Scuba diving is an equipment-intensive sport. Though much of the equipment may be rented, most experienced scuba divers prefer to own their own equipment. The cost for such equipment is not low, and you definitely do not want to skimp on quality when you are purchasing equipment that will help you breathe underwater. Scuba gear is a long-term investment that should be functional for years when properly maintained.
Scuba equipment is designed to help you become adapted to the underwater world. With proper gear, you will be able to breathe underwater, keep your body temperature regulated, see underwater, stay submerged and swim about effortlessly.
Mask, Snorkel and Fins
The mask provides your eyes with an air pocket so they can focus underwater. A scuba mask will have an enclosed nose so that you can adjust for pressure changes. Tempered glass is less likely to fog up than plastic, and will not break or crack like regular glass. You can have a mask fitted with prescription lenses if you normally wear glasses.
You will use a snorkel when bobbing on the surface. This will save air in your tank and make it easier to breathe if the water is choppy. Find a snorkel with a comfortable mouthpiece that doesn't tire your jaw.
You will also need fins in order to navigate easily underwater. Choose fins that have open heels so that you can wear fin boots in cold water. These will keep your feet warm.
A wet or dry suit will be needed if you plan to dive in cool water. It will also protect you from scrapes or cuts if you rub against coral or rocks underwater. Depending on the type of diving you would like to do, you will need a suit that is rated for various temperatures.
The scuba unit consists of a regulator, scuba tank, buoyancy control device and weight system.
The dive regulator takes in compressed air from the tank and converts the pressure to a level that you can breathe comfortably. It provides air when you breathe in and moves air into the water when you breathe out.
The scuba tank holds the compressed air that you will breathe while diving. They come in different sizes depending on how long you want to stay submerged. Purchase the largest tank you can comfortably wear.
There are two types of buoyancy control devices (BCD) on the market. One is a vest style; the other style is the wings and harness. The BCD is a bladder that contains air. You can adjust it by releasing air so that you float, sink or hover. There is a harness connected to the BCD that holds the scuba tank.
The weight system will also help you stay submerged. Integrated systems are built into the buoyancy control device. These have a quick-release mechanism that allows you to drop weight in order to float immediately.
Article Written By Cate Rushton
Cate Rushton has been a freelance writer since 1999, specializing in wildlife and outdoor activities. Her published works also cover relationships, gardening and travel on various websites. Rushton holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah.