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Basic elements of diving equipment
Mask

It is one of the most basic parts of the equipment and it is available in various single, dual and multi-lens items. Proper application to the face, satisfactory field of view and optimal construction materials are the first things which the diver must consider. In addition, choosing the suitable mask is a matter of taste and ability to afford.

Dive fins

They are flexible, lightweight flippers and offer comfort, versatility and speed to the scuba diver. Available in two types: open heel and closed heel. For autonomous diving, we recommend open heeled fins as they allow more foot movements, better thermal protection due to boot use and protection from hits during dive preparation. The flexibility of the fins varies according to their manufacture material.

Snorkel

This item allows the autonomous diver to explore the seabed without need for surface breathing. There are many types, different designs and construction material of snorkels. What the diver must seriously consider is the size of the tube, which should not exceed 42 cm. The snorkel should also have a reflective tape at the top of the tube so that it can be seen from afar, a soft mouthpiece in order not to fatigue gums and tooth as well as a special strap to keep it in place.

Dive knife

One of the most important safety items for an autonomous diver. In this case, the knife is not considered a weapon, but a very important tool in the seabed, with which the diver can, in order to avoid being trapped, cut a rope or nets, even count small objects in the bottom. Also, the sound resulting from cylinder impact may attract the attention of his/her companion/s.

Buoyancy Compensator (BCD)

The most important piece of equipment which allows the diver to adjust his/her buoyancy at will by increasing and decreasing its volume. The buoyancy compensator can be mechanically filled, from a low pressure inflator hose of the compensator or through the mouth. It is equipped with quick and slow relief valves so that it can be emptied. On the market it is available as a horse collar, back and jacket style buoyancy compensator. The latter offer the best possible safety and equilibrium of the scuba diver when ascending to the surface, without hindering the movement and are preferred by divers over the last years.

Diving breathing regulator

This is the mechanism which reduces the absolute pressure of the cylinder to such a value that the air of the cylinder becomes breathable. It consists of steps (a) and (b) and offers the possibility to fill the BCD using low and high pressure exits and at the second stage (octopus) the control devices. The regulators are balanced and unbalanced. The first ones are able to provide all the air of the cylinder using constant pressure, while the latter reduce pressure and consequently increase breathing resistance as the pressure of the cylinder decreases.

Weight belts

Like the buoyancy regulator, the weight belt is a buoyancy control mechanism for the diver. Important features of the belt are a quick-release buckle, weight-control mechanisms and a proper weight distribution, so that the waist is not harmed (especially for women) and cylinder or buoyancy compensator blockages are avoided.

Diving suit

It offers thermal protection to the scuba diver, as well as protection from bumps or cuts likely to be caused while in the seabed. There are wet and dry suits. The wet suits are widely used for recreational diving. Dry suits are mostly used for specialized dives in extreme temperature conditions and high security requirements. As for wet type suits, they are offered in different designs to meet different needs of scuba divers. (shorts, full body, with or without hood, long john pants, boots, socks, gloves, etc.).

Air cylinder

It is a container of varying capacity, which safely transfers high pressure air. All cylinders are shaped and sized in accordance with their manufacture type and factory. The most common are the 10, 12, 15 and 18-liter (lt) cylinders. They are filled with atmospheric air at a pressure of 200-300 ATM and their manufacture material is either Chromium molybdenum or aluminum alloy. Their manufacturing specifications are determined by government agencies because of the constant pressure of the cylinders.

Instrument consoles

They are pouches in a variety of shapes, containing all the necessary instruments which the diver uses to monitor the depth of the dive (depth gauge) the pressure of the cylinder and hence the air reserves and his/ her orientation underwater (compass). They may also incorporate a built-in thermometer to monitor the temperature. All of the above instruments contained in the usual control consoles are analogue, i.e. their function is mechanical, and they provide satisfying information so that the diver remains within the limits of his/her dive planning. Technological development, however, has implemented computerization of all the parameters of a dive through Dive-Computers. Although dive computers are becoming more reliable, however, like analogue instruments, their results are not as accurate as those indicated by the actual physiological condition of a diver, so someone should always be careful and continuously assess the limits of his/her capabilities.

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