Entering the diving world is both thrilling and eye-opening. A new world of interesting creatures all different sizes that swim, glow, hunt, and master the art of disguise. A first dive is unforgettable and will open your mind to just how incredible this planet is. But in order to experience the riveting life underneath the surface, you need to be well prepared.
First things first, mask.
Whether you’re snorkeling or scuba diving, a mask is an absolute necessity. Investing in a good quality mask is always beneficial but that doesn’t always mean emptying your pockets for the big buck mask. They can range from $20-$150 and the best decision for you can be based on affordability and dedication to diving. When looking for a mask, look for quality. A mask well suited for you will feel comfortable and fit. If a mask doesn’t fit right, it is more likely to encounter leakage, leaving you in an uncomfortable and more frustrating situation. No one likes diving with a water filled mask. Choose one that enables you to see clearly for the best underwater experience.
Do I need a snorkel?
Yes, breathing underwater is any ocean lover’s dream. But snorkels are a key assistant to any dive. They help a diver breathe on the surface while still looking down below and save oxygen in your tank. They also allow you to concentrate on surface swimming and skills. The best kind of snorkel is the ones that function in a way that blocks any water from entering the snorkel if a diver were to submerge underwater at any time. This comes in handy especially when a diver is experience waves or other environmental factors.
Fins for fun
Third item on the rising diver shopping list is fins. Long, short, blue, black, fins are the backbone of a diver. Picking the right ones should be based on comfort, durability, and purpose. Top brand fins include Cressi, Oceanic, Mares, and Aqua Lung. A beginner diver’s fins should be easy to slip on and off and very reliable. Whether you’re embarking on a reef, deep dive, wreck, or cave excursion, fins are a diver’s best friend. I suggest renting or borrowing different kinds of fins till you decide what best fits you.
How many dives have you done?
When becoming an Open Water Diver, one of the most important things you will learn is logging your dive. A diver’s log book is like a personal diary and each dive is to be accounted for. A dive watch ensures a safe dive and allows you to know exactly how much time you have. A dive computer is similar and gives you a detailed response to your dive. They calculate dives, track depth, and keep time as well. Both pieces are waterproof and important for any diver. They also come in different styles and colors, making them a fashion statement in the diver world.
Whether you are diving in the tropics or a frigid sea, your body will thank you for being prepared for either. Although you may think that you will be underwater and untouchable by the sun, it is always important to wear a wet suit or rash guard depending on the hot climate. Trust me, I have learned the hard way. Covering yourself from the sun’s rays is important for the safety of a diver and no one looks good sunburnt. If you are diving in the ocean in a colder climate, a wet suit is a must. Hypothermia is a serious matter and can happen to anyone. Wetsuits can range from 1mm-6mm. Depending on a diver’s weight and the temperature, the perfect thickness is essential.
Keep safe from the sun
As I just mentioned, the sun is no joke. Staying out of harm is key. There is nothing like ascending from a dive to greet the warm sun at the surface, but make sure you are not getting too much of it. As a diver, it is important to respect the ocean and its marine life. Reef safe sunscreen is becoming increasingly popular. I myself have just purchased my first bottle and I am highly impressed. Lathering up in sunscreen before a dive and whenever exposed to the sun ensures a safe and enjoyable dive. Brands include Badger Sport SPF 35, MANDA Organic Sun Paste, Tropical Seas Reef Safe, and many more.
Now you are ready to leap or back roll into the underwater world that lives below. A well prepared dive will make it all the more enjoyable and give you the best experience. Advancements in gear as you become more and more experienced is always exciting but it is always a good idea to start with the fundamental gear that is basic and easy to use. Grab your gear and a dive buddy to head to the ocean.