Scuba Diving Equipment and Gear (2023)

Before jumping into the depths of the blue ocean, and in order to enjoy a safe and fun dive, a diver must be equipped with adequate knowledge, physical skills and a good set of scuba diving equipment.

As human bodies are not accustomed to seeing, staying and breathing underwater, the right diving gear will equip you with everything you need to do so. Be well prepared by learning to dive and, most importantly, provide yourself with the right equipment. Here is a list of the basic scuba diving equipment you will need.

Diving Mask and Snorkel

Scuba Diving Equipment and Gear (1)

Since your eyes aren’t designed to see underwater, one of the most important pieces of equipment to have is the diving mask. The diving mask will create air space in front of your eyes to let you see clearly underwater. As for snorkels, not every diver will need one. However, it’s normally suggested for beginners to carry one, while more experienced divers will see it as optional. This breathing tube comes in handy when you’re swimming facedown on the surface. In addition, snorkels also help to save the air in your tank.

(Video) Scuba Diving: How to Assemble Equipment

Wetsuit or Drysuit

Scuba Diving Equipment and Gear (2)

Photo Source: Flickr

When do you use a wetsuit versus a drysuit? Use wetsuits when diving in warmer water and drysuits in colder water. Normally, wetsuits are skin-tight and made of neoprene that locks a layer of water around the body to keep it warm. On the other hand drysuits, as the name indicates, will keep you completely dry. Drysuits are more loosely fitted compared to a wetsuit and operate as an incubator to keep you warm.

Scuba Gloves

Scuba Diving Equipment and Gear (3)

(Video) Scuba Diving Equipment For Beginners | Deep Dive

Photo Source: Scubapro

Just like your wetsuit, scuba gloves help to keep your hands warm underwater. Additionally, it also prevents skin injuries when you explore difficult underwater environments.


Scuba Diving Equipment and Gear (4)

Fins are another important essential to your scuba diving equipment. When diving, fins let you move through the water seamlessly, without wasting too much energy. There are two types of scuba fins: open heel and full-foot. Open heel fins are commonly used in cold water. Like their name suggests, they are open at the heel and use straps to secure your feet. Full-foot fins completely cover your feet and are normally used in warmer water.

(Video) How To Set Up Your Scuba Diving Gear

Scuba Tank

Scuba Diving Equipment and Gear (5)

Another vital component of your diving gear is the scuba tank. It stores large volumes of air, allowing you to breathe underwater. Generally made of steel or aluminum, scuba tanks come in various styles and sizes. You can either rent them or invest in one if you plan to dive frequently.


Scuba Diving Equipment and Gear (6)Never forget the regulator, as this is what allows you to breathe underwater. The regulator has a part called the first stage that connects to your scuba tank and moves air from the tank when you inhale. There is also a part called the second stage, which is what you put in your mouth to breath from. When selecting your diving regulator, always choose the one that provides you with the best comfort and performance.

Depth Gauge, Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG), & Compass

Scuba Diving Equipment and Gear (7)

(Video) Scuba Diving GEAR COST: The 1 Number you need to know!

Photo Source: Suunto

As the name indicates, a depth gauge specifies the current and maximum depth reached during a dive. Your SPG will also show how much remaining air you have in your scuba tank. This is to ensure you can end your dive before your air supply gets too low. A compass is another vital piece of scuba diving equipment that helps you to navigate underwater. All of these devices come in both digital and analog form, which you can choose depending on your preference.

Dive Computer

Scuba Diving Equipment and Gear (8)

Photo Source: Scubapro

(Video) First 5 Pieces Of Dive Gear For New Divers To Buy

A dive computer monitors the duration of your dive, the depth you are at, and how much longer you can safely stay at depth. Some dive computers are also able to track how much air you have left. Since renting a dive computer can be costly, it would be better to purchase your own.

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What equipment is used in scuba diving? ›

A mask lets you see clearly. A scuba regulator and tank provide the air you need. Fins allow you to swim efficiently, and a wetsuit helps you stay warm. Whether you're just starting as a scuba diver or you're an experienced diver looking for new equipment, you'll find helpful suggestions and tips in this section.

How much does a full set of scuba gear cost? ›

Scuba gear cost will range between $1000-$5000 for a full set of gear. Similar to most product lines there is a wide range of scuba gear from economical to very high end. Depending on the type of scuba diving you will be doing will depend on the type of gear you will need.

What is scuba gear called? ›

A scuba set, originally just scuba, is any breathing apparatus that is entirely carried by an underwater diver and provides the diver with breathing gas at the ambient pressure.

Is scuba diving an expensive hobby? ›

Scuba diving can be an expensive hobby that requires an investment in time and money. Getting your diving certification will cost around $400 – $1200, while a set of scuba diving gear will be anywhere between $700 – $2000.

Which scuba equipment is the most important? ›

The air cylinder is perhaps the most crucial piece of scuba equipment as it contains the pressurised air that will allow divers to breathe underwater. Scuba divers use pressureised air because the pressure of the inhaled breath must balance the surrounding or ambient pressure to allow inflation of the lungs.

How long does a scuba tank last? ›

Based on personal experience, an average open water certified diver using a standard aluminum 80-cubic-foot tank on a 40-foot dive will be able to stay down for about 45 minutes before surfacing with a safe reserve of air.

How much is a dive tank refill? ›

TANK DESCRIPTIONCost per Fill(12) Fill Air Card
SCUBA Cylinders (Up to 3500 psi) - Pacific Wilderness Dive Club Members & Commercial Dive Accounts$5.00$30.00 ($2.50 per Fill)
SCUBA Cylinders (Up to 3500 psi) - General Public$5.00$40.00 ($3.33 per Fill)
SCBA Cylinders (Up to 3000 psi) -$5.00$40.00 ($3.33 per Fill)
1 more row

At what depth do you need scuba gear? ›

That means that most people can dive up to a maximum of 60 feet safely. For most swimmers, a depth of 20 feet (6.09 metres) is the most they will free dive. Experienced divers can safely dive to a depth of 40 feet (12.19 metres) when exploring underwater reefs.

How deep is a basic scuba certification? ›

During the basic scuba certification, students experience depths of 30-60 feet (9-18 m), and a “deep” dive is considered more than 60 feet (18 m). “Going deep” is not an end in itself for scuba enthusiasts. Science has shown that the vast majority of marine species live at depths less than 60 feet (18 m).

What are the 3 types of diving? ›

  • Forward: The diver starts facing toward the pool and rotates forward away from the board/platform.
  • Backward: The diver starts facing away from the pool and rotates backward away from the board/platform.
  • Reverse: The diver starts facing toward the pool and rotates backward toward the board/platform.
Mar 10, 2021

What is drunk scuba diving called? ›

Nitrogen narcosis is a condition in scuba diving where a scuba diver has feelings of elation and euphoria, similar to being slightly intoxicated with alcohol. This is why it is also known as the 'Martini Effect'.

What are the negatives of scuba diving? ›

Diving does entail some risk. Not to frighten you, but these risks include decompression sickness (DCS, the “bends”), arterial air embolism, and of course drowning. There are also effects of diving, such as nitrogen narcosis, that can contribute to the cause of these problems.

Is 70 too old to scuba dive? ›

Officially, there is no upper age limit, but diving is an extreme sport and therefore we must take into consideration the aspects of physical health and mental ability that may change as we get older. Diving is a strenuous activity, especially before and after the dive when hauling heavy equipment around.

Are you too old to scuba dive? ›

Of course, you are never too old to take a scuba diving course. In fact, the oldest person to ever complete a PADI course was 96 years old!

What is the number one rule of scuba diving? ›

1. Breathe continuously while on scuba. Never hold your breath. There is no way, you would have missed that one.

What are the three basic rules of scuba? ›

Good rules to follow for safe diving include: Never dive without a buddy. Never dive if you have a cold or are congested in your ears or nose. Always plan your dive, and always dive your plan.

Do scuba divers have stronger lungs? ›

In the cross-sectional study, the divers were found to have significantly greater respiratory muscle strength (maximal inspiratory/expiratory mouth pressures) than the controls, but otherwise comparable lung function.

What happens if you run out of air in a scuba tank? ›

If your buddy is not available to assist you, you may be forced to perform an emergency ascent. The gas in your lungs will expand during your ascent, so it is very important that you keep your regulator in your mouth and exhale during the entire ascent.

Are scuba tanks 100% oxygen? ›

Diving with pure oxygen can kill a diver even at shallow depths. Recreational scuba tanks are filled with compressed, purified air. This air contains about 20.9% oxygen. Several risks are associated with the use of pure oxygen in diving.

Can I fly 24 hours after scuba diving? ›

Waiting the correct amount of time before flying will reduce the nitrogen in your blood. As a general rule it is recommended to wait 24 hours before flying after doing any type of diving. This rule covers all types of dives and adds extra time as a safeguard for peace of mind.

Should you store scuba tanks full or empty? ›

Never Store Your Scuba Cylinder Empty

Your scuba cylinder should always be stored with a minimum of 200 psi inside of it. If it is stored completely empty, the absence of pressure inside the cylinder can allow all sorts of things to enter into it.

Do scuba divers buy their own tanks? ›

Many divers choose to rent their diving cylinders – at least at first. While buying your own means you will have to maintain it as well, owning your tank is useful if you want to dive far from the nearest rental shop.

How heavy is a scuba tank filled? ›

How heavy is a SCUBA tank and gear? A SCUBA tank and gear can weigh between 10 to 80 pounds depending on what you need. A typical setup you might wear for a SCUBA diving adventure could be around 40 to 50 pounds. However, once you are in the water, none of that weight is noticeable.

What is the safest depth to dive? ›

The American Red Cross recommends a minimum of 9 feet of water depth for head first dives including dives from pool decks. Results for a comprehensive study of diving injuries are presented in "Diving Injuries: The Etiology of 486 Case Studies with Recommendations for Needed Action" edited by Dr.

What is the safest depth to scuba dive? ›

While the recommended maximum depth for conventional scuba diving is 130 feet, technical divers may work in the range of 170 feet to 350 feet, sometimes even deeper.

Do you wear clothes under scuba gear? ›

The answer is… it depends. In warmer waters, you can get away with wearing undergarments with minimal coverage (swimsuits, trunks, and other similar items)—or even nothing at all. Many people actually prefer to go commando under their wetsuits, but it's all a matter of preference.

How deep can you go open water? ›

PADI Open Water Diver: Maximum Depth. – Open Water Divers can plan and execute dives with a certified buddy or dive professional to a maximum depth of 18 meters/60 feet. – Scuba Divers may only dive under the direct supervision of a PADI Professional (an Instructor) to a maximum depth of 12 meters/40 feet.

How hard is the scuba diving test? ›

The quizzes have 10 questions each and the PADI Open Water Exam has 50 questions. A lot of people worry about the exam, but I can tell you now that the PADI Open Water Exam questions are very easy. Especially if you have a great Dive Instructor, you will have nothing to worry about.

Can you dive without certification? ›

You may be wondering if you can scuba dive without a certification, and yes you can! You need to be under the supervision of a certified instructor, who you feel comfortable with.

What is the hardest difficulty in diving? ›

The most difficult dive to perform, for the record, is the reverse 1½ somersault with 4½ twists off the 3-meter board. It has a 3.7 degree of difficulty.

What body type is best for diving? ›

Low body fat, and a small body size are an advantage in diving.

Is diving harder than swimming? ›

Being submerged as a diver you may think moving around underwater is hard but its not, it's actually easier than swimming on the surface you don't need to move your arms around to move about and you use less energy so after time your more relaxed.

Why do you feel high after scuba diving? ›

Narcosis while diving (also known as nitrogen narcosis, inert gas narcosis, raptures of the deep, Martini effect) is a reversible alteration in consciousness that occurs while diving at depth. It is caused by the anesthetic effect of certain gases at high pressure.

Why can't you fly after diving? ›

Ascending to high altitude after scuba diving increases your risk of suffering from decompression sickness. Flying after diving increases this risk because of the decreasing atmospheric pressure.

What is a black dive? ›

Blackwater diving, also known as pelagic diving, is a form of scuba diving that occurs at night in the open ocean with thousands of feet of water under the boat. The divers are tethered to a boat by a rope and typically dive to a max depth of 60 feet.

What is ABC in diving? ›

ABC stands for: A – Air. B – Buoyancy. C – Clips and releases.

What body type do divers have? ›

With broad shoulders and staggering height, divers are often envious of swimming body types. Diving bodies are often short and strong, and are almost always dwarfed by their swimming teammates.

Who should not do scuba diving? ›

Common contraindications are asthma, epilepsy, diabetes and heart disease. If you have any of these or other illnesses, which might cause similar problems, consult a doctor before diving.It is not recommended for people with the following conditions to scuba dive: People with breathing problems.

What should I avoid after scuba diving? ›

5 Things You Should Never Do Right After Scuba Diving
  • No flying after diving. Flying after scuba diving is one of the more widely known risks to divers. ...
  • Don't go zip-lining after scuba diving. ...
  • Avoid heavy drinking after diving. ...
  • No mountain climbing after diving. ...
  • Avoid massages after diving.

Can a non swimmer do scuba diving? ›

So the simple answer is YES, non-swimmer can scuba dive, but there are a number of issues that come into play, and the practical, real-world answer is that they should not attempt the course. Scuba divers must be confident in the water, and most non-swimmer is not comfortable once their feet cannot touch firm ground.

At what age should you stop diving? ›

After all, according to certifying agencies like PADI, SSI or other scuba diving organizations, there is only one scuba diving age restriction. You can begin to dive when you are 8 years old, and there is no maximum age.

What conditions stop you from diving? ›

Underlying respiratory conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or a history of spontaneous pneumothorax, can challenge the breathing capacity required of divers.

When should you not dive? ›

Basic scuba diving safety is that your respiratory and circulatory systems must be in good working order. A person with heart trouble, a current cold or congestion, epilepsy, asthma, a severe medical problem should not dive. Another time not to dive is if your ears or nose are not clear.

Can 60 year olds scuba dive? ›

Diving is perfectly safe for most of us as we get older, but there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to scuba diving and old age. With an aging population in most countries and with advances in medicine and lifestyle, more and more seniors lead active lives.

Can you scuba dive at 60 years old? ›

Some start the activity as early as childhood. Others discover it by chance and are among those who will start diving at 60 or older. No worries, as long as one has the intelligence and common sense to adapt the activity to his age and/or his state of health.

What happens if you scuba dive too long? ›

This can cause tissue and nerve damage. In extreme cases, it can cause paralysis or death if the bubbles are in the brain. Nitrogen narcosis. Deep dives can cause so much nitrogen to build up in the brain that you can become confused and act as though you've been drinking alcohol.

What equipment is used for breathing underwater? ›

Most often used by scuba divers are the following: Snorkel – which is used on the surface to save some air, before going underwater. Scuba tank & air (Cylinder) – filled with compressed air or other gases depending on the type of diving or your training.

What do scuba divers use to breathe underwater? ›

In case you aren't familiar, scuba diving is underwater diving where the diver uses a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (aka scuba), usually by carrying a tank of compressed air.

Is there a trick to breathing underwater? ›

Use your mouth.

"When swimming, it's much safer and more efficient to breathe out of your mouth," she says. Instead of trying to inhale and exhale when your head is above water, you should exhale your breath underwater, and inhale when your head is above water, she says.

How hard is it to learn how do you scuba dive? ›

Is it hard to learn to scuba dive? As active recreational pastimes go, scuba diving is one of the easiest to learn. While you're gliding around enjoying the underwater sights, you're engaged in only three basic skills: floating, kicking and breathing.

How do people stay underwater so long? ›

As the Daily Mail explains, humans set breath-holding records in water because they “can hold their breath twice as long underwater as they can on land.” The reason: the “diving reflex,” in which the body slows its heart rate and metabolism in order to conserve oxygen and energy when submerged in cold water.

What should you not do after scuba diving? ›

8 Things You Should Never Do Immediately After Diving
  • Flying After Diving. Flying after scuba diving is one of the more widely known risks to divers. ...
  • Mountain Climbing. ...
  • Ziplining After Diving. ...
  • Deep Tissue Massage. ...
  • Relaxing in a Hot Tub. ...
  • Excessive Drinking. ...
  • Freediving After Scuba Diving.
Jan 17, 2023

How long can you breathe underwater with scuba gear? ›

In most cases, we don't recommend diving underwater for any more than 2 minutes with a full face snorkel. Even if you are an experienced snorkeler who is going out in perfect conditions, we don't recommend diving for more than 2 minutes.

Can non swimmers scuba dive? ›

So the simple answer is YES, non-swimmer can scuba dive, but there are a number of issues that come into play, and the practical, real-world answer is that they should not attempt the course. Scuba divers must be confident in the water, and most non-swimmer is not comfortable once their feet cannot touch firm ground.


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