SCUBA GEAR 101

Humans are not designed to breathe underwater. The different components of scuba gear have been created to allow us to safely and comfortably explore the underwater world. New students can find themselves overwhelmed when seeing a full dive system for the first time. Here is an overview to help you get acquainted:

SNORKELING SYSTEM

When you are learning to ski, it’s important that you own basic equipment like a jacket, pants, and goggles. The snorkeling system is the same. We require our students to own their own mask, snorkel, and fins. These three pieces of equipment allow you to see, breathe, and move while at the surface of the water and are the most important pieces of your total diving system.

 

 

AIR DELIVERY SYSTEM

The air delivery system is a vital part of your total diving system. It is comprised of a regulator, which is your primary air source, and an alternate air source, commonly referred to as an ‘octopus.’ These components are connected via high pressure hoses to your tank and deliver air to divers at ambient pressure.

BUOYANCY SYSTEM

The buoyancy compensator, also known as ‘BC’ or ‘BCD,’ is a jacket style inflator that allows divers to fine tune their buoyancy to be positive (float), negative (sink), or neutral (swimming during a dive). The buoyancy compensator attaches to the tank and has readily accessible controls that allow divers to add or remove air from its bladders.

INFORMATION SYSTEM

A good information system tells divers much more than just their depth and tank pressure. Modern dive computers use complex algorithms that calculate accumulated nitrogen, no decompression limits, ascent rates, and safety stops. Nowadays, most are also compatible with different gas mixtures for enriched air diving. Information is power and having a reliable computer makes divers safer and more confident in the water.

EXPOSURE SYSTEM

As you will learn in your Open Water class, it is important to stay warm while underwater and the exposure system is designed to help your body maintain its core temperature. This system typically includes a closed cell neoprene wetsuit for temperate waters and a hood, gloves, and additional layers for colder temperatures. Drysuits are required for extreme cold water environments.

ACCESSORY SYSTEM

Once you get certified and begin the lifelong journey that is scuba diving, you begin to see ways in which you can customize your total diving system to enhance your experience. Common accessories include dive lights, knives, reef savers, gear bags, noise-makers, and much more. No matter what you ultimately add to your total diving system, just remember to practice good buoyancy and always stay off the reef!

 

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