Open-circuit scuba gear consists of an air cylinder and a regulator, and is what most people think of when they imagine scuba equipment. It is called open-circuit because the exhaled air is released from the system in the form of bubbles.
The alternative is the rebreather, which is closed-circuit because exhaled air is retained in the system and scrubbed of carbon dioxide by filters. Rebreathers are used on deep and prolonged dives.
Scuba divers wear masks because water refracts light differently than air, keeping the eyes from focusing properly. By wearing the mask, the diver creates an air pocket around his eyes, permitting them to focus properly.
Divers wear fins to expand the effective surface area of their feet so they can push more water by swimming and thereby get more propulsion out of their leg muscles.
Water saps body heat more quickly than air, and you don't have to go very deep before the water becomes cold. Wetsuits provide insulation, allowing a diver to withstand the chilly depths.
Divers wear weights, typically in the form of a belt, because even wearing all their bulky gear, they can almost float on the surface with a full lungful of air. To sink to the bottom, they need to wear extra weight.
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.