With its equipment, diving world is a dreamland. Once you start diving, it is impossible to prevent yourself keep tracking of new developed equipment, and renewing your old ones or starting saving money to buy them. When you are a beginner, it is quite a hard decision. Sometimes it can be very tricky to complete all of them at once, so this situation leads you to prioritize the buying sequence and restock the rest.
With this article, I will try to explain the importance of each, and prioritize the necessities of the essential ones, one by one.
Here we go!
-Health and hygiene
Let’s be clear, diving equipment is pretty private. It covers your body and touches almost every point in your skin. That causes bodily fluids integrate into your tools and clothes. Even if you are the only user, as long as you don’t clean them properly and frequently, those bodily fluid and dirt will accumulate in some certain areas, which can cause bacterial infection in close future. Now just imagine, what happens if you contact with someone else’s remaining which can cause infectious diseases, bacterial infections…etc.
This kind of bacterial accumulations are mostly seen in wetsuits, diving boots and closed type fins, regulators, masks, snorkels, those are the things has direct contact with outside and inside of your body. So, common use of that equipment can cause you to get some unwanted beings intrude your body.
On the places where you can rent your equipment, tools and suits should go through from a cleaning and disinfection process after every use. However, as you can imagine, it is hard to believe that most of the centers are complying with this requirement.
That is why, it is crucial having them on your own.
Almost all equipment can be found in diving clubs from where you arrange your trip or rent your equipment. However, quality of devices and equipment won’t be reliable. Especially, dependability changes country-to-country, boat-to-boat and brand-to-brand. You can’t count on their maintenance schedule, quality of brand used, how long they have been used, and who knows how many years. So, especially equipment about your buoyancy, air taking and deco times, such as BCD, regulator and dive computer should be private, allowing you to know about maintenance, practice, chronic problems…etc.
-Knowing your own stuff
Knowing your own stuff brings safety. It definitely will not be same when you are using completely new one which you are not even used to enough, instead of using your own device and equipment that you are familiar with all habits and where its buttons are, even allowing you to take action without looking at it or under no light. Especially with the equipment requiring more time to get use to its working principles, such as BCD, dive computer and fins will be in the top of your list when you become confident on diving and decide buying your own equipment.
Your muscle memory knows only your own equipment.
Tools for Diving
As I made things little bit more clear above, this 3 criteria is pretty important. Therefore, for beginners it will be wise to have them on their own. Now let’s probe them better.
-Mask, Half Mask
Scuba divers usually use half mask these days. Because of availability and mobility of using the regulator in the mouth, it is the most preferred type.
A mask will protect your nose and your eyes, from penetration of water underwater pressure and help you to see underwater brightly.
Half facemask’s rubber seals create negative pressure inside your face and prevent water coming through. As deep as you go, pressure increases and protects better. Of course, it can be disturbing after some limits and just giving small breath out inside the mask will equalize the pressure and make you feel more comfortable.
-Fins and Boots
Fins are like a pair of rudder, help you to direct yourself and gain speed with your body strength to make way underwater. There are two types of fins:
The one above is the one called Full-Foots; Full-Foot is mostly considered suitable for beginners, because it doesn’t require wearing any boots additionally. However in cold waters, it can be uncomfortable.
This type is the one called Open- Heels, which allows you to wear boots inside, arrange the stiffness on the heels so it won’t go off under high current effect, and more easy to remove from its stripes. For all those reasons, it is the most preferred one for professional divers.
Regulator is the essential device and the first reason why this diving is “scuba”. Regulator’s first stage part (No1) helps you to “regulate” the high air pressure inside the bottle and reduce it to the level which you can breathe in atmospheric pressure through primary second stage (No2), the one you put your mouth to get the air.
It has also one alternate second stage (No3) as spare, the one you carry for your diving buddy, in case of any emergency, you can make them breathe from your bottle until you reach safe place above the surface.
First stage of the regulator is also connects bottle pressure and depth gauges on to your system, we will get back to that on Gauges title.
-Wet / Dry Suits
There are different kinds of suit types for diving. Dry-types, as befits the name, prevents water coming through inside, so you will be protected from being wet, which allows you to wear something inside the suit, to keep you warm in cold waters.
Other one and most common type is wet-suits. Wet suits are water permeable and they protect body parts from the friction of the equipment, reefs, or any allergic reaction against some underwater creatures. They have different thickness availabilities to protect the diver against cold water and instant temperature changes up to some point, by creating warm water interface between your body and suit, but it is not permanent and effective under dramatically temperature changes.
Next article, we will continue with other essential equipment and their area of usages.
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