ABOUT SCUBA GEAR
What Is Scuba Gear?
Scuba diving equipment allows you to visit the underwater world by making it possible to breathe, see and move comfortably while below the surface. Gear helps you change from being a land-dweller to somewhat of an aquatic being – if only for a little while. A mask lets you see clearly. A scuba regulator and tank provide the air you need. Fins allow you to swim efficiently, and a wetsuit helps you stay warm. Whether you’re just starting as a scuba diver or you’re an experienced diver looking for new equipment, you’ll find helpful suggestions and tips in this section. Keep in mind that fit, comfort and suitability are the three most important considerations when choosing gear, but you don’t have to sacrifice color coordination and looking good. Your local PADI dive shop is a great place to get more information and assistance in finding the best scuba equipment for you.
Where Will You Use Your Scuba Gear?
You can dive almost anywhere there’s water, and the scuba gear you use will vary slightly based on the dive environment. There are four general categories for dive equipment, but some gear fits in all categories – for example, the same mask is fine for all environments.
- Tropical scuba equipment – For diving in warm (24ºC/75ºF and up), clear water.
- Temperate scuba equipment – For diving in moderate temperature (cooler than 24ºC/75ºF) water.
- Cold-water scuba equipment – For diving in water cooler than15ºC/60ºF.
- Technical diving scuba equipment – Used by very experienced, highly trained divers to visit environments beyond the normal limits of recreational diving.
A mask is one of the most important, and personal, pieces of scuba diving equipment you own because it lets you explore with your eyes.
A snorkel is a very personal piece of equipment. It lives with your mask, spends time in your mouth, and lets you breathe while you look below, until you’re ready to submerge on scuba.
There are fins for swimming, snorkeling, free diving and body surfing.
Imagine scuba diving while hovering, weightless underwater – eye to eye with a fish. How is it possible? It starts with your buoyancy control device (BCD).
Most people float, which is great if you like to stay at the surface. However, scuba divers want to descend and need a weight system to help them offset this tendency to float.
If you think about it, breathing underwater is pretty remarkable, and it all happens because of the regulator. The scuba regulator is a great invention that delivers the air from your scuba tank to you just the way you need it to breathe.
Submersible Pressure Gauge: Your SPG displays how much air remains in your tank so that you can end your dive well before you get too low.
You can track your dives using dive tables, a depth gauge and dive watch, but most scuba divers use a dive computer – it’s easier.
A dive knife is a general tool that scuba divers occasionally use to cut entangling fishing line or rap on their tanks to get a buddy’s attention.
It’s obvious that a dive light is necessary to scuba dive at night to help you navigate, see your gauges, and observe interesting aquatic life.
It’s called exposure protection because while scuba diving you’re not only exposed to water’s cooling ability but also to things that can scrape, cut or sting.
In the unlikely event that you’re at the surface and need to get the attention of someone on shore or on a boat, you’ll be glad you have a surface signaling device.
High-pressure cylinders are relatively small, yet very strong containers that hold large volumes of compressed gas.