|What is Scuba Gear?
Scuba diving equipment adapts you to the underwater world and makes you part of it. You do the diving, but your scuba gear makes it possible. That is, a mask doesn’t see for you, but allows you to see underwater. A dive regulator doesn’t breathe for you, but allows you to breathe underwater. A wetsuit doesn’t make heat, but allows a body to more effectively retain its own heat. Browse this section to learn more about how to choose scuba gear that:
- is comfortable for you
- fits you well and looks good
- will be a long-term investment for the type of diving you plan to do.
During your SCUBA class with Diving Enterprises you will get used to and use all the scuba equipment you need to dive. We take time to demonstrate proper use and answer your questions as part of every beginner diver class.
|The Gear You Need Depends on Where You Scuba Dive
You can dive almost anywhere there’s water. The gear you use will vary somewhat depending upon your diving environment, as well as your preferences. There are four general categories for dive equipment, but some gear fits in all the categories – for example the mask you use for tropical diving is probably for temperate or cold water diving, too.
Scuba Gear Quick Tips
- Tropical scuba equipment – Used when diving in warm (24ºC/75ºF and up), clear water.
- Temperate scuba equipment – Used when diving in moderate temperature (24ºC/75ºF) water.
- Cold water scuba equipment – Used when diving in water cooler than (15ºC/60ºF).
- Tec diving scuba equipment – Used by very experienced, highly trained divers to visit environments beyond the normal limits of recreational diving.
- Mask – Allows your eyes to see clearly underwater.
- Exposure suit – Protects from cuts and scrapes and retains heat so you stay comfortable.
- Snorkel – Lets you breathe at the surface with your face in the water without wasting air from your scuba unit.
- Scuba unit – The heart of your equipment, scuba (the acronym for self contained underwater breathing apparatus) allows you to breathe underwater and to rise, descend, hover or float at will. It consists of a regulator, tank, buoyancy control device –harness and instruments.
- Scuba unit details:
- Your regulator takes high pressure air from your scuba tank and adjusts it to the pressure you need for breathing. It supplies air only when you inhale (on demand), and directs your breath into the water when you exhale. It also routes air to your BCD, instruments and dry suit if you’re using one.
- A cylinder (more commonly called “scuba tank”) holds compressed breathing air that you use during the dive. Modern scuba tanks are made from aluminum alloy or steel alloy and are rated to hold pressures as high as 200 bar/3000 psi. Your dive regulator attaches to the cylinder valve.
- The buoyancy control device allows you to add or release air from a bladder so that you can adjust your buoyancy. This lets you float, hover or descend slowly at will. The BCD (or BC) is, or integrates with, the harness that holds the scuba tank on your back and unites components into a single scuba unit.
- Dive watch – Used to measure the dive time.
- Dive computer – Monitors your depth and time underwater to keep you within established limits.
- Weight system – Offsets your tendency to float so you can descend gently underwater when you want to.
- Fins – Allow you to swim using only your powerful leg muscles.
- Dive light – Used to look into cracks and crevices, and for diving at night.
- Dive knife – A handy tool as well as an important safety device.
- Dive flag/float – Keeps boaters away from where you’re diving.
- Digital underwater photo system – Used to take pictures of your adventures to share with your family and friends.
- Accessories - like underwater slates, lanyards and other items make diving more fun.
- Signaling Devices - Whistle, signal tube get attention of other divers or the dive boat from a distance.
- Scuba gear bag – Used to carry your dive equipment to the dive site.