Scuba diving has been one of the most intriguing open water recreational and professional activity since its invention. It involves using a number of apparatus that are meant to make you comfortable while you are underwater. The activity is all about learning how to use these various scuba diving equipment as you explore the aqua life and get to know more about the sub aqua landscape. Unlike the breath-hold divers and the surface-supplied divers, scuba divers carry their supply of breathing gas to maximize the amount of time they spend underwater and increase their comfortability when submerged.
Source: Scuba Gear For Beginners
The scuba diving certification and what it entails
Before you are allowed to scuba dive, you must undergo training where you will learn how to operate the numerous scuba diving equipment. You will have to take health and fitness lessons as well as self-help and assistance lessons. All this training is meant to improve your flexibility and functionality while in water, and they also prepare you to know what to do in case you or your partner encounters a problem while scuba diving. Once you are well equipped with all the scuba diving skills, you will be issued with a certificate that will indicate you are fit to scuba dive at a certain capacity. The capacity depends on the kind of scuba diving lessons you have taken. The certificate will thus indicate whether you did a beginner course, advanced course, rescue diver course, dive guide course or you took diver instructor lessons.
Source: How To Get Your Scuba Certification
Why is scuba diving equipment important
What makes scuba diving much more different and exciting from other types of diving is the equipment used by the scuba divers. These apparatus have been well designed and engineered to provide you with everything you need while in water. With them, you will be fully protected from various elements, you will be able to breathe in water, and you will also be able to see where you are going among many other things. Their main function is to ensure that you have completely easy and comfortable scuba diving sessions and also enable you to spend too much time in the water. For the professionals, this equipment enables them to perform their work diligently while for leisure, they enable you to view the different forms of aqua life and increase your underwater experience.
Source: Scuba Diving: Necessary Gear
How does scuba diving equipment work
This is a question that you will often hear from people who have never attempted scuba diving before. This is because the equipment is always a fascination to many. Whenever you put on the whole gear, people tend to see it more of a serious operation than a recreational activity which sometimes is true. There are quite a number of scuba diving apparatus that you will get acquainted with in your initial scuba diving course which is also referred to as beginner course. You will start by learning the names of each scuba diving equipment then you will go ahead and try them on. So how does scuba diving equipment work?
The eponymous scuba or the breathing apparatus
The first gear to answer the question of how does scuba diving equipment work is the breathing apparatus. This is a very important piece of equipment that is designed to enable scuba divers to breathe comfortably underwater. There are two types of breathing apparatus, the half mask, and the full face mask breathers.
The half mask breathers are aimed at covering the individual’s eyes and nose. You are also provided with a mouthpiece, breathing tube or snorkels through which you can access breathing gas from the rebreather.
The full face mask, on the other hand, covers the whole face just like the name suggests. It tends to protect the divers’ eyes, nose, and mouth. Unlike the half mask, with the full face masks, the diver can breathe through the nose.
Source: Differences Between a Traditional Diving Mask and a Full Face Mask Instructional Video
The full face masks are the most common even though most recreational scuba divers use the half face masks. What makes full face masks more preferable is that they can keep the airway clear in case the diver loses consciousness while in water. The idea of covering the whole face is thus much more incredible than covering only half of the face.
They both enable scuba divers to maintain their breathing process something very vital when it comes to enabling the scuba diver to remain underwater for quite some time. This increases your aqua life exploration time and makes the whole activity to be much fun.
The Buoyancy Compensating Device (BCD)
In most cases, scuba divers take an interest in the activity not because they love water but because they want to acquaint themselves with the underwater experience as well as see and feel what goes on down there. This means that most scuba divers always want to go as deep as they can with some scuba diving professionals going up to the seabed. Well, this is only possible because of the buoyancy Compensating Device which is popularly known as the BCD. This device is built to enable the scuba diver sink and float on demand. Without the BCD, some scuba divers would find it hard to sink in water while others will find it hard to float back to the surface after sinking. This is because of the difference in weight of the two scuba divers.
Source: Buoyancy Compensators | SCUBA 101
The BCD comes with an ingenious design that makes use of abrasion-resistant air bladders. This is fitted in a jacket like a costume and once worn you can control your buoyancy however you like. When you are diving in, the jacket will enable you to sink deeper into the sea. This will increase your weight and keep you underwater in a horizontal position with minimal kicking. At the end of the day, you will spend less energy as well as less air walking around and exploring the aqua life. To regain buoyancy, all you have to do is let air in the jacket using the available valves, and you will be able to float back on the water. With these abilities, the scuba diver will have a very easy time traversing different sections underwater without any buoyancy problem.
This is yet another gadget that will answer the question of how does scuba diving equipment work. The diving regulator is a very important piece of apparatus that is used to make a convenient connection between the scuba cylinders and the breathers. Without the diving regulators, it would be a bit problematic to control your breathing capabilities while underwater. Some people refer to the diving regulator as a demand valve. To understand better how this equipment work, you need to get acquainted with the two stages that are involved when breathing. These stages are the reason why scuba divers breathe comfortably despite the fact that the scuba cylinders carry high pressurized air.
Source: Scuba Regulators | SCUBA 101
The first stage regulator comes with a valve that controls the high pressured breathing air from the cylinder to low pressure which is then released to the scuba hoses. This means that the air can now be transported safely to the breather. This regulator is usually fastened on the cylinder so that it may initialize regulation as soon as air exits the scuba cylinder. The second demand valve is positioned on the mouthpiece. This, in turn, tends to minimize the pressure of the incoming air to match the surrounding water pressure so that it can comfortably and safely be used for breathing by the scuba divers. This makes inhalation and exhalation of the scuba divers easy and very convenient.
The scuba cylinder
This is one scuba diving equipment that you will never fail to notice on a scuba diver. This is because it is usually large than most devices and very visible. The scuba cylinder or the air cylinder is designed to hold a specific amount of air at high pressure. The material used to create the cylinder is often aluminum or steel depending on the company’s preferences. The scuba cylinder is the main reason why you will be able to breathe underwater without any problems. It must, however, work with other scuba diving equipment such as the breathers, the hose, and the regulators to function optimally.
Source: Scuba Tank Basics
As mentioned above, the regulators’ main task is to reduce the pressure of the compressed air at different levels making it easier and safer to breathe. Without the regulators, it would be nearly impossible for the scuba diver to be able to breathe in and out. The cylinder is usually carried on the back of the scuba diver with the scuba hose leading either to the breather or to the BCD. With a scuba cylinder, you have more than enough air to make prolonged observations and spend more time underwater than without. That is why it is important that a scuba diver learns how to manage the weight of the cylinder as well as its operation before diving into water.
This is one of the most advanced apparatus in this session of how does scuba diving equipment work. You will find that most times, professional scuba divers require much longer periods of time than recreational scuba divers. This is so that they may make valid observations and complete the tasks assigned to them without any problems.
Source: Pros And Cons Of A Rebreather
With that in mind, it means that professional scuba divers need an unlimited supply of air something that the scuba cylinders can’t provide. Scuba cylinders carry a specific amount of air depending on its capacity. This tends to limit the scuba divers by giving them a minimum amount of time required to spend underwater.
The rebreather, on the other hand, makes use of much advanced technology. It is designed in such a way that it can reuse air in a very simple yet complicated method. Unlike the scuba cylinder, when scuba divers use the rebreather, the exhaled air is not bubbled into the water, but instead, it is taken back to the rebreather where carbon dioxide is eliminated and oxygen left is resupplied back to the individual.
This means that the rebreather is just packed with minimal air while the rest is reused. This, in turn, makes the rebreather to supply professional scuba divers with an unlimited amount of air. This is the main reason why professional scuba divers tend to spend so much time underwater. The rebreather, unlike the air cylinders, requires maintenance and proper usage for them to function optimally.
Scuba diving fins
Source: Choosing The Right Fins
Scuba fins are very important when it comes to making underwater movements seem very easy. This is because they are usually much denser compared to air and thus they provide a great way to improve every single foot paddle you make. They can either be open heal where you only have the fins or adjustable that comes with booties. The trick to having an easy time with diving fins is to ensure that you pick the ones that fit precisely. They are not supposed to be too loose or too tight to give you a hard time.
As a scuba diver, finding out how long you can safely stay in water is essential in calibrating your next moves carefully. Diving blindly without something to monitor the amount of time you have spent at the bottom can be quite problematic. That is why you need a dive computer, which is a device that uses electricity to monitor how long you have been under water. It also enables you to know the amount of air you are remaining with.
Source: Why OWN a dive computer?
Scuba diving is one of the best recreational and professional activity that involves diving into open water in a bid to explore underwater or professionally partake an assigned task. The experience becomes even better with the right equipment. The above list shows how scuba diving works, training, and some of the main scuba diving apparatus that are essential. You must, however, undergo a scuba diving training to equip you with the required knowledge that you will find very useful during the process.