Scuba Gear Essentials For Beginners
These scuba gear essentials for beginners are necessary for the safety, comfort and fun of the novice diver and explorer. Though there are different types of scuba equipment available depending on diving locations, water temperature and etc, basic equipment—such as masks, fins and tanks—are integral to the diving experience of any scuba diver. By taking scuba certification programs—such as those offered by PADI, you’ll be able to learn how to use and select the right equipment for your diving explorations.
- A scuba mask. Scuba masks allow you to perceive underwater with optimal clarity. Masks come in various sizes, so it’s important to find one that snugly and comfortably wraps around your face. Other important factors to consider when choosing a mask are field of vision, a high-quality silicone skirt to seal water from your face as well as silicone strap and strap fasteners.
- Swim fins. It would be impossible to fluidly dive and swim without the creation of swim fins. Because they are usually worn over neoprene booties, it’s important to try fins on while wearing the booties to find the right fit. Fins come in many styles and shapes, but its important to choose ones that will withstand the elements and that won’t cramp your toes or feels while swimming for long periods.
- Neoprene Booties. Scuba booties protect your feet from cold-water temperatures as well as cuts and burns from walking on hard, rocky surfaces. They are either pull-on or zippered, have hard, flexible soles and come in various thicknesses depending on the water temperatures.
- Scuba weights. Unless you want to float like a boat on the surface of the water, you’ll need to wear scuba weights—anywhere from one to ten pounds. There are many different types of weights and options of weight distribution. A typical weight system includes a nylon belt with sold weights or weight harnesses. A scuba diving retailer can help you determine the best type for you.
- A snorkel. Because every scuba diver spends time adjusting on the water’s surface before going in for the dive, you’ll need a snorkel to take in actual oxygen before taking it is from your regulator. The right snorkel must fit comfortably in your mouth and be attached to your scuba mask. To provide sufficient oxygen, the length of the barrel must not be too long or short, and the diameter must be at least three quarters of an inch.
- A scuba regulator. A scuba regulator is the means through which you breathe through your tank and controls the pressure of streaming oxygen. The regulator has two parts—one that controls air pressure directly from the scuba tank—and another valve that is attached to your mouthpiece.
- A scuba tank. Tanks are made of either aluminum or steel. Tank size depends on the amount of air you need, which in turn is determines by general size, fitness level and etc. Aluminum ones are cheaper but dent more easily whereas steel tanks are pricier but will last longer. Most diving shops rent out aluminum tanks.
- A wetsuit. This neoprene body hugger keeps you warm underwater comes in different styles and thicknesses depending on factors such as water temperature. It must be snug enough to provide protection but shouldn’t inhibit fluid movement.