The BC, or buoyancy compensator is used to float the diver and equipment on the surface and allows for adjusting for neutral buoyancy at depth. Diving calls for the use of wetsuits, which requires lead to offset it's buoyancy, and a BC with enough lift capacity to compensate for the loss of that buoyancy at depth.
BCs offer a variety of shoulder and waist adjustments to help you custom fit the BC to your body. Quick releases on the shoulders make for easy removal. Back inflation buoyancy compensators place all the inflation behind the diver. Many BC's offer integrated systems which allow the diver to use a weight system to store weights as part of the BC which includes the ability to be able to ditch the weights in an emergency.
Computers offer the diver a safer and much more convenient way of monitering decompression limits. Dive computers calculate nitrogen loading according to the diver's depth and time, allowing a profile that is much more flexible than the square profiles provided by dive tables. Todays computers display current depth, maximum depth, dive time, and records the dive information for recall later in a log book mode. Some computers require that the user pushes a button to activate while others activate automatically when you enter the water. Computers go into a sleep mode or turn off if not used within a certain period of time. Computers can be mounted in a console, on the wrist in a wrist boot, or on the hose in a hose boot. How a computer is mounted is dependent on the divers preference and the computers configuration. Some models have a pressure gauge integrated into the unit. These computers are able to display the amount of remaining air and calculate how long your air will last based on current breathing rate.
Nitrox computers offer all the same features as the air computers, but also allow the use of Oxygen Enriched Air. Once a diver's nitrox is programmed in the computer, decompression limits are adjusted accordingly. Warnings communicate to the diver nitrogen loading and oxygen limits for the present nitrox at any given point of time during the dive.
Aluminum Tanks - Aluminum tanks are
more buoyant than steel tanks, so you may be finding yourself adding a few
extra pounds on your weight belt. Also something to remember, on land alumium tanks are so heavier than a steel cylinder.
Steel Tanks - Steel has a higher density rate than aluminum, which allows the tank
to be negatively buoyant when your dive is completed. Steel tanks are available
either in high pressure (HP) or low pressure (LP). High pressure tanks are
smaller and contain a higher volume of air.
Gear bags come in different styles and with different features. They are available in backpack, duffel, wheeled backpack or duffel bags and hard cases. These bag are used essentially to tote your gear from one location to another. The bag should have drainage holes on the bottom and be big enough to carry all of your gear. Some features available are: side compartments for fins, large zip pockets, fully padded, dry compartment storage, hidden backpack straps and regulator bags. Hard cases are the most secure of all cases. They can be locked and are very indestructible. They are watertight, available with wheels and/or foam inserts, and many divers choose to double the larger sizes as wash basins while cleaning their dive equipment.
Analog and Digital Gauges of today are very accurate and provide the necessary information needed to monitor air supply bottom times depths and navigation with compass. They come in single units to multiple configurations. Many are made in plastic cases and the better ones are still made in brass cases. They vary in the amount of depth units and psi units. Digital units require batteries. Some gauges are user adjustable
A sharp knife is essential for cutting quickly through entanglements like large clumps of kelp, nets and weed. It should not be too big, however, or it could become a cause of entanglement itself.
Three essential items allow you to begin your exploration of the underwater world.
Masks, Fins and Snorkels ensure that your basic equipment is of the same quality as any of the specialized gear you buy.
Although these items look deceptively simple, the correct fit and function of each piece is critical to your diving comfort.
The question is simple: Your buddy needs to share air. Now what?
Unfortunately, the answer involves one of the most confusing categories of dive equipment: the alternate air source. Diverse products, confusing terminology, conflicting procedures and a lack of standardization all make this piece of life-support equipment one of the hardest to get a grip on.
The octopus is sometimes called a secondary regulator or by the hopeful misnomer "safe second." In reality, it can be any regulator second stage intended for use as an octopus. If you're an active diver, you most likely have an alternate air source that you consider sufficient for your needs. Big question: Is it really? Are you willing to bet your life and your buddy's on it?
To Help with this we have some recomendations.
The job of the regulator is to supply air to the diver at ambient pressure. The first stage of a regulator attaches to the tank and reduces the pressure of the air in the tank to ambient pressure plus a preset intermediate pressure. The air is then sent down the hose to the second stage. Here the pressure is reduced by that same intermediate pressure, leaving air at ambient pressure.
In a sport so heavily dependent on equipment, probably the most underappreciated and overlooked piece of gear is the dive light. Vital for night diving, cave diving and wreck diving, a light can also do more to liven up a typical day plunge than just about any other accessory. Below 10m a good dive light can ignite the colors of a reef and illuminate dark holes where whole communities of reef creatures would otherwise go unnoticed.