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Scuba Equipment


All About Scuba Equipment

To the average non-diver, scuba equipment seemingly consists of a mask, snorkel, fins and tank, a wetsuit, and an odd assortment of hoses. However, these items are only the most basic. Scuba equipment is, by nature, complex, and there is a wide variety of gear designed for specific types of diving.

Mandatory scuba equipment for any diver is an air source and delivery system including a "safe second" or redundant backup system; a buoyancy compensator (or BC) and weights; a timing device; and a dive table. Many divers love gadgets and also carry multi-function knives, signaling devices, flashlights, and underwater photography gear as an integral part of their personal scuba gear.

Scuba equipment can also be found to suit any dive specialty. There are spearguns designed for underwater fishing, chain mail suits for shark diving, reels and rebreathing gear for wreck or cave diving, and dry suits for cold water or ice diving. For those with a yen for the extreme, scuba equipment can even include a personal propulsion vehicle - a sort of underwater jet ski.

The diverse styles available in even the most basic scuba equipment will boggle the mind of the novice. Enter any dive shop and you're likely to find an entire wall of masks, accompanied by a rackful of strap options. There are fins designed to be worn with booties, and others for bare feet. You can buy long fins, or shorter ones less likely to kick up silt or damage coral, not to mention the many split-fin options designed to reduce cramps and provide better propulsion. There are weight belts, or quick release pocket weight systems. Scuba equipment exists to fit any dive profile - and, if it doesn't, some enterprising diver will no doubt invent it!

Buying scuba equipment is a highly personal process, usually involving a good deal of time, research, and expense. The choices are numerous, and they need to be. Scuba equipment is, after all, life support equipment. Its function is to keep a diver alive in an environment humans did not evolve to survive in. So, if you are considering your first purchase...relax, take a deep breath - and dive in!





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