Taking the Plunge: Your Guide to the Best Scuba Gear for Beginners

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Sports and leisure changed a lot since the coronavirus pandemic started.

Things we never considered before are now risks. Saliva in the air from heavy breathing during exercise is a concern. Shared contact on athletic equipment is another key example.

With these new challenges, people looking for something to do search for new solutions. There are some activities that haven’t changed much or at all, like scuba diving. 

Scuba is a great choice as it’s underwater and breathing is contained. It also doesn’t require much if any person-to-person contact. It’s not just a time-filler, but also a rewarding way to exercise, relax, and learn about nature.

The biggest coronavirus risk comes from sharing scuba gear.

If you’re a beginner, buying your own scuba diving gear can be intimidating. Still, it’s important for safety in these times. You’ll find it convenient once you start diving on your own, too.

Here’s what you need to know about the best scuba gear options for beginners.

Always Wear a Wetsuit

Did you know that scuba divers need a wetsuit no matter how hot or cold the water is?

Wetsuits are sometimes hot and sweaty on land when it’s warm out. Still, they help maintain your body temperature and protect your skin from hazards.

Coral, rocks, urchins, debris, and jellyfish are some things that can cut you when you dive. A good wetsuit helps you avoid injuries.

Shorties, wetsuits that only go to the knees, are good for warmer climates. One downside is that they leave your lower legs unprotected. If you’re willing to take this risk or dive in a controlled environment, they’re a good option.

Dive skins aren’t as insulating as normal wetsuits. They provide protection and don’t heat up as much in the sun. In cold climates, it’s common for divers to wear skins underneath their suits. 

Like other kinds of swim and scuba gear, it’s important that your wetsuit fits well. You don’t want it to be baggy because it will drag in the water and can get caught on things. The possibility of catching raises your drowning risk. 

A tight wetsuit is as dangerous because it can affect circulation and breathing. If another piece of your breathing equipment fails or you dive too deep, a too-tight wetsuit is a real threat.

In the age of coronavirus, it’s best to buy your own wetsuit. This is an investment but is convenient and sanitary. To keep your wetsuits and dive skins in good condition, rinse them after every dive so that salt doesn’t cause damage.

Dive and Float With a Buoyancy Compression Device

Another essential part of a full scuba getup is a buoyancy compression device, also known as a BCD. Buoyancy compressors are what let scuba divers descend and ascend in the water. 

This is one of the most important parts of your diving kit. Discount scuba gear is great, but this is one place you don’t want to go cheap.

Controlling your depth is necessary for enjoying a dive. It’s also a matter of life or death because ascending too fast can kill you if gases get into your blood. This condition is called decompression sickness but is often known as the bends.

The key to avoiding the bends is a working BCD with a good fit. Children should wear BCDs that are kids scuba gear and fitted to their bodies, not adult hand-me-downs. Check your BCD every time you dive and trade yours in if you lost or gained enough weight to change the fit.

Masks and Other Scuba Gear for Breathing

When you swim, you breathe the air above the water like you always do. The downside is that you aren’t able to swim deep down or keep your head underwater because you can’t hold your breath for long periods.

Snorkeling grants an opportunity to keep your head underwater. This is a great way to experience underwater environments without special training. Still, you can’t dive down in the same way you can with scuba.

Getting scuba certified comes with big rewards over swimming and snorkeling for nature-lovers and adventurers everywhere. The biggest challenges in scuba diving have to do with learning to breathe and manage oxygen in deep water. Having the right equipment helps you breathe during a dive.

Scuba masks aren’t any old swim goggles. Masks that cover your eyes and nose include an air pocket in front of your eyes that lets you see and the nose cover helps you adjust to water pressure.

Full face scuba masks have a more precise fit and the added benefit of an attached oxygen regulator. Not having to manage a separate regulator means that you can focus on other things, like exploring a coral reef.

You’ll also need an oxygen tank or cylinder, available anywhere you can get scuba gear for sale. Renting one might be an option and saves money if you don’t dive often. If you opt for a partial mask, you also need a separate regulator.

Diving Fins for a Smooth Glide

One of the first images that come to mind when you think of scuba diving are divers waddling around in big clunky flippers. Those full-foot fins are still available and are a fine option in some cases. Their glide is preferred by snorkelers who want to pass over underwater environments at a low speed.

Slimmer fitted flippers cut through the water. They let divers go fast and make precise turns. They are much better for diving deep because they don’t drag and keep you buoyant.

Take a Break With Helpful Entertainment Ideas

Now you know the kinds of scuba gear to buy as a beginner. These ideas will help you get started in this exciting hobby.

After you plan your next scuba adventure, take a look around our blog for more leisure and entertainment ideas. We have everything you need to make the most of the tail end of summer right here.