Lifestyle & Travel

Jul 1, 2015

Going deeper underwater

Since its invention, by Jacques-Yves Custeau and Emile Gagnan, back in 1947, the activity of scuba diving became more than exploration. It became entertainment and leisure, allowing humanity to go deeper in the water than ever before. Today, scuba diving is a multi-million dollar industry that covers the entire world.

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Equipment cannot exist without manufacturers and when safety is the main concern, one must chose carefully what to use. Beuchat is one of the brands that keeps the innovative spirit of Custeau and Gagnan alive, improving and developing new products over the 80 years the company has been operating.

It all started in 1934, in the rocky coves near Marseilles, on the Mediterranean coast in southern France. It's a fascinating story that begins with a keen underwater sportsman, Georges Beuchat, and his desire to communicate his fascination for the sea and underwater spearfishing as wide a public as possible. It is of course a story that continues to this day, marked by innovations that continue to leave their imprint on the lives of all who share his passion. 

Basic Equipment

A certified PADI dive shop is the perfect place to get more information and assistance in finding the best scuba equipment for you.

A MASK is one of the most important, and personal, pieces of scuba diving equipment you own because it lets you explore with your eyes. You want a good quality mask that fits you well and gives you the best viewing area possible, because you don't want to miss anything underwater.

A SNORKEL is a very personal piece of equipment. It lives with your mask, spends time in your mouth, and lets you breathe while you look below, until you're ready to submerge on scuba. Whether you use your snorkel a lot while exploring the local dive site between scuba dives, or just occasionally to swim back to the boat after surfacing, you'll appreciate that it makes your surface time easier.

There are FINS for swimming, snorkeling, free diving and body surfing. You'll want fins for scuba diving because you'll be much more comfortable with fins designed to move you and your gear through the water with minimal effort and maximum efficiency.

WETSUITS and DRY SUITS are called exposure protection because while scuba diving you're not only exposed to water's cooling ability but also to things that can scrape, cut or sting. Because water temperatures vary from really warm near the equator to icy cold in some areas, there are three basic styles of exposure protection – the wetsuit, dry suit, and body suit.

You can track your dives using dive tables, a depth gauge and dive watch, but most scuba divers use a DIVE COMPUTER – it's easier. A dive computer provides the real-time dive information you need to dive well. A dive computer takes depth and time information and applies it to a decompression model to track the dissolved nitrogen in your body during a dive. Your computer continuously tells you how much dive time you safely have remaining. Your computer combines a depth gauge, timer and sometimes a submersible pressure gauge (SPG) into a single, useful instrument.

A BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) does exactly what its name describes – it gives you control in the water. Sometimes you want to float on the surface comfortably. Occasionally, you want to kneel or stand on the bottom, sometimes during a training course. Most of the time, you want to drift along effortlessly mid-water, observing the scenery. To do this efficiently, you need a BCD that fits you well, along with a weight system to fine-tune your buoyancy. The BCD also holds your tank.

High-pressure cylinders are relatively small, yet very strong containers that hold large volumes of compressed gas. Being able to carry your gas supply with you is what defines SCUBA (self contained underwater breathing apparatus). Whether it's filled with regular filtered air or enriched air nitrox (higher oxygen and lower nitrogen content) or trimix (three-gas combination) for technical diving, a scuba tank is one of the most important pieces of gear.

A scuba diving REGULATOR is the hub of your dive equipment, and links many pieces of gear – your scuba tank to your BCD, submersible pressure gauge (SPG), alternate air source and you. You'll always remember your first breath underwater using a regulator – it's thrilling. However, you'll soon forget it's in your mouth as you're distracted by your dive adventures – which is why you need to have a reliable, easy breathing regulator – so you can forget.

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