Central Scotland Dive Club

Scuba diving equipment

scuba diver

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Scuba Diving Gear Guide

Few sports come close to scuba diving for having such a bewildering array of equipment. But don't let that put you off, as you'll soon find your way around, and experienced club members are always on-hand to help you choose what's best for you. The picture below shows you the basic equipment required for diving in Scotland. More information will appear when you "mouse-over" any item.

scuba diving equipment Choose a hood that fits snugly, but is not too tight. Some manufacturers produce Hi-Vis hoods for added safety. Your diving mask should be comfortable and form a perfect seal around your face. Make sure the nose pocket isn't too small, or the mask may be harder to clear. Many masks can be fitted with prescription lenses, if required.The dive shop will advise you on a regulator with matched first and second stages and octopus. For added comfort, consider getting a custom-fit mouthpiece (although you can add this later).The BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) also known as a BC (Buoyancy Compensator) or Stab (Stabiliser) Jacket is worn like a waistcoat, and is secured with various clips. It can be inflated and deflated to control your buoyancy in the water. Your air cylinder is securely strapped to the back of it. All BCD's have various D-Rings and pockets for you to attach, or store accessories. Many also have integrated weight systems. When choosing a BCD, check that it is suitable for your size, weight and body shape. BCDs (Buoyancy Control Devices) usually have alternative ways in which excess air can be released including toggle-operated Dump Valves. The BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) also known as a BC (Buoyancy Compensator) or Stab (Stability) Jacket is worn like a waistcoat, and is secured with various clips. It can be inflated and deflated to control your buoyancy in the water. Your air cylinder is securely strapped to the back of it. All BCD's have various D-Rings and pockets for you to attach, or store accessories. Many also have integrated weight systems. When choosing a BCD, check that it is suitable for your size, weight and body shape. Dry suits provide better warmth and protection than wetsuits, and enable you to dive all year round in UK waters. There are three main types: Neoprene; Compressed Neoprene; and Membrane. All will have an inflator valve and a shoulder, or cuff-mounted dump valve. When choosing a suit, it's important to get one that fits you correctly. The Octopus is a back-up Regulator 2nd Stage. An Alternative Air Source (AAS) which either you or your dive buddy can use if required. Dive torches come in all shapes and sizes (and prices). Choose one to match the kind of diving you will be doing. Most divers wear wetsuit-type gloves, although dry glove systems are available. Make your choice based on comfort and fit. A compact, sharp knife should be worn when diving, as there may be the risk of entanglement with discarded fishing line etc. Line-cutters or shears may also be useful to have. Fins are an essential piece of dive kit, and there are many makes and styles to choose from. A useful extra, for many divers, is to get them fitted with spring heel clips. It's a good idea to have back-up equipment - just in case. The BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) also known as a BC (Buoyancy Compensator) or Stab (Stabiliser) Jacket is worn like a waistcoat, and is secured with various clips. It can be inflated and deflated to control your buoyancy in the water. Your air cylinder is securely strapped to the back of it. All BCD's have various D-Rings and pockets for you to attach, or store accessories. Many also have integrated weight systems. When choosing a BCD, check that it is suitable for your size, weight and body shape. A whistle may come as standard with your BCD. Clipped to your BCD inflator hose makes it convenient for use, if required. Most dry suit divers will use their suit to maintain neutral buoyancy during the dive. The dump valve can be adjusted to enable excess air to be expelled automatically. A dry suit can be inflated to offset "suit squeeze", as the ambient water pressure increases with depth. In normal scuba diving, the air for this is supplied through a hose from the regulator's 1st-Stage which is attached to the cylinder. The BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) is an inflatable jacket that a diver can use to control their buoyancy. Air can be injected or released through valves on the inflator hose. The BCD also has toggle-operated dump valves, at the shoulder and lower back. Note: Most drysuit divers will only use the BCD to provide buoyancy on the surface, preferring instead to use their dry suit for maintaining neutral buoyancy during the dive. BCD's are usually attached with various shoulder, chest and waist clips. Make sure you're also familiar with how your dive buddy's BCD works. Proper weighting for any diver is very important. If you find a traditional weight belt unsuitable, a weight harness may be better for you. Your BCD may also have an integrated weight system. Most divers monitor their dive depth, duration and decompression with the aid of a PDC (Personal Dive Computer). Comprehensive information can also be downloaded to a home computer for logging or analysis. Various types of compass are available. Some divers prefer wrist-mounted, others console-mounted. Consider your preference, get one that's easy to read - and practise using it. The Depth Gauge and Cylinder Contents Gauge are typically mounted together in a console, often with a compass or computer. Having access to all this vital information at one point can be convenient.