The Basics in Diving Equipment
The world of Scuba diving includes a vast amount of different types of diving equipment. If you’re a novice diver, some of the equipment pieces may seem foreign to you. Each item is important, though, as diving equipment is typically designed with the diver’s safety in mind. Understanding how the different pieces are used is a first step in getting acquainted with the art of the Scuba diver.
A wetsuit can be a diver’s best friend. The wetsuit is a basic piece of diving equipment that keeps the diver’s skin dry and safe, allowing him to stay underwater for prolonged periods of time. Also, temperatures deep underwater can sometimes dip low. Without the wetsuit, the diver may become too cold to continue with the dive. This makes it important to purchase a high quality wetsuit that will hold up against everything the deep waters may present.
Without the proper mask, diving would be pointless, as the diver would be unable to see any of the sights underwater. Scuba divers tend to choose small masks that can hold up long term, over the bulkier masks the snorkelers typically wear. The larger masks can be obtrusive during the dive, making it important to find a streamlined mask that will not get in the way.
A diver’s gas supply is what makes prolonged periods of time underwater possible. The gas tank sits on the diver’s back via a special vest. More advanced divers are able to carry dual cylinder tanks, which doubles the amount of air supply. This requires a specialized vest as well. A dual tank is necessary for longer dives, or as a safety feature in case one tank malfunctions.
Decompression cylinders are independent breathing devices some divers use on longer dives. The decompression cylinders come with their own regulators so that they can be used to breathe in and out of without extra diving equipment. The decompression cylinders are typically small, hand held items that can be stored somewhere on the body. These pieces can also be carried as a backup air supply in case something goes wrong with the gas supply on your back.
Regulators are long hose like items connecting the gas supply to the diver’s mouth. Many divers carry longer regulators on the chance they will need to participate in buddy breathing techniques. Buddy breathing is when an air supply is momentarily shared with a partner diver. This can sometimes be necessary if you’re helping a partner diver once their equipment has failed. This extra length makes the sharing process possible.
Scuba diving can sometimes mean venturing into dark corners, as caves, caverns and deep distances are explored by divers. Because of this, many divers carry small, battery operated lights that will guide them on their trek. These lights can be hand held or attached to your mask, so the light doesn’t have to be held. The lights also vary in size and scope, depending on your dive needs. Some dive environments will necessitate more light than others.