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Scuba 102: Scuba Equipment You Need to Have

Updated on March 12, 2012

Diving Gear

Scuba diving is rapidly gaining popularity. This water activity is not for those who don't intend to take this activity seriously as it requires a degree of knowledge of what should be expected underwater and a whole different skill set as compared to other water activities and sports. It is therefore, important that before starting this activity, you gain enough information and go through the guidelines about what's it like and what's needed to safely explore and enjoy the underwater world. Aside from the required knowledge and skill sets, the next important thing you need to be aware of is the required gear or equipment that you will need to safely allow to go underwater. Scuba diving is not possible without the proper and basic diving equipment.

From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free. - Jacques Yves Cousteau
From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free. - Jacques Yves Cousteau

Basic Gear:


The basic gear that is required includes wet suit, mask, Scuba tank, buoyancy compensator, fins, regulator, gauges, watch and compass. Never dive without any of these crucial pieces of equipment unavailable or defective.

One thing about diving equipment is that it is a bit pricey, particularly the good ones. However, this equipment is sturdy and if maintained properly, they last for a long time. To be able to enjoy the wonders of the underwater world, it is a very good and worthy investment for your safety and comfort.

The equipment includes the following:

Breathing Equipment required for Scuba Diving


Breathing equipment for Scuba Diving is a scuba tank of compressed air also known as an Aqualung . Remember, Scuba diving is not possible without an aqualung. Along with the scuba tank or Aqualung, you should have a regulator. This vital piece of equipment is attached to the tank and is the manner by which you are able to take in air from the tank while underwater. Make sure your regulator is always in good condition and serviced regularly.

Additional equipment relative to breathing underwater is the gauges and the buoyancy compensator. Both of these are safety devices and attached to the tank. Your gauges tell you how much air you have left and how deep you are going. The buoyancy compensator is needed to hold your tank and for attaching it to your body. The buoyancy compensator is also what allows you to glide or fly underwater, float above corals and maintain your depth levels. In an emergency, it serves as a floatation device at the surface.



Scuba tank - The oxygen tank is the most essential piece of scuba diving equipment as it allows the diver to stay underwater for extended periods of time.
Scuba tank - The oxygen tank is the most essential piece of scuba diving equipment as it allows the diver to stay underwater for extended periods of time.
Regulator - carries the air from your cylinder, should be equipped with a gauge and second mouthpiece.
Regulator - carries the air from your cylinder, should be equipped with a gauge and second mouthpiece.
The Buoyancy Compensator, such as a back-mounted wing or stabilizer jacket, is crucial for neutral buoyancy to control depth.
The Buoyancy Compensator, such as a back-mounted wing or stabilizer jacket, is crucial for neutral buoyancy to control depth.

Gear for Underwater Navigation:

Dive Mask

To appreciate the underwater world and move about it effectively, you'll need to see where you are going. For this you need a dive mask. Without a dive mask you are more or less blind underwater. A dive mask gives a clear view of the environment. A dive mask is different from swimming goggles in that it covers your nose. This is an important feature as this will allow you to equalize pressure as you descend into the depths. You will learn how to do that in your dive training.


Dive Mask - The human eye cannot focus in water. The mask provides an air pocket so your eyes can focus and you can see clearly underwater.
Dive Mask - The human eye cannot focus in water. The mask provides an air pocket so your eyes can focus and you can see clearly underwater.

Wetsuit

You cannot enjoy the experience of Scuba diving if you are not able to move through the water in an effective manner. A factor one needs to consider is temperature. It usually is much colder underneath the waves, even in tropical areas. Feeling cold underwater will affect your physical condition, you will tire more easily and at the least, be uncomfortable and ruin the experience. Wearing a wetsuit protects you from the cold when underwater and serves to enhance your experience aside from ensuring you are in good condition to effectively move around . Make sure it fits well so its insulation properties are maximized. While it may not be necessary to wear wetsuit in some areas, make sure you find out how cold the water can get before diving in anew area so you will know if you'll need to use this important piece of equipment.


Wetsuit - Wetsuits provide insulation as well as protection, and can keep you comfortable in water as cool as 10ºC/50ºF to as warm as 32ºC/90ºF .
Wetsuit - Wetsuits provide insulation as well as protection, and can keep you comfortable in water as cool as 10ºC/50ºF to as warm as 32ºC/90ºF .
Wetsuits must be snug but fit comfortably. Loose areas that allow water to flow in and out negate the insulation.
Wetsuits must be snug but fit comfortably. Loose areas that allow water to flow in and out negate the insulation.

Fins


They are essential for scuba diving as they are mainly responsible for propelling you through the water effectively, efficiently and safely. It is not a complex gear but it definitely has its advantage. The fins should be of suitable size, i.e. neither too large nor too small. You have to ensure that you do not come across a scenario where fins are not of appropriate size as it will give you trouble as you will not be able to use them properly and will only make things difficult for you.

Fins - Fins provide a large surface area to push against the water. This allows you to swim using your powerful leg muscles. This moves you more efficiently and frees your hands.
Fins - Fins provide a large surface area to push against the water. This allows you to swim using your powerful leg muscles. This moves you more efficiently and frees your hands.
Fins - fins for divers like me who has difficulty wearing flat shoes :)
Fins - fins for divers like me who has difficulty wearing flat shoes :)

Gear for Underwater Navigation - Compass


Like other things, water navigator is also as important. Taking the other stuff with you and forgetting water navigator is just like forgetting your undergarments. Water navigator equipment kit carries a compass to guide you through water. Knowing the right direction is not possible in water as easily as on land. Therefore, carrying an underwater compass is very important. This will ensure that you do not lose your way. Knowing the depth of water is also equally important so this gear kit should also include a gauge to measure water depth.

Compass- helps the diver to locate areas underwater and move from one location to another without breaking the surface.
Compass- helps the diver to locate areas underwater and move from one location to another without breaking the surface.

Keeping time -Dive Watch


It is important to be able to effectively keep time while underwater. There is a physiological impact on your body and health depending on the amount of time you spent at certain depths while diving. You will learn all about this in your training but it is important to keep in mind that for the sake of your safety you must keep accurate time of the minutes you spend underwater. Hence, a good dive watch with a rotating bezel is a vital piece of diving equipment. Never dive without having the ability to keep track of your time underwater.

Dive watch - measure your time and depth underwater.
Dive watch - measure your time and depth underwater.
Dive computer
Dive computer
Underwater Camera
Underwater Camera
Born to Dive; Forced to Work
Born to Dive; Forced to Work

Other Gear - Cameras and Lights

In addition to basic scuba diving equipment, some other extra pieces of equipment such as underwater camera and lights are available for the divers to enhance a diving experience for themselves and others as well.

Cameras and lights can help you record and document every dive. These are specially designed gadgets that can capture movements and colors under water. Before buying any such equipment, it is advised that do enough research online or otherwise and consult from experienced users to know the best brand. Only a good quality camera can fulfill the purpose.

So there you have it, basic equipment for Scuba diving and a few extras for added enhancement. Don't worry too much about the details, as if you do intend to take up diving you will of course need to take a course. The best resources for helping you choose and invest in your dive equipment are your instructors and the dive centers where you took your certification course. Dive instructors and centers take pride in their work and are conscious about their reputations and credibility, so you are assured that they will offer you the best advice possible.

Have a great and safe dive!


2012 Moira G Gallaga©

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    • moiragallaga profile imageAUTHOR

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you Adventure Colorad. That's at least the basic gear minimum to get started with and as I mentioned in the hub, they can last a for a long time if they are taken cared of properly. If you think you will be diving regularly, it is a worthy investment.

    • Adventure Colorad profile image

      Adventure Colorad 

      6 years ago from Denver,CO

      Great information, looks like you've included everything that someone needs to get started in SCUBA!

    • moiragallaga profile imageAUTHOR

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for dropping by KimberlyLake. High heels fins in the picture were created by Belgian artist Paul Schietekat for an exhibit in 2006.

    • KimberlyLake profile image

      Kimberly Lake 

      6 years ago from California

      Very detailed. I love the high heel fins, are those for real?

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