My Scuba Diving Equipment

After gaining some experience under water almost every diver starts to look into buying his or her own diving equipment.

In this article I show you my scuba diving equipment and tell you why I love it. The kit I own now is not the first one and I replaced every single item over the years. I will also let you know what mistakes I made when buying my first kit and what I recommend you to get first.

 

My Scuba Diving Equipment: The Dive Computer

The first own piece of gear I would advise you to buy is the computer. It knows your diving profile and will exactly tell you how much longer you can stay down and where to do your stops. If you just follow the dive guide around, without being able to track your own profile, you will never be as safe.

I wrote a whole article about how to choose the best dive computer.

I use an Oceanic OCI. This is an awesome computer and what was the reason for me to buy an Oceanic is that it is less conservative than the other computers. I know this is not something you tell people, but then I do not see a problem with choosing a less conservative computer as an experienced diver. I am completely safe when staying within the limits the computer shows me and I do get more bottom time. So I can definitely recommend Oceanic computers. Except that I have been a bit unlucky with it and had to get it fixed twice within two years (warranty).

As a beginner I would probably rather recommend you to get a more conservative and possibly more economic model like Mares Puck or Suunto D4i.

My first dive computer was a Suunto Zoop which is a great option to start with. It can do everything you need, it is easy to use and one of the most economic options. The only down side is that it is quite big and is definitely not a computer to wear all the time.

 

My Scuba Diving Equipment: The mask

Possibly the second item to buy is the mask. A mask is a very important and personal item. If it does not fit perfectly and therefore either hurts or leaks water in you won’t be able to enjoy your underwater time as much.

The mask allows us to see underwater. Try taking it off under water and it becomes clear again that we are definitely not made to live there.

It is very important that you try your mask before you take it to your first dive. Do you remember how you know if a mask fits you well?
Gently hold the mask to your face without attaching the strap and breath in through your nose – if the mask stays there it seals properly.
Next attach the strap and find out if the masks sits comfortably and is nowhere to tight on your face. If it feels comfortable it should be a good fit for you. Try many masks to see and feel the difference.

And of course it is important that you like how you look like with the mask on. Imagine all the bad selfies if you don’t look handsome with your mask or you have to take it off for all the pictures. This can be tricky. I did try to take some selfies with my too heavy camera and taking mask off and regulator out. I can tell you these were not very successful.
scuba selfie

So, let’s get back to that mask. You can get all kinds of glass shapes and sizes. Masks with just one glass and such with two. I used both, but don’t have a clear preference.

My first mask:

My current mask:
my scubapro mask

You can have clear or dark rubber masks. People prefer masks with with clear rubber as it is easier to see what is going on around, while with dark rubber no light or movements around irritate the diver. So it is really just about which one you prefer.

Another reason for a black mask and the reason I got one of these is that it is not as easy to see when it gets a bit “dirty”. This happens when you dive regularly and you can’t do too much about it – the masks with clear rubber can look disgusting after a while.

disgusting scuba diving mask

 

My Scuba Diving Equipment: Wetsuit or boardshorts?

The next piece of equipment you might wanna buy is your own wetsuit. There is a saying that scuba divers are either peeing in their weitsuit or they lie. I don’t think this is true, but yes, most do pee in wetsuits. So you might want at least your own suit for that, right?

This is my wetsuit:

my xcel wetsuit

It is fairly new, 4/5 mm and it keeps me nice and warm down to 24°C. I had a 3 mm before which was nice, but I already got cold when the water was below 26°C. I dive mostly in warm waters, but then there might be thermoclines or just seasonal colder water.

If the water is warm enough (above 28°C) I dive in rashguard, vest with hood and board shorts.
my rashguard and lavacore

 

My Scuba Diving Equipment: Fins

Every single diver seems to have the best fins in the world and would not change with anyone or move to a different model. Funny how people talk like that about their fins, but not as often about other dive equipment. But understandable as the different fins can lead to a completely different diving experience.

I was quite happy with my first fins which were Mares Avanti Quattro. These are basic fins, but actually amazing ones. They are not too heavy, not too stiff or flexible. Probably just the right ones to start with.

After doing my cave diving course where I had to wear Jet Fins I got my own ones right after the course and would not change again.

The only disadvantage is that they are very heavy and therefore maybe not the best option for traveling. However, I’d rather have the best possible fins and carry a few extra kilos around with me, even when traveling a lot.
my jet fins

What I love about these fins is that they are very stiff and whatever I do with my feet, the fins are doing the same thing. Like that I can perfectly position myself in the water using fin kicks. I can easily swim backwards, turn and also vary my kicks depending on the conditions and type of dive. When I use other fins it feels like they are just flopping around and I cannot steer myself around as easily.

In addition they are great for girls with “floaty ankles”.

 

My Scuba Diving Equipment: Regulators

When I got my first regulators it was part of a kit that I got for my dive master internship. So the regs were about the cheapest they could possibly get. Have you heard the saying “you get what you pay for”? Yes? I should have thought about that before agreeing to the cheapest option. The regs were leaking depending on my position in the water, I had to get stuff fixed a lot and it wasn’t always easy to breath, depending on the depth.
Therefore my next regs were of a very different price class. I got the high end AquaLung Legend and I absolutely love them. Nothing negative to say about those, just amazing.
my scubapro legend regulators

I would definitely recommend not to save too much when buying regulators or you might have to buy twice. And keep in mind, this thing is what allows you to breath underwater, make sure you feel comfortable with it.

 

My Scuba Diving Equipment: BCD / Wing

A BCD or a wing is more than just the thing that helps you controlling your buoyancy. They come in all kinds of shapes, weights and accessories. Which one is right for you depends a lot on your preferences.

My first BCD was a travel light version of a classic BCD. I had to find out though that this specific BCD is not made for someone who dives every day and I had to get it fixed many times. I think it is a great solution for people who just dive a few weeks each year during holidays and don’t want to travel light.

So next I wanted to buy something that lasts for many many years even when I use it daily and so I bought the traveler pro wing from Halcyon. I love this wing. It is not as heavy as the steel or aluminium backplate versions, but besides that it is almost like a tech wing. The only negative point are the plastic buckles and parts that are used, a couple of these broke after a few weeks or a year, respectively.

my halcyon traveler wing

I would not want to go back to a BCD. I find the wings make more sense for me as a buoyancy control device with all the air on my back, it just makes it easier to maintain the perfect trim underwater.

 

My Scuba Diving Equipment: Accessories

I use a small titanium dive knife. I would recommend to use one of these and attach it somewhere on the BCD/wing where you can reach with both hands. Imagine you’re entangled and can’t get to the knife attached to your leg. My first diving knife was stainless steel which started to rust after only a few weeks. I use the knife mostly to cut fishing lines off reefs. For that a cutter would make sense too.

And then every diver needs a signal buoy. Best is to buy a closed one with spool. Like this one:

 

What equipment are you using and why? I would love to hear more about it in the comment section below


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2017-04-10T08:00:47+00:00 By |

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