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Scuba Dive Gear: From Basics to Accessories

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If you write “Scuba dive gear” in the Google search box, you can only have two objectives:

  • the first is to buy certain items of Scuba dive gear or the entire set;
  • the second is to search for information about it.

Except for some masks and snorkels, at Dressel Divers, we do not sell scuba diving gear, although we have it available for rent. So, on the first point, we will not be able to help you. But we can with the second. In this article, we review all scuba diving gear items. From basics to accessories.

  1. Scuba Dive Gear: The Basics.
  2. Secondary Scuba Dive Gear pieces
  3. Scuba Dive Gear for Signaling
  4. Technical Diving Equipment


1. Scuba Dive Gear: The Basics

The basics are those items of scuba dive gear without which it is not possible to dive.

a) Scuba Regulator and Octopus

These items of scuba dive gear are the basis of the sport. SCUBA is the acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

A scuba regulator works transforming and depressurizing the air in the bottle in two stages until it is at ambient pressure so, a diver can breathe it.

The Octopus is a replacement second-stage scuba regulator.

b) Scuba Tank

Regulator-tank: tank-regulator. They always go together and cannot work without each other. The cylinder is the piece of scuba dive gear that contains large volumes of compressed gas inside it.

Do you want to know the gas mixtures it can contain? Read this article 5 Types of Mixed Gas Diving or Gas Blending.

c) Buoyancy Control Device BCD

Buoyancy control devices allow us autonomy. That is, having positive buoyancy on the surface and neutral buoyancy underwater.

A BCD is a bladder. You can fill this scuba dive gear device with air (automatic inflation) or orally.

The most common are those shaped like a jacket or a vest. There are travel jackets, wing-style BCDs, and different combinations for technical diving. Some include a weight system. So, it is not necessary to use a weight belt with them.

d) Diving Suits

Neoprene suits are an essential part of scuba dive gear because they keep the body heat in the water and protect the skin from mechanical damage: scratches, wounds, bumps, etc.

There are one-piece, two-piece and shorty wetsuits.

Different neoprene suits also depend on water temperature. So, you can find wet suits that let the water circulate, semi-dry ones and dry ones, completely waterproof.

e) Diving Mask and Snorkel Tube

The diving mask is the piece of scuba dive gear that will allow us to see underwater. Tempered glass, silicone, or rubber to prevent water entry and an adjustable rubber band make this piece one of the most basic and personal.

The diving mask has an inseparable mate. That is the snorkel tube, at least it should be. The snorkel tube will allow you to swim on the surface. So, it is useful when you wait for the rest of your group to dive in or when getting to the boat for pick up.

f) Weight System

The ballast system will help us compensate for the positive buoyancy that our body and some scuba dive gear have. This s allows us to sink slowly. You have to calculate very well the weight you must add to be properly ballasted.

g) Diving Fins

Diving fins are the items that will help you move underwater with all the other scuba dive gear.

Depending on the sport you practice, you will need different fins. The diving ones have specifical features. The plastic or rubber blade is wider than the other ones.

If you are going to dive in warm water like the Caribbean and from a boat. Using full foot fins is our advice. Don’t wear fins that rub against you, pinch you, or squeeze your toes.


h) The Pressure Gauge

The Pressure Gauge

This item of scuba dive gear lets you know how much air is left in your tank. Also known as a manometer, why does it always have to be close at hand?

Simply because you should be very aware of what it measures when you are diving because your life depends on it.

You can find analog or digital pressure gauges. Usually, the digital ones are a dive computer benefit.

2. Secondary Scuba Dive Gear pieces

The secondary items of scuba diving gear are those which are not strictly necessary for diving, although they are very important for the divers’ safety.

scuba dive gear - latiguillo

a) Dive Computer

Depth, dive watch, pressure, information from previous dives, all in one device: The dive computer.

A dive computer measures the pressure at the beginning of the dive and the nitrogen saturation of your body. Then, as the dive happens, it measures the time and pressure and obtains data on the percentage of nitrogen absorbed by your body. It also calculates the percentage of safe release of the gas according to the maximum rate of climb. Finally, the computer calculates the amount of nitrogen left in your body and deduces the minimum length of the surface interval between dives.

With all this information you will wonder why the dive computer is not strictly necessary. Good, because the main function of this piece of scuba dive gear is to calculate when it is time to ascend and how long your surface interval should last before you submerge again.

But before dive computers, this was already done. The tool used was the diving tables.

b) Compass

The diving compass, just like the one on the surface, helps us to orient ourselves. This piece of scuba dive gear always marks magnetic north.

Not all divers know how to use a compass, you learn to use one in the Advanced Open Water Diver course and that’s why it’s part of the secondary dive equipment.

c) Lantern

There can be no night dive, not even in a cenote or a wreck, a cavern without a flashlight.

If you want to use a diving light correctly and acquire the most suitable one to do so, click on the link.

d) Knife

Diving safety must come first. In fact, most items of scuba dive gear have evolved in this direction: to provide greater security quotas. The diving knife, too.

Although you might think that it is a piece to defend yourself, what it is really used for is to prevent you from getting hooked on a line, free yourself from a weight by levering it or to get the attention of your diving buddy by hitting your tank with it.

scuba dive gear - scuba

3. Scuba Diving Gear for Signaling

A diver in the middle of the ocean is like a speck on glass: barely visible to vessels. Hence the importance of signaling your position to the boats and their crews. For this, there are different items of scuba dive gear.

a) Surface Markers have bright fluorescent colors and are visible above the surface when inflated. You can carry one of them and keep it in your pockets easily because it is small and hardly take up space when stowed. Divers use these markers when it is necessary to indicate the presence of divers in the water throughout the dive, so the group guide carries one.

b) Delayed surface marker buoys
are very similar to the previous one. These buoys are also known as safety sausages. Again, the dive guide carries one of these items of scuba dive gear, but he or she inflates it at the end of the dive, upon reaching for the surface. So, the dive boat will know exactly where the divers are and will pick them up.

4. Technical Diving Equipment

Talking about technical scuba dive gear is enough to write another article. In fact, here you have it for more information. Tech Diving Gear, What Do You Need?

If you want to rent your diving equipment, get more information on the Rent Scuba Gear page

or contact us.