Thanks to diving, it is possible to discover underwater landscapes, and the flora and fauna that inhabited it. But, this sport is not risk-free. That’s why it is necessary to know the standards, technical rules and experience to be able to do it safely.
In that way, the basic diving material is one of the responsible parts to be able to dive safe and comfortably.
Basic diving material
As its name indicates, the regulator is the one responsible to regulate gas pressure (usually air), and to take it through a hose to the diver’s mouth. It consists on several parts:
- First stage: this is assemble directly to the diving tank. It could have a DIN or INT conector, which has to match with the tank system. The first stage is responsible to lower the pressure of the tank (typically 200 bars) to an intermediate pressure of 10 bars. After that, this intermediate pressure is distributed to the different hoses.
- Second stages: we always carry 2 second stages for safety. They lower the intermediate pressure to environmental pressure, this one depends on the depth in which the diver is at any given moment.
- Low-pressure inflator hose: it supplies air to the dive jacket.
- Manometer: it indicates the tank’s current pressure at any moment.
The dive jacket -properly called “Buoyancy Control Device” or simply BCD- keeps the bottle on our backs. It’s connected to the regulator through the low-pressure inflator. With this we can inflate and deflate the jacket to control our buoyancy.
There are different kinds of dive jackets: normals, hybrids and wings. The difference between them relies in the position where they inflate (we’ll talk more about this in a future blog post).
Dive tanks are also know as cylinders, scuba tanks or compressed air tanks. They are the elements which contain the compressed gas that we used to breath during a dive. It can contain different kind of gases, but diving with air or Nitrox is the most common practice.
There are different types of tanks, and in general there are two manufacturing materials: aluminium and steel. Both are used evenly. Depending on the country, you can found more of one of them or more of the other. Here in Spain, steel tanks are the most common.
Tank’s capacity can vary from 5L to 20L, but we usually dive with 12L or 15L tanks. Kids, small or thin persons with good consumption can use bottles of 8L or 10L.
Generally, each diver carry a tank on his back. With the exception of technical diving or sidemount diving, in this case each diver can carry as far as 5 or 6 tanks.
The weight belt helps us to descend and to compensate the positive buoyancy that most of our diving equipment has (BCD, suit, etc.). Therefore, in order to compensate this buoyancy we need a suitable weight. This depends on different factors:
- The equipment that you carry
- The environment where you dive
- The composition of your body
We will explain the way how we calculate the correct weight in a future blog post!
The scuba mask is something very personal, mostly because we want it to be adapted very well to our face. A good mask has a very soft silicone and and a doble tail. In that way, it is very comfortable and especially: the water doesn’t get inside!
There are different types of diving masks: some of then has transparent silicone, others black silicone, even blue silicone; one crystal or doble crystal… Find a mask that you like and keep it!
Fins are the elements that allows us to move with more flexibility underwater, moving with more speed and without using our arms.
The objective of the diving suit is to provide isolation: on the one hand, from the direct contact with the water, to keep body temperature and to avoid getting cold quickly. On the other hand, to protect us from the elements of the marine world, such as: sharpe rocks, jellyfishes…
Generally, there are 3 types of suits:
- Semi-dry wetsuit
The boots are a complement of the suit. There has several purposes: it allows a better adjust of the fins to the feet; moreover, it protects them with the direct contact with the ground when going in and out of the water. Just like the diving suit, it isolate the feet from the direct contact with the water and, therefore, keep the body temperature better.
El snorkel también forma parte del material básico para el buceo, ya que, permite respirar mientras estamos en superficie sin tener que gastar aire de la botella. Lo puedes llevar siempre sujeto a la máscara, o un tubo flexible enrollado en el bolsillo. Se suele usar para nataciones largas en superficie o cuando el mar está agitado al empezar o finalizar una inmersión.
The snorkel is also a part of the basic material for diving, because it allows to breath while we are in the surface without using air from the tank. You can carry it always clipped to the mask, or as a flexible tube rolled up in a pocket. Normally, it is use to swim long distances on the surface or when the sea is agitated at the beginning or the end of a dive.