The ocean is truly a remarkable and wondrous place. Home to numerous aquatic animals and coral reefs that come in different shapes and sizes, with mesmerizing colors and its tantalizing beauty, the vast and open sea with its sometimes-bright and sometimes-dark turquoise color, is sure to captivate any ocean lover out there. With only less than 20% of it ever explored since the beginning of time, it makes you wonder what lies deep within the very floor of this mysteriously charming place on earth.
As terrifying as the ocean may seem with its unexplored wonders, you can still enjoy a variety of fun activities in the refreshing, yet salty waters brought to you by the sea. One of which is very highly-enjoyed by millions of people around the world and an ever-popular recreational activity called Scuba Diving, which actually lets you become one with the ocean. A delightful experience indeed, you will surely feel free from all of your worries in life. This might even help you lessen the massive burden or stress that you have been carrying with you on your shoulders for all this time from your work, family, friends, and love life. Replenish your energy by allowing yourself to dive into the ocean!
If you want to enjoy the beauty of the hidden world below the surface, nothing beats little ol’ Scuba Diving here with its exciting way of exploration. You can literally swim anywhere and interact with any creature you may find inside the ocean by simply going up to it. Of course, unending caution to one’s surroundings is always advised, and that goes for the protection of the aquatic animals living there as well as their homes, too.
Of course, the whole idea of submerging into the deep and ever-so wide waters of the ocean might be terrifying at first, but that is only because you have no idea what it is like there. That fear will only keep you from knowing exactly what it is that you are missing, and that is to discover the true beauty of the hidden world and becoming a part of it.
What is a scuba diving equipment?
Because humans don’t have gills and, thus, cannot breathe underwater, different equipment and apparatuses were created so that swimming below the surface could be possible for a longer period of time. These gears do not only serve as a means to breathe but also to let you feel more comfortable and safer while diving because human bodies are fragile. Therefore, being properly equipped is necessary. Sufficient knowledge of the activity and what it offers, as well as physical ability and endurance partnered with the right and proper scuba diving equipment, you are then able to fully experience, with all of your body and soul, this stellar activity.
Where will you use scuba diving equipment?
Scuba diving equipment can be used wherever in the ocean, but different environments call for slight changes in gears. Generally, comes in four categories, you can equip yourself better by looking at this guide to know where exactly will you be using your scuba gears:
Tropical Scuba Equipment – typically used in warm, clear waters with temperatures of 24°C/75°F or warmer, you can choose your equipment with light-weight, streamlined scuba components. This is because there is only minimal exposure protection that is required.
Temperature Scuba Equipment – use this kind of equipment in waters with a temperature of 15-24°C/60-75°F that is suitable for both the tropics and those waters with a little bit of coolness.
Cold-water Scuba Equipment – because waters with a temperature cooler than 15°C/60°F can cause discomfort, you can use this kind of scuba gear to let yourself feel protected and at ease.
Technical diving Scuba Equipment – usually used by those with more experience and training, they, of course, use more equipment. By diving beyond the limits of recreational scuba diving, these experts are more adept with the world beyond the surface.
What scuba diving equipment will you use?
The following is a list of scuba gears/equipment normally used by both beginners and experts in the field of scuba diving: (Make sure to equip yourself with good quality apparatuses to avoid any kind of harm or injury you may inflict to yourself, or to others.)
This is an item that will allow you to see underwater. Usually used by scuba-divers, free-divers, and snorkelers, this mask (may come in half, full face, or a diving helmet) will provide an air space in front of your eyes so that you can focus and explore better. Direct contact of water on the eyes will cause you to see blurry images due to the light entering the eye that is being refracted at a different angle, making the retina unable to focus. You may or may not see 100% clearly by using the masks because of the shape of the air space, that is why you still need to be wary all the time. While, those with focusing defects may use corrective lenses fitted inside the viewport of the mask, or use contact lenses instead before putting the diving mask on to see without a problem.
This is a device that will allow you to breathe when swimming facedown on the surface. Not every diver needs one, but it is highly recommended, especially to the beginners. This is very useful for conserving air supply in your scuba tanks before you submerge below. Snorkels may either be divided or integrated into a swimming or diving mask wherein the former vision is more suitable in surface snorkeling, while the latter is mostly used in underwater activities spearfishing, freediving, surface breathing with scuba gear, etc.
Diving suit: Wet vs. Dry
Always use a diving suit to protect yourself from the temperature of the waters, as well as from the other harms you may encounter in the ocean. Wetsuits, commonly used by divers, are skin-tight and is made of neoprene and is designed for warm waters. Drysuits, on the other hand, are used for colder waters and can provide you the best thermal protection by keeping you warm and dry.
This is used to keep your hands dry underwater. By using scuba gloves, not only will you feel warm, but it will also prevent any skin injury on your hands to occur.
This equipment is designed to let you swim and navigate easily underwater. There are two types of scuba fins, which are: open heel and full-foot. Open feet fins are more suitable for cold water temperatures, while the other one is for warmer. Usually made from rubber, plastic, and carbon fiber, you will find these flippers to resemble real fins that aids to mobility.
This allows you to breathe underwater by storing large volumes of air supply. This is considered your most important scuba equipment that even the word SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) takes its meaning by this. Tanks can come in a different sizes, and you can whether to fill it with regular filtered air, enriched air nitrox, or trimix (three-gas combination) depending on what is type of dive you will be doing.
This is another essential device that helps to enable you to breathe underwater. You should never, ever forget the regulator. This device has two stages to it: first, it helps the air to move from the tank to you when you inhale by connecting your scuba tank, and second, is what you put in your mouth so that you can breathe from there. There are many kinds to this so make sure that what you get fits into your preferences, as well as provide you with the most comfort.
By looking at this equipment, you will be able to learn your current depth while diving and at which point will be your limit or its maximum capacity. This is a pressure gauge that is frequently used by underwater divers, submarines, and submersibles. There are a number of types and kinds of depth gauges, and the modern ones even have electronic mechanisms and a digital displays to help you inform you better.
Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG)
This device will show you just how much air supply is left in your scuba tank that will help you in your judgment whether to continue with your dive or to finally ascend back into the surface. Imagine how scary it must be if you run out of the air during your most wonderful trips at the bottom of the ocean and it takes you a while before resurfacing, horrifying! So better check up on this regularly and go up when it’s time to go up.
This is a very helpful tool that enables you to navigate below the surface of the ocean. Compasses can be used underwater, too! By using a waterproof compass, like the dive compass, you can tell where it is your going even when you’re on the surface, below waters, and even at depth. Functioning like a typical normal one, the magnetized needle always points out towards the north.
This is the equipment that helps you monitors your duration, depth, and as well as how much longer you can safely stay within your current depth. The dive computer may also serve as a substitute for dive watches, depth gauge, and time tables, because of its modern capabilities. Some may even include the SPG that helps you determine how much air is left inside of your tank. Because of this, this device might be a little bit pricy for most if you rent it all the time, so might as well purchase one yourself if scuba diving becomes one of your most favorite recreational activities or hobby.
Buoyancy Control Device (BCD)
This gear looks kind of a jacket that helps you to control your buoyancy or your tendency to float or rise when submerged in water or under the ocean. It also straps the scuba tank that you have on your back in place so that it doesn’t drift or fall off.
This is typically worn by divers to create natural buoyancy when submerged underwater and positive buoyancy while on the surface if required. This is made possible by adjusting the volume of air that you have in your inflatable bladder, which is filled with ambient pressure gas, which comes together with the BCD.
This equipment is made to let you sink underwater. This is attached to your BCD to offset your positive buoyancy as it comes in the form of a belt. There is a need for divers to have this kind of equipment because your weight must be sufficiently slightly negatively buoyant at the end of the dive wherein this is likely the time that you have mostly used your breathing gas or air supply, and this can help you maintain neutral buoyancy at safety or up until the obligatory decompression stops.
The dive watch helps you track what time it is. Being underwater makes you lose track of time, so this equipment is a must-have! This is a kind of waterproof watch with marvelous diving features with the typical ones having water resistance of around 200 to 300 meters (or about 660 to 980 feet) below water. With the use of modern technology, some dive watches that can even go much deeper.
This gear is designed to protect you from the cold and other cuts and wounds that might happen to you while exploring the ocean floor. If you may have noticed whenever you soak too long in the bath, or when you swim for hours on the pool or on the beach, that your feet will most likely wrinkle up. That is because of the fact that your feet are one of the common heat loss zones of the body. To enable you to feel more comfortable while diving, the proper scuba boots, or booties, will most certainly help you make your feet feel warmer. You shouldn’t let cold feet stop you from enjoying the beauty of the sea.
This tool serves to help you whenever you get yourself or your friends tangled by fishing lines and such. Never should you use this as a means to harm others and marine animals or sea creatures while on your voyage.
Scuba divers occasionally use this, but it still a handy tool to keep with, in case of emergencies. Dive knives aren’t really considered as real knives because of its unique features that are specifically designed for underwater purposes only. Nevertheless, you should still never attempt to use it as a weapon to harm anyone or anything.
This helps you illuminate your way and navigate your way through, especially when scuba diving in the night or in dark areas of the ocean where the light can’t reach, and even in caves and wrecks.
Sometimes, the most beautiful creatures on earth are hidden in the dark. With the help of the dive light in your hands, you can now easily spot the ocean’s wonderful beings. Not only does this illuminate your journey to the unknown, but it also helps you to see your diving gear when in total darkness, communicate with other fellow scuba divers, and may even be proven useful in terms of your safety.
Here are other scuba diving pieces of equipment that you may or may not get or purchase depending on your choice:
Scuba gear bags
By having scuba gear bags with you, you can easily manage, organize, and keep your diving equipment with you wherever you go! This will also prove beneficial in storing and keeping your gears safe and intact with the use of very sturdy bags that can stand up to the heat of the sun, cold temperatures, or salt by the ocean.
Underwater Photography and Videography equipment
Who wouldn’t want to take a bunch of photographs from the time you went scuba diving with your friends, family, or significant other and hanged out with the different beautiful sea creatures, right? For the sake of preserving the memory, or even just have something to brag about to your colleagues at work, having those pictures and videos will surely brighten up your day!
From simple point-and-shoot cameras to high quality ones, purchasing the right camera just for you will serve as a bit of a challenge, especially if you are the type to take pictures all the time. With a variety of cameras in the market, be sure to get one beforehand and test it out if it works so that you can freely enjoy your cam during your dive.
Dive flag and float
For safety purposes, having these pieces of equipment may be useful in unforeseen situations. A red flag with a white diagonal stripe or the blue-and-white pennant tail serves as what the dive flag looks like on top of the float, signifying others to know that there are currently divers down below the ocean.
This comes in numerous types: from signal lights and flashes to signal mirrors, whistles, air horns, and other more. These are essential in cases of emergency when you are faced with a situation wherein you want to be seen or heard by others.
This equipment has proven itself very useful for longer dives because it is used by recycling the good part of carbon dioxide and using it for later. By using this, your air gas supply will then be significantly larger than that of a normal scuba tank. Also, rebreather actually keeps your body warmer because of the recycling process of the gas that has been warmed up by you.
If carrying a scuba tank at your back proves to be such a hassle for you, you can always use a side-mount configuration or mounting cylinders on your sides. This will give you more flexibility and better options in streamlining than ever before!
Proper equipment and gears are necessary so that you can dive without worries. These apparatuses are supposed to protect you from harm and other extremities that the ocean may offer and, at the same time, be as comfortable as possible so that you wouldn’t feel any discomfort while diving.
Always keep in mind that you should be constantly wary of those cheap and defective items that sellers might give you when purchasing equipment on your own, because this may cause harm for yourself and for others. Also, make sure to regularly check up on your gears before using it, especially if it hasn’t been used for a long time, to determine whether it can still work or maybe it is time for you to buy a new one finally. Worry not because, although a little bit expensive than older models, modern ones are able to last longer, and it can even offer you more tricks with its cool new features.
So, with all of this cool information, doesn’t scuba diving actually sound so exciting? Not only will you swim and feel the waters of the ocean, but you will also get to interact with various marine animals up close! This activity is even mostly described by avid fans of scuba diving as a means to free yourself from the stresses of the surface world above because of the almost out-of-this-world beauty of the hidden world below. This recreational sport will surely heal your body, mind, and soul as it makes you calm and lets you appreciate every life on earth.
So, if you are the type who loves nature, or the ocean, or the one who searches for adventure all the time, or someone who simply wants to take a break from life, maybe scuba diving is just the perfect solution for you.
Take your loved ones with you, or just go by yourself if you want to, because you are really missing out on this exciting adventure into the blue seas. It’s fun, it’s freeing, and it’s a wonderful experience that will definitely make you craving for more!