We live on land, but the majority of our planet is oceans and rivers. By reading this, we assume that you wonder how it feels to explore the hidden underwater world!
Humans were not given the ability to fly nor to breathe underwater. Still, they were given the mind which is powerful enough to find ways around the impossible, and Scuba Diving is one of the best innovations of humankind.
Scuba diving is a type of underwater activity whereby a person/diver immerses underwater using specialized breathing equipment, which is called a Scuba Unit that is completely independent of a surface air supply.
The name “scuba” is short for “Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.”
Scuba divers carry their source of breathing gas, ”Scuba Tank/Cylinder”, usually filled with compressed air, offering them greater independence and free movement than surface-supplied air divers, and of course, more underwater time than breath-hold divers or Free-Divers.
In recreational Scuba Diving, although the use of compressed air is common, a gas blend with a higher oxygen content, known as Enriched Air or Nitrox.
Diving with Enriched Air/Nitrox has become popular due to the less nitrogen intake, which reduces the likelihood of the side-effects of breathing Nitrogen at a depth such as Tiredness Nitrogen Narcosis.
How deep can a recreational Scuba Diver go?
The safe depth limit for recreational divers is between 30 and 40 meters (100 to 133 feet). Going deeper requires further and different types of training and equipment.
What equipment do I need for Scuba Diving?
There is a lot to learn about Scuba Diving Equipment when you first begin your PADI scuba diving education and training. Here, we are going to briefly explain the name of each piece of equipment and its function.
This is one of the essential pieces of equipment for Scuba Divers since human eyes cannot clearly see underwater due to water reflections.
The diving mask keeps air space in front of your eyes to let you see clearly underwater.
As for snorkels, you might not see every diver carrying one, but this breathing tube comes in handy when you’re swimming face down on the surface with no need to use the air in your air tank, which conserves it for your underwater time.
WETSUITS AND DRYSUITS
Wetsuits are tightly around the body and made of neoprene that traps a layer of water around the body to keep it warm. Drysuits will keep you completely dry and are more loosely to be filled with air in order to keep the diver’s body dry and therefore warm.
Typically wetsuits are used when diving in the average warm or cold water and drysuits in colder water.
Scuba fins for divers are like a propeller for boats. Our feet are not sufficient to move swim underwater without spending too much energy, which is the opposite of Scuba diving.
They are modeled after the tail of a fish and designed to allow divers to move easier, faster, and with minimum energy spent.
There are two types of scuba fins: open heel and Full-Foot. Open-Heel fins can be worn with or without diving socks, and snorkelers use them more than Scuba Divers.
Open-Heel fins are open at the heels using straps to secure your feet and are usually worn with diving shoes/boots.
Scuba Tanks/Cylinders are strong bottles with compressed air, often made of steel or an aluminum alloy. They are strong to tolerate underwater pressure and any heavy-duty work.
The scuba tank can be filled with compressed air or enriched-air/nitrox, and it can also be filled with a trimix that consists of three different types of gases.
A scuba diving regulator is a device that allows divers to breathe underwater from the compressed air stored in the Tank/Cylinder.
A scuba regulator consists of a 1st stage and 2nd stage
1st stage is connected to the Air Cylinders’ valve to reduce the high-pressure air coming out from the Cylinder and transfer it to the 2nd stage via a hose.
The 2nd stages ensure that the hose’s pressure is reduced to ambient pressure, allowing the diver to breathe easily at any depth in the range of safe limits.
The 1st stage contains more places to connect other hoses, such as the console and the BCD’s inflator hose.
A Scuba Diving console carries essential diving instruments such as the Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG) and the Depth gauge, plus you can add a diving compass too.
The SPG is connected to the regulator’s 1st stage via a high-pressure hose, and it shows how much remaining air is in the scuba tank so the diver can end the dive before the air supply gets too low or runs out of air.
The depth gauge shows the current and maximum depth reached during a dive, critical for the diver’s safety.
Underwater compass is another important piece of scuba equipment that helps divers to navigate underwater.
These devices are available in both digital (Dive Computers) and analog types, which you can choose from depending on your preference.
BCD (Buoyancy Compensator Device) also referred to as a BC (Buoyancy Compensator) or dive jacket
BCDs are air inflatable sleeveless jackets that allow a diver to control their buoyancy underwater by adding air from the tank via a hose connected to the regulators’ 1st stage or releasing air from the jacket using a deflating valve.
They’re also used at the surface for maintaining positive buoyancy, which is a major safety factor.
Tank/Cylinder, Regulator, Console, and BCD are altogether called a Scuba Unit.
DIVING WEIGHTING SYSTEM
A diving weighting system is additional weight divers add on them to compensate for the positive buoyancy of their body or their diving equipment in order to control their buoyancy underwater and remain neutral at any level they like.
Diving weights can be used as lead pieces attached to a diving belt which is called Weight Belt, or attachable pockets to the BDC.
That was a brief article about what is Scuba Diving and the basic Scuba Diving equipment. If you want to learn Scuba Diving or continue your diving education, check our PADI Scuba Diving courses in Hurghada by DiveWiz.
If you want to become a Scuba Diver or continue your diving education, please check out our PADI Diving Courses in Hurghada. If you are already a certified Scuba Diver looking for the best diving holiday in the Red Sea, check out our Daily Programs.
If you have any questions or need any advice regarding Scuba Diving, don’t hesitate to contact us.