Most scuba divers operate through the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI). However, there are several other dive organizations, some with substantially higher standards.
PADI's two main certifications are Open Water (OW) and Advanced Open Water (AOW). OW has a diving limit of 60 feet and AOW of about 140 feet.
Going deeper than 140 feet is in the field of technical diving. The recommended limit for technical dives is 660 feet (although some divers go deeper), and it routinely involves substantial planning and the use of specialized gas mixtures.
Scuba divers need a dive mask, swim fins, air cylinder, regulator and weight belt. In addition, a snorkel, buoyancy compensator device (BCD) and a wet suit are frequently used.
Dive computers, dive compasses and scuba knives are commonly used, but are optional tools. Dry suits, which used air from the cylinder for extra insulation, are frequently seen being used on deep dives and in very cold waters.
Night and cave divers must employ diving headlamps and flashlights. Technical divers who intend to spend a long time on the bottom often use rebreathers, which recycle air by scrubbing out the carbon dioxide.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.