How to Choose Gadgets for Scuba Drivers


Dive shops are full of gadgets for divers but there are few that you will actually need. If you take too many unnecessary items with you on a dive, they will only hinder your progress rather than be of any use.

Buoys and reels

If you dive where the water is moving or need to mark your position for some other reason, use a surface marker buoy (SMB) at the end of a line. The line should be kept at the shortest length possible. A large, simple-to-use winder reel will help with this. Because there are so many bad reels on the market, some people prefer to use a simple spool instead.

Reels must have the ability to deploy, and wind back in, a sufficient length of line to do the job that’s needed without tangling or jamming. There are many different devices available and you should be careful to choose a reel that has a spool made of one piece of material. A spool that breaks in two is worse than useless.

Some reels have easy-to-use ratchets but others are fiddly. Check that your chosen reel has metal parts that are of marine-grade 316 stainless steel. A large spool is less likely to jam than a smaller one but a smaller reel is more easily stowed and is, therefore more likely to be there when you need it.

An SMB can be round or sausage-shaped. For permanent surface use, a round one tows behind the diver more easily.

D-rings and dive bags

Many BCs are equipped with large stainless steel D-rings for clipping on items that are too big to stow securely in a pocket.

Something that is often forgotten when purchasing diving equipment is a suitable bag to put everything in. Bags come in a range of shapes and sizes, and it is important to have the right one.

Mesh bags are extremely useful. You can stuff your wet gear in one and then dunk the whole bag, loaded as it is, into fresh water to rinse it.

Regulator bags and briefcases are for carrying smaller, precious items.

Dive gear weighs a lot so a big bag is going to be heavy. Some divers manage to get everything in a backpack. An ordinary sports bag can be picked up by the handles and carried, but a heavy dive bag will need to be dragged and so wheels are essential. Once you’ve got wheels, you’ll probably want an extending handle to help you manoeuvre your bag. Many divers prefer tough crate-style bags. Some bags combine a soft top with a plastic base.

One thing to bear in mind is that if you are flying, a heavy-duty bag of equipment alone can take up a great deal of your checked-in baggage allowance.

Undersuits

An undersuit is a very important accessory that is integral to the function of a drysuit. This high-tech item of clothing should have very good thermal properties. It must also take sweat away from the wearer’s skin and at the same time repel any small quantities of water that might find their way onto the outer layer of the undersuit. Its insulating material must be exceedingly lightweight and yet allow air to circulate freely within it. An undersuit can be worn conveniently between dives, too, and they can be colourful.

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About the Author: Cody Riffel is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo. She likes to write on variety of topics, whatever interests her. She also likes to share what she learns over the Internet and her day-to-day life.

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