All About Scuba Diving Equipment

Scuba Diving is made possible thanks to specialised, state of the art

equipment. All Diving comes in a wide variety of colours, having

bright colours underwater helps buddy recognition as well

as looking cool and stylish.

The Mask

The mask is your window into the underwater world, it allows you to by creating an air space in front of your eyes, which also covers your nose so you can equalise the mask air space. The Mask should make an airtight fit against the face, you can check to see if the mask fits by putting your face up to the mask and gently breathing in through your nose. If it fits the air will be not be able to breach the mask The mask will then be stuck against your face caused by you breathing in through your nose and creating a vacuum.

All faces are different and as a result there are many different shaped masks, if you have trouble finding the right mask, just ask for help at your local dive store, they will be more than pleased to find the mask best suited for you. Unless you know what kind of mask fits, you should go to your nearest shop and try some on before buying online. Diving is largely a visual activity, and the importance of having the proper mask cannot be overemphasised. As a result masks are left out of the beginners Scuba Package, why? Because we wont supply you with something that doesn’t suit your personal needs. We can sort you out with a snorkel though…if you have tried and found the right mask then by all means feel free to buy it from us!

Tips when buying a Mask

  • number 1 Tempered-glass lens plate. If broken, tempered glass is less likely to shatter into harmful shards.
  • number 2 Comfortable 100% silicone skirts for a positive feather edge seal
  • number 3 Low volume masks can be more desirable to the beginner as they are easier to clear if it floods, mask clearing is one of the first skills you will learn in the pool on the Open Water Diver Course
  • number 4 An easy to adjust strap
  • number 5 A wide field of vision, such as the Oceanic Trend 3 mask You can buy some masks which have a purge valve, a purge valve is a one-way valve used for clearing masks using the pressure change created by your out breath within the mask air space. The purge valve will be found on the bottom of the mask, if not correctly maintained the salt chrysalises and can cause the valve to leak, as the valve cannot seal itself due to the salt. Most divers prefer not to use the purge valve simply as mask clearing is so easy to learn anyway and becomes effortless very quickly anyway.

Preparing Your New Mask

New masks come with an oily protective coating that must be scrubbed off, I use a toothbrush and toothpaste to lightly rub away the film, don’t forget to scrub both side of the lens. If you don’t remove the film of silicone then the mask will fog up upon use, thus spoiling your valuable dive time, so don’t forget.

The Snorkel

The Snorkel is a standard piece of diving equipment without you to breathe at the surface without having to lift your head from the water, they come in a vast range of colours and styles but all do the same thing.

Fins

Fins allow you to propel yourself through the water with far less effort than just your hands and feet, they become an extension of the diver and allows them to glide through the inner space that can only be found underwater. Fins come in two basic styles

  • number 1 Adjustable strap
  • number 2 Full foot

Divers more commonly use adjustable fins as they can be worn with thermal protection such as wetsuits, semi-dry suit or dry suits. The Buoyancy Control Device (BCD)

The BCD is basically an expandable bladder that can be inflated or deflated to control your buoyancy. The BCD can be orally inflated or mechanically inflated with air from your tank that fixes on to the back of the BCD. Some tanks use integrated weight systems, which eliminates the need for a weight belt. All BCD’s will have pockets and fixing points for your alternate air source and submersible pressure gauge.

Regulators and Submersible Pressure Gauges

The dawn of the new millennium is an exciting time to be a diver if for no other reason than the highly refined state of scuba regulators as a result you don’t need to spend a fortune when you are just starting out to get a high performing budget regulator. A good regulator will deliver sufficient air in a stable manner when at depths that far exceed those of the recreational diver. So why would you want a regulator with high performance when you will never de diving to those depths? Because of in the very unlikely event that there is an emergency situation, there is no such thing as “to much air”. Today’s high performing models will deliver more air more easily, with greater stability at greater depth, with less tank pressure and will stay “in tune” longer than ever before.

A regulator is designed to reduce the high pressure of a scuba tank to a breathable pressure. Modern scuba regulators are very simple and reliable devices with only a few moving parts. They have two stages: the first stage, which attaches onto the cylinder and the second stage has a mouthpiece. The high pressure from the tank is reduced to an intermediate pressure by the first stage. The second stage reduces the air pressure to a comfortable breathing level that is required for scuba diving. The first stage of the regulator will have an extra second stage, called an alternate air source. This is used to simplify sharing air with another diver in the really unlikely event that you have an out of air situation, which of course you all being good, safe divers will never happen. The alternate air source is usually bright yellow so it can be easily identified.


Submersible Pressure Gauges

The submersible pressure gauges allow you to monitor the amount of air in your tank during a dive, this allows you to calculate estimated dive times so you can return safely you exit points without running low on air. The submersible pressure gauge also connects to the regulator first stage. You can also tell your depth in increments of metres by using the depth gauge. A compass to aid navigation is usually included on the SPG’s. Our models also come with temp gauges as if that wasn’t all enough.

Thermal Protection

Most Divers require thermal protection; the basic forms are wetsuit (warm water diving), semi dry suits, (that’s most of us) and dry suits, (and again….). We suggest that the beginner start with a semi dry suit, as this is probably the most universal suit that can be used in warm or cold climates. There is a wide choice of suits, gloves, and boots to suit every divers need no matter where they are. Technology today means that all divers can enjoy warm comfortable diving.

Dive Computers

Dive computers are just getting better and there's no reason for the improvements to stop. Unlike regulators, which are probably as good as they're going to get until the next design revolution. Dive computer technology has just begun to show its full potential. Dive Computers have many benefits as opposed to the older dive tables, the computer works out how much nitrogen is in your body and then works out your total allowable bottom time which changes throughout your dive (with dive tables you work out your dive based on your greatest depth) after you start to ascend for instance (diving up a reef or wreck) and works out your new nitrogen levels accordingly. The computer also tells you how deep you and your assent rate (most modern computers warn you audibly or on the screen you if you ascend to quickly) The PADI system states that divers can ascend at no faster than 18m a min, the dive computers are usually set to 10m so when you are alerted about a speedy assent you have time to compensate and slow down.