Scuba diving is on the increase in the UK and poised for a jump in the US, and when performed with the proper training and gear, is possibly the safest, most laid-back ‘extreme’ sport out there.
Summer is just around the corner, and if you’re like us, chances are you’re planning a holiday to blow away the memory of lockdown! If you’re getting tired of your staycations and are looking for something entirely different, why not consider scuba diving holiday?
Scuba diving is on the increase in the UK and poised for a jump in the US, and when performed with the proper training and gear, is possibly the safest, most laid-back ‘extreme’ sport out there. To help you start, below is the list of the must-have purchases for beginner divers heading off on their first scuba adventure!
Scuba diving is by no means a pastime anyone can jump into on a whim. It requires training – you’re heading down into the depths, relying on breathing apparatus, at risk of illnesses including decompression sickness, nitrogen narcosis, and pulmonary embolism.
This might sound scary, but thankfully, all these dangers can very easily be avoided by ensuring you are properly trained. Dive centres that offer training courses are close to most of the best dive locations, and much of the training is done underwater – learning doesn’t have to mean classrooms and homework! Once certified, you’ll be able to indulge your new hobby wherever in the world you like, so it’s a good investment.
You will be able to rent most of your equipment at the dive training centre, including your buoyancy control device (the jacket you can inflate and deflate to control your depth), wet suit, flippers, mask, regulators (the hoses and mouthpiece you breathe out of), and cylinders of air.
If you’re sure you want to invest extra money into your hobby, we’d recommend starting out with a well-fitting mask and wet suit. The other pieces of equipment listed above are quite expensive for the beginner, and even cheaper items, such as flippers, come in a range of shapes and sizes specific to different individuals’ diving styles, so it makes sense to get accustomed to being underwater before you pick.
Once upon a time, every diver had to carry an analogue depth gauge, dive watch, and an underwater-friendly writing device called a dive tablet. These were used, alongside decompression tables on shore, to work out how deep a diver could go, for how long, and how much time, at which depths, they needed to spend time at when ascending to the surface. They were the only way to confidently avoid decompression sickness – the bends.
If you’re a new diver, chances are you’ll learn these methods, but many experienced divers find it much easier to simply purchase a dive computer. This equipment allows you to input how long and deep your dive is going to be, and when you’re in the water, will tell you when you need to ascend to the surface, and at what rate. What’s more, the computer’s pressure sensors, similar quality to those used in industry, will alert you if you are going too deep and adjust your decompression times accordingly. They’re neat pieces of kit!
All your other travel gear
You’re going on holiday, so make sure to pack all the usual must-haves such as clothes, sun cream, a camera (plus underwater case, if you’re feeling adventurous), and spending money. A pair of cheap sunglasses is also a must for when you’re on the boat heading out in the sun to your next diving spot!