What to take into consideration when choosing Dive Gear
Updated: Jan 5
When going shopping for new diving equipment, you will notice that there are loads of different choices of gear to choose from. This can be confusing for new divers, however, the most important thing to keep in mind when buying new dive gear is the three F’s. They stand for FIT FOR FUNCTION.
FIT: Does the dive gear fit the individual properly?
Proper fitting gear is important for a diver as it will keep them comfortable during the dive.
Function: Ask yourself if the gear I’m choosing is correct for the type of diving I’m planning on doing.
Thus, choosing the correct gear for the dive is important for both safety and comfort.
Other Tip’s / Considerations
A proper fitting mask will help prevent the notorious mask leak.
Being cold can easily ruin a dive and choosing the right wetsuit, or drysuit and undersuit combination, is important. The addition of a thermal undersuit or rash vest, can make a big difference in keeping you warm during your dive.
Open-heel fins with spring fin straps allows for easy removal with minimal effort required and gives you the added protection of wearing booties with your fins. In a country where most of our diving is done off the beach or inland shore entries, wearing a booty protects your feet against hot sand, rocks and thorns. You need to choose the correct fin for your kicking style. Kicking from the hips with straight legs is a common finning technique, however, with the more modern training method of teaching, even entry-level divers can (easily) learn to do the more efficient frog-kick and its variations, therefore your choice of fins become more important. Divers should consider a session with an instructor to learn different finning techniques, if they have not yet done so.
There are a variety of regulators on the market and again, function and diver safety are the most important considerations here. If a diver plans to do deeper dives, or dives into strong currents where their breathing may be accelerated, it is important to have a high quality, easy breathing regulator that is able to allow the diver comfortable breathing in these adverse conditions.
Choosing the right BCD (buoyancy control device) is also important and divers should try on a variety of styles and manufacturer’s BCDs before making their choice. Back support sizes and positions vary, as do pockets for weights, and should be considered. Diving wings are another popular option to try.
The correct weight distribution is something important divers learn with a weight belt around the waist, and weights distributed around the waistline. There are also other options. Using weights in BCD pockets, cylinder weights, or positioning the weights on a belt at the front of the waistline, are great ways to adjust the divers trim and attitude (body position) in the water.
The piece of diving equipment that will instantly enhance a divers experience is the dive computer. Not only does it vastly simplify dive planning, it also allows the diver to dive according to a real time optimal diving profile. Divers can choose from a wide range of dive computers, from entry level (i.e. only dealing with a single gas (air or nitrox) on a dive to a fully integrated one taking into account air consumption, skin temperature and heart rate as well as being able to switch between gases on a dive. Some dive computers can even “build” gases mid-dive.
Remember, using the right gear means your comfort and confidence in the water will be improved.