As a beginner scuba diver, there are a few essential pieces of scuba diving gear you need to ensure a safe and enjoyable diving experience. Most articles focuses on the big 3, the expensive pieces.
- Dive computer.
That’s where the bulk of your money is going. However, there are other important pieces of scuba diving gear you will need to round out your kit and they are just as important to making your dives fun and safe. Here are the top 5 must-have items after the big 3.
- A Mask
A well-fitted mask is crucial for good vision and preventing water from entering your nose and eyes. Take your time when selecting a mask. Try a few different styles and sizes to find the one that fits well without being lose or pinching. I cover exactly how to tell if a mask fits in my book “Uncle Cal’s Guide for New Scuba Divers“.
- A Good fitting pair of fins
Fins allow you to move efficiently underwater and conserve energy. There are different shapes and styles of fins available. Ignore all the fighting in the community about the best type of fin and find the style best for you. Most dive centers rent the styles of fins that they sell. If you can, rent a pair and try them out in the water. That’s the best way to find the exact right pair of fins for you.
- A good wetsuit
A wetsuit keeps you warm and protects your skin from the sun and other hazards. Even in moderately warm water, it’s a good idea to have some kind of protection from marine life. Even when I’m diving the Blue Heron Bridge, where the water is usually warm, I still wear a wetsuit on the off chance that it’s a Jellyfish day.
- A good dive light
A dive light is important for seeing into crevices and darker areas of the reef, especially for night diving. These days almost all lights are LED as opposed to incandescent. This is because the LEDs are brighter and the batteries last longer. Make sure when you are buying a dive light that you do not buy anything less than 1,000 lumen. That seems to be the threshold between useful and toy.
- A Surface marker buoy (SMB)
An SMB is a crucial safety tool that allows other boats and divers to see your location when you surface. Since these are required where I dive, it is rare to see me without one. Even if it’s not required, having a SMB and knowing how to deploy it is important for ever diver. Ask around about different brands. Some SMBs fade within a couple of years and you have to buy a new one. Other brands hold there color for a long time. Protect your investment by buying one that will last.
Make sure to invest in quality scuba diving gear that fits well and suits your needs. Whether you are diving your favorite lake, off your favorite dive boat, or a shore dive like the beautiful Blue Heron Bridge, having the right equipment can make all the difference in your diving experience.
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