Whether you’re new to scuba diving or you’re an experienced diver, the proper equipment is the key to any successful and safe diving experience. While you can always rent scuba equipment, it’s always recommended that you buy your own so you understand exactly how it works and feel comfortable diving every time. If you go diving even a couple times a year, it just makes sense to buy your own equipment to use. Here’s a list of the basic equipment you want to have.
A diving mask should fit snugly, be air-tight, protect your face and let you see through the water. Start by selecting the right size and then make sure it fits well by inhaling to make a seal. If the mask stays on your face, it fits.
This piece of equipment preserves air in your tank while you’re swimming to the dive site. It can also be used as a safety precaution if you need to float for a long time. Snorkels are basically just a tube but you want to make sure it fits well in your mouth and isn’t more than 12-15″ long.Diving
Fins and Booties
Booties, also known as wet socks, should fit comfortably and be snug but not overly tight. Most are sized like shoes so try on a pair and try walking in them before you buy. Booties are designed to keep your feet warm and protect your feet from injuries. Over the booties you’ll wear fins, so always try on fins with the booties on. While trying on fins, test the stiffness of the blade by pulling the tip to you and make sure it makes the strength of your legs.
Your diving suit protects you against the temperature of the water and keeps your skin protected from abrasions. The type of suit you select will depending on the water conditions so you can choose between a wet suit, dry suit or dive skins. Dive skins are very thin and designed for very warm waters or to use under a wet suit. Wet suits may have short sleeves and legs or be a full-body style and they’re suitable for temperatures between 55 and 75 degrees. Dry suits are necessary if you’re going into water under 55 degrees F.
Buoyancy Compensator (BC)
This device will help you control buoyancy as you descend and work like a floatation device while you’re at the surface of the water. It should fit comfortably so select a style that evenly distributes the weight of the tank around your hips instead of your chest or shoulders.
Regulator and Other Instruments
The regulator allows you to breathe underwater by regulating the amount of air that flows between your tank and your mouthpiece. Along with a regulator, you may also want a pressure gauge to keep an eye on the tank’s pressure, a depth gauge to show you how far you’ve gone underwater and a watch to track your time.