Starting out in scuba diving? Not sure what's essential and what's not? Or just not too sure about the different terminology and types of equipment? Lucky for you, we're here to help with they key info you need to help you buy your first scuba diving gear!
Scuba masks come in two different varieties, either twin lenses or single lenses. Twin lenses are better if you want prescription lenses but single lenses are better for the overall amount of light.
You tend to buy snorkels with your mask and they are available in a wide variety sizes and designs. There are simple ones with open mouth pieces and a fairly straight tube, or there are more advanced options with features such as valves in the mouthpiece to help ditch any water, a flexible elbow, adjustable grips for attaching onto your mask and some even have valves at the top that will close when you go underwater.
Fins are also available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Full foot fins are ideal for snorkelling and tend to be very lightweight and on the cheaper end of the scale. For full scuba diving you will need an open-heel fin. These can have adjustable straps and are great for wearing with boots.
The type of wetsuit you need will depend on where you're going to be diving. Shorties have short sleeves and legs so are ideal for diving in warmer tropical waters. For diving in colder waters you will need a full length wetsuit that covers your arms and legs, these tend to be made from thicker neoprene that will keep you warmer in colder waters. For diving in really cold temperatures you will need a dry suit. These have skin-tight neck and cuff seals and a dry zip to keep you completely dry and warm.
Regulators are bought in three parts. Firstly you need a primary and a first stage. Then you have a bright yellow piece which is your octo (or alternate air source), this has to be a matching brand to your primary and first stage. You then also need gauges, these come in either single, double or even triple.
Most dive computers are worn on your wrist and you can either buy one that is solely for use when diving or there are options that can be worn as an everyday watch too. You can have a wireless transmitter to connect your computer to your tank data. Alternatively you can have a console dive computer that attached to your regulators.
There are two different varieties of BCDs. First up is a wing-style BCDs, these have the bladder only behind you and then a harness to keep you inside of it. These are more advanced, hold you in a good position in the water and the open harness system gives you a greater range of adjustments to fit it to yourself. They're also lighter so are great for travelling and transporting. The other option is a jacket-style BCD. The bladder on these inflates around your waist which gives you more space for pockets but it does make them a little heavier and bulkier too.
All of this gear is available today at Simply Scuba. If you have any further questions do not hesitate to leave us a comment or get in touch.