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Basic Scuba Diving Gear - The Essentials

Updated on August 18, 2010

Now we are able to dive deep into the oceans with the modern day underwater breathing apparatus. below is a list of the basic scuba diving gear needed.

Why is Scuba Diving becoming so popular?

The earth's surface is covered in over 70% of water. This vast area of water has inspired the human imagination since we first walked on the earth. From the mythological monster once described by the seafaring people to the science fiction of modern day movies and books. Breath-holding diving has been used for many centeries to collect valuable pearls, sponges and other commodities from the sea floor.


The Mask
The Mask


The Mask:

As we are all aware our eyes cannot focus underwater, so when diving you need to wear a Mask or also know as scuba mask, dive mask, diver's mask, half mask or face plate. The mask creates an air pockets so we are able to see under the water.

Required features:

Enclosed Nose - Your nose needs to within the eye pocket so you are able to adjust for pressure changes.

Tempered Glass - Plastic will fog up and standard glass is very dangerous if broken especially around the eyes, so tempered glass has to be used in the divers mask

Feathered or double skirt - Makes the mask seal better, more reliable and comfortable.

Wide strap with a touch buckle adjustment - This will make the mask adjust a lot easier whilst you are diving. A must!

Low volume - Basically the smaller the mask the less drag it will have in the water

Exposure Suit
Exposure Suit

The Exposure Suit:

A must have! the exposure suit will help protect you from cuts and scrapes and will help you retain heat whilst you are on your dive and will also protect you from sunburn. Also known as a skin suit, body suit, wet suit, dry suit and diving suit.

The three basic styles are:

Body Suit - Primarily for warmer waters as they have little insulation.

Wet Suit - Are for cooler waters and provide great insulation. They will keep you comfortable in water a cool as 10 ºC to as warm as 32 ºC.

Dry Suit - the suits will provide the best in thermal protection. All though these suits are used mainly in cooler waters they Can be used in temperate water.

The Snorkel
The Snorkel

 The Snorkel:

Helps you to breath in shallow water and also when you are on the surface if there are big waves. using the Snorkel will help preserve your oxygen in your tank.

Required features:

A comfortable mouthpiece - This will help the Snorkel stay in your mouth and also will help stop any jaw fatigue and chafing.

A proper fit - Secure the Snorkel to your mask strap so it is readily available and can also be out of the way when not used.


The Tank
The Tank

The Scuba Unit:

The scuba unit comprises of a Scuba Tank, Dive Regulator and a Buoyancy Control Device (BCD).

Scuba Tank - The Scuba Tanks hold compressed breathing air which enables you to breath underwater.

Required features:

Valve - The Valve regulates the flow of air by turning the hand wheel to open or to close.

Burst disk - The Burst disk is part of the Valve, it will safely release air from the cylinder if the pressure becomes to high.

Inspection decal - Scuba Tanks need to be inspected annually for safety, The inspection decal show employees that the tank is within the inspection cycle and my be filled.

Diver Regulator- The Dive regulator takes the high pressure air from your tanks and then adjusts it to the pressure you need for breathing. The air is only supplied when needed when you inhale and then directs your breath into the water when you exhale. It also send air to your BCD, Dry suit if you are using one.

Buoyancy Control Device (BCD) - The Buoyancy Control Device allows you to float, hover or sink whilst you are in the water. the BCD in integrated into the harness that holds the Scuba tank.

Scuba Weight System- People will generally float, also your wet suit or dry suit will also aid in your flotation. The Scuba weight system will add just enough weight so you are able to descend. The weight belt is the oldest form of a weight system. The most common is a nylon belt with lead weights threaded into it.

The Dive Watch
The Dive Watch

 The Dive Watch:

When you are diving your body will absorb nitrogen it is very import to make sure you keep the level of nitrogen in your body at safe levels. To do this you have to track your depth and time of each dive using a dive watch.

The Fins
The Fins

 The Fins:

The fins will help you move through the water they do this by using a large surface area to push through the water. Using fins will help free your hands as you will be using your strong leg muscles to move through the water.

The Dive Knife
The Dive Knife

 Dive Knife:

The dive knife is a safety tool which can be used if you become entangled whilst on your dive. Common forms of entanglement include weeds, plants and fishing nets. The dive knife should have a smooth and serrated edge as you may have to slice and saw so always choose a knife that offers both.


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