If someone asked you which piece of scuba diving equipment is the most important, how would you respond, and why? When it comes right down to it though, it's truly hard to rank the individual pieces of scuba diving gear in order of importance. After all, when in use, they all operate together as one single unit to keep you alive and well during your underwater adventures. Your mask keeps the water out of your nose and eyes, your regulator provides you with fresh air to breath and your fins help you to swim through the water efficiently. But what about your dive computer?
Dive computers have come a long way in the short span of time that they have existed. Early dive computers consisted of little more than a compass, air pressure gauge, and a timer of some sort to let you know how long you've been in the water. You can still buy sets of these simple gauges. In fact, there are many divers who prefer the rugged simplicity of such a setup.
As technology advanced and the sport of scuba diving became more popular, dive computers advanced as well. Today's scuba diving computers are essentially mini-computers. They have so many different features and provide so much information to the user that it can actually be a bit overwhelming.
Modern dive gauges or computers come in two distinct styles. There are those gauges that are assembled in a pod that float in the water next two you while you are diving. These pods are attached to your wetsuit via a cable that delivers such information as air pressure to the gauges. When you need to reference the information you simply look to your side to see the status of your dive. Analog dive gauges typically range from $100 to $300, depending on brand and style. Digital dive gauges typically range from $200 to $500.
The second type of diving gauge is worn on the wrist, like a watch. Some people even refer to them as dive watches or dive computer watches. These wrist computers are usually digital since they have to pack so much information into such a small space. Air pressure information is usually relayed to the watch via a remote sensor. Prices for these dive computer watches typically average between $200 to $500 each.
So, which style of computer or gauge should you choose? Which one is right for you? Ultimately, it's a personal decision for each individual. It comes down to several factors including how much information you want, how you want to receive that information, and of course, what your budget is. If you are on a budget or are new to scuba diving, a simple but effective analog set of gauges is really all you need. Many divers enjoy their analog gauges for many years before moving up to a higher end model. If you are an advanced diver, however, you will almost certainly want to go with a digital dive computer, whether in a pod or worn on your wrist.
Although it's very convenient to order a scuba diving computer from an online retailer, it's always advisable to visit a dive store to check them out in person before making a purchase. This way you can get a chance to check the equipment out in person to make sure it's exactly what you want and has the features you are looking for. If visiting a dive shop isn't possible, ordering online is still fine. Just be sure you place your order with a reputable company and be sure you are familiar with their return and exchange policy before making a purchase.
Definitely take your time and shop around before purchasing any scuba diving equipment. Remember, when you are 60 feet underwater, your life depends on your equipment not letting you down.
One of the most versatile wetsuit pieces one can own is wetsuit shorts. This garment has the appearance of skin tight shorts and are made out of neoprene, the same material traditional wetsuits are made from. They are comfortable, warm, flexible, and attractive in appearance. They are perfect for a variety of water sports activities, not just scuba diving. They are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, wake boarding, and others. These shorts can even be worn in other activities that are situated near the water such as volleyball and others. These comfortable shorts are so versatile that they should be included in everyone's dive gear collection.
Neoprene shorts are not expensive at all. They retail from $30 to $70, depending on what brand and features you are looking for. Don't think you have to spend a lot of money to get a great product though. In many cases the lesser expensive brands are just as nice as the more expensive brands. They are available for both men and women alike and even kids have plenty of brands to choose from.
Neoprene shorts are not to be confused with other wetsuit styles such as the shorty wetsuit or farmer john wetsuit. The shorty wetsuit is a full torso wetsuit that also covers the upper arms and upper legs. The farmer john wetsuit covers the upper and lower legs and most of the torso. The farmer john wetsuit gets its name because it resembles the bibbed overalls worn by farmers.
A high end example of the garment is the 2mm O'Neill Hammer Wetsuit Shorts, which retail for $59.95. This brand and style is very comfortable since the neoprene is only 2mm thick. Full wetsuits typically use 5mm neoprene. The O'Neill Hammer is perfect for warm weather water activities or even for use as an extra layer of insulation beneath a wetsuit. Brands such as the O'Neill Hammer make excellent swimming wetsuits and can be worn by itself as swimming apparel or beneath men's swimming trunks.
An affordable example for women is the Liquid Peace 3mm Neoprene SuperStretch Wetsuit shorts. These great neoprene shorts retail for only $23 and feature 3mm neoprene, seven panels for high mobility, and an adjustable waist drawstring. This just goes to show that you don't have to spend a lot of money to find great, durable water sports apparel.
Clearly, neoprene shorts are perfect for a wide variety of outdoors and water sports. And since they are so affordable, you might want to consider buying more than one.