Scuba diving has gained its popularity as one of the most thrilling submarine activity over the past years. The marvel of the underwater world has drawn divers from all over the globe to explore. But scuba diving requires extensive training and careful preparation for the body, the mind, and most importantly, the scuba gear. To make each dive a success, you need scuba gear you can trust. Here is our Scuba Gear: Essential Guide to help you prepare.
Basic scuba gears you should know
If you already have a plan to join a Liveaboard trip onboard the Manta Queen, but still have absolutely no knowledge of scuba gear, we are here to help. Today we will run you through what every diver needs for each dive and how to choose the ones that fit you most.
A diving mask provides protection for your eyes from the water and particles in the water and helps clear your vision under the surface. A good diving mask allows you to enjoy your dives with no visual impediments. So yes, you do need one. There are many shapes and sizes to choose from. You can rent from your scuba dive operator or buy your own to make sure it fits with your face.
A snorkel is a piece of equipment that beginners should always carry with them. It allows divers to breathe above the surface and helps save precious air in the tank. Snorkels can be critical in case the regulator or the tank malfunction.
There are many types to choose from. Generally, we recommend ones with a valve at the end opening to easily blow the water out. You can also choose the dry type with a valve cap to repel water when you dive under the surface.
The suit usually made from rubber to keep your body temperature regulated underwater and prevent your skin from the elements, including the sun. They vary in thickness (usually 2.5mm to 7mm) and come in shorty (covers your torso, has short sleeves and short legs), full (covers your torso, long sleeves and long legs), or 2-piece (usually an overalls style bottom with a long sleeve style jacket/top).
They work by separating your skin from the water, preventing the cold water from absorbing your body temperature. Always pick a wetsuit that fits your body, not too tight or too loose. If it does not fit, the water can run through the gap and you lose your body temperature just like skinny dipping. The colder the water is, the thicker your wetsuit should be.
The fins allow divers to soar through the water more swiftly. It is another important scuba gear that helps you control your underwater movement. There are mainly 2 types of fins; Open Heeled Fins that need to be attached to diving boots, and Closed Heeled (Full Foot) Fins that can be worn like a pair of shoes. Also, there are variations at the paddle; Paddle fins and Split Fins. Learn more about fins to choose the right variation for you.
Needless to say, scuba tanks allow divers to breathe underwater. Scuba tanks typically contain 2000 to 3500 psi of air volume and made of steel or aluminium. Normally it is provided by your trip operator so divers do not have to worry about carrying around bulky steel cylinders, though some experienced divers might want to buy their own to practice in closed pools or prepare to scuba dive often.
A diving regulator is a piece of scuba gear that controls the pressure of breathing gas for scuba diving. It works by reducing pressurized breathing gas to ambient pressure and deliver it to the diver. A regulator is divided into Primary Regulator, and secondary called the Octopus to share the gas with buddies when your tank runs out. For general scuba divers, we recommend choosing Balanced regulators for easy and smooth breathing no matter how deep you dive and how much the gas is left in the tank. Anyway, it is best to choose the type of regulator that suits your style and comfort.
Depth & Pressure Gauge, Compass
A gauge is attached to the regulator. It is commonly divided into 2 openings; Depth Gauge measures depth while diving, and Pressure Gauge measures the amount of gas pressure left in the tank so you can estimate how long you can stay submerged. A compass is also important for navigating under the surface, allows you to recall where you are and where to go. It will be even more critical in bad visibility. Not only can it prevent getting lost, but it also keeps you from panicking and wasting your precious air when things go wrong.
A dive computer calculates the time you can dive at each depth level. Also, it can measure nitrogen level in your body and countdown to each Safety Stop to keep divers safe. Dive computers can be used with different gauges mentioned above to ensure a safe and pleasant dive. Usually renting dive computers can be expensive, if you plan to dive frequently we suggest investing in one to call your own.
BCD (Buoyancy Compensator Device)
BCD is a set of life jacket with an inflatable bladder that allows a diver to establish neutral buoyancy underwater and positive buoyancy at the surface, when needed. So basically, it helps you balance at the same level, not float too shallow or dive too deep. Some BCD designs may have pockets or straps to carry other small gears.
Learn more about scuba gear
There is more equipment to learn about when you advance in your scuba diving journey. Proper training and equipment preparation is crucial for a safe dive. KSA Liveaboard offers PADI certificate scuba diving courses from Open Water to Specialty levels. For more information, see our courses page and learn how to use each piece of scuba diving equipment correctly. Dive-Eat-Sleep-Repeat!