Scuba Gear

Scuba Diving Wetsuits

Shorty Scuba Diving Wetsuits Scuba Diving Wetsuits – A diving wetsuit is what we wear when we go into the water and they can be used for water skiing, kayaking, surfing and all manner of water sports as well as while scuba diving- a wetsuit is thermal protection.

Scuba diving wetsuits are made from neoprene, and neoprene is rubber, rubber made with millions of tiny little bubbles in it the neoprene. The rubber is then usually covered in a fashionable material to look good.

The scuba diver’s wetsuit once submersed in water, traps the cold water between the layer of human skin and the neoprene, allowing for very little movement of the water -it is important for wetsuits to fit properly and not be loose.

A lose fitting wetsuit does not work at all. The water needs to be trapped by the body, once the water is held in place, the body works to warm up the water and it is the warm water trapped which helps reduces cooling of the body too rapidly whilst diving.

It is possible to buy titanium lined scuba diving wetsuits, the titanium is added in between the interior lining and the neoprene, or it can be woven into the threading of the suit. The titanium is said to reflect about a 5th of the heat lost back onto the diver’s body. These suits are more expensive, but definitely worth considering especially if you are diving in really cold places. Something we not need here in Thailand as the water temperatures are in a pleasant range.

Buying Your Scuba Diving Wetsuits

Long Scuba Diving WetsuitsOther than the pretty patterns of a wetsuit, the most singular important factor is the thickness. The thicker the wetsuit the warmer it is, however the thicker the wetsuit the more restrictive your movements are underwater.

Depending where in the world you are diving and under what conditions will and should determine the wetsuits thickness. Diving in waters over 26 degrees, you really need nothing more than a 3 mm shorty; in fact, where we dive in Thailand, many diving instructors where only board shorts and a simple rash vest for protection.

Scuba Wetsuits are also available in full length styles, with varying degrees of thickness, it would not be correct of me to tell you which suit to buy for the local waters you dive in. I suggest going down to the local dive equipment specialist and seeing what they recommend.

Scuba Wetsuits vary in size and you can buy scuba diving wetsuits with different thickness of neoprene on different parts of the suit. For example, you may buy one that has 3 mm arms and legs and a 5 mm core to it, and so on, there are many permutations.

When trying on a scuba wetsuit to check it fits properly is paramount. Scuba Wetsuits are notoriously tricky to get on and off quickly and the thicker the suit the harder it is. Check the wetsuit is not pulling on any areas of the body. Make sure the crutch is not too tight or loose. If the wetsuit is even a little too small, it will pull continuously on the stitching and eventually it will fall apart.

Scuba Wetsuit Care

As with all scuba gear, whether used in fresh or salt water it is important to clean all your gear thoroughly, wetsuits are no different. Whenever possible soak your wetsuit in fresh water for a god few minutes or so, this can help rid the wetsuit of any nasty elements, including any odors it may have picked up.

You can buy wetsuit cleaning detergents from any decent scuba diving equipment shop. These are recommended, you can even use baby shampoo, as it has no harsh chemicals in it. It is a good idea to wash your wetsuit from time to time when not diving due to inactivity.

Finally hang your wetsuit to dry on a strong hanger, you can also purchase special hangers form any dive gear outlet specialist. Best not to use any hangers made from metal, they may stain the inner material with rust. Once dried, store in a cool dry place ready for the next time to you go scuba diving.

Scuba Gear

Scuba Diving Knife

Scuba Diving KnifeScuba Diving Knife – The Scuba Diving Knife is rather a hot topic, with there being so many different types on the market, which one is right for you to choose.

Do you really need a scuba diving knife at all? One must really look at what kind of diving is it that they love to do.

I must be honest, after years of teaching Scuba Diving, I have never ever felt the necessity to un-holster my dive knife at all. Apart from when I see certain divers trample all over the corals, with their big floppy fins, smashing everything up in sight and oblivious to the damage they are causing. That’s another story and another article.

Apart from that not really, simple guiding in clear, warm seas, then there is probably not too much call for a dive knife. On the other hand though; if technical diving is your thing, like deep diving, on wrecks, caves and other stuff like that where a dive tool would come in handy; then yes is the answer.

If you are not sure if you need a dive knife then buy one anyway. At the end of the day, they do come in handy, if only for opening a beer after the dive.

Buying a Scuba Diving Knife

Once you have decided what scuba diving you like best, then the list for knives will shorten for you. Obviously you do not need a 30 cm knife if you are going to be teaching scuba in your local swimming pool at the weekends.

Size of the knife depends on what you are doing. Of course massive knifes not only look threatening, they are dangerous too, so please be careful; they can also look ridiculous.

A knife is a tool for helping you in case you or your buddy gets tangled up, or other similar reasons like that. Hopefully, you will never have to use it at all. Best to think what else you may need the dive knife for. If you purchase one with a very small blade, it is best to make sure it has a decent size handle on it, so you can hold it efficiently.

Another factor to consider is the shape of the scuba diving knife. The point of the dive blade can be blunt, in fact more times than not these is the blade blunt. This is a safer way to use a knife, as it cannot be accidentally insert into something soft like flesh, Bcd’s, wetsuits or hoses.

I would also recommend that the edge of the blade be serrated. A serrated edged knife will suffice for most recreational diving occurrences, these edges can cut through very tough materials and they also tend to stay sharp longer. It is possible to find diving knives with both serrated and sharp edges on them. This is of course is the best of both worlds, though you may pay more for one of these scuba knives.

Scuba Diving Knife Materials

Most dive knifes are made from stainless steel or titanium, most normal metals won’t last more than a few dives before they corrode into an orange rust.

Stainless steel knives usually come in 300 series or 400 series of alloys. The lower the number the more difficult it is to keep sharp.

All stainless steel knives will corrode eventually, some quicker than others. It is important to clean the knife when you have finished diving for the day.

Also another good idea is to cover the blade in a film of vaseline, oil or silicone.

If you are feeling flush, then go for a titanium knife they are the high end of the market scuba gear. Being rather more expensive than the stainless steel counterparts, they are also much lighter and won’t corrode so easily, as they contain no carbon so they don’t rust. The titanium blades also hold their sharpness for a long time so no need to sharpen them either.

Wearing the Scuba Knife

Attaching the knife to your leg like Cousteau and his friends did way back when, will only raise sniggers and fun poking at your attire. The best place for you knife is attached to your BCD directly. Not on the shoulder near the neck, not on the inflator hose as it is easy to again stab yourself. Many new Bcd s have an attachment area for your blade near the pocket, here it is safe out of the way and very easy to reach when you may need it.

Scuba Gear

Scuba Diving Mask

Scuba Diving MaskScuba Diving Mask – With so many scuba diving and snorkeling masks on the market, it is not an easy choice to make, when it comes to buying either or both of these much needed pieces of scuba equipment for seeing underwater.

A scuba diving mask works underwater: as long as you have a small air pocket between your eyes and the water – like that created by a mask – then you will be able to see underwater.

A mask will make things appear larger and and closer when below the surface, this needs to be taking into account while diving or snorkeling: this is called refraction.

The Scuba Diving Mask

When choosing a mask the most important thing to take into consideration is the comfort of it. When you have a mask that fits like a glove, then that’s the one you should buy. Whether snorkeling or Scuba Diving, the moment you enter the water you should not need to worry about the mask.

It should fit, be comfortable, if for any reason it is not comfortable, then it will spoil the moment. More dives have been spoilt by a bad fitting scuba diving mask than any other piece of equipment.

A scuba diving mask can and will make or break your dive. It is hard to enjoy a dive if your mask is constantly leaking or fogging – or both.

Buying a Diving Mask

When selecting a mask you must place it over your face. First making sure that your hair is not breaking the seal between your face and the silicone edges of the mask, most decent quality masks have a silicone skirt around the edges to keep out the water.

The softer the silicone the better the mask, also it will prove to be more expensive.

  1. Touch mask to face – Put the mask on gently the mask should not be in contact with any hair, we are looking for a good seal. Making sure that there are no gaps anywhere.
  2. Check seal – allow no gaps between the seal and your face. Gently breathe in through your nose and if the mask fits snuggly and you feel no air coming inside, then you have a seal.
  3. Now you have a vacuum and your mask is stuck to your face check that there is no pain anywhere like around the bridge of the nose or the forehead.
  4. As you exhale the mask should come away from your face.

Another important piece of the mask is the strap, which is usually made of plastic or silicone. These types can easily tangle up in the hair and can actually get caught and pulls the hair and can hurt. You can buy fabric mask straps which replace or fit neatly over the existing straps. These make for a much more comfortable fit

If you wear contact lenses or use glasses you may want to get similar lenses put inside the mask. Firstly though, I would recommend that you try the mask a few times first to make sure it is perfect for you. Lenses for a mask do not come cheap of course.

Try Before You Buy

During Thailand & Myanamr Liveaboard trips on board our MV Giamani we offer “Try Before You Buy” for scuba diving masks. We have a range of popular masks in different sizes and shapes.

Diving Mask maintenance

Now you have the mask you may notice that it fogs up very quickly. This is normal and easily rectified. The mask is covered in a fine layer of protective covering by the manufacturer to protect it in transit.

This protective covering needs removing, and one of the best ways to do this is to use abrasive toothpaste. Rub the toothpaste around the lenses for a few minutes on each of the lenses. Check it by blowing inside the mask, if it still fogs then repeat the first step again until there is no more fogging.

Mask do fog anyhow even old masks do. To stop this we tend to spit inside the mask before each dive. If you are not a “spitter” than you can buy some Defog solution from any dive shop, if you are not a spender then try baby shampoo, this works the same, and does not sting the eyes.

Always rinse the mask and dry it after every use, otherwise it will slowly corrode, keep the mask in a safe place and in its original box is the best place for it.

The mask is usually the first piece of scuba diving or snorkeling equipment people there are many colours to choose and different sizes. Once you have found ne that fits your face then you can narrow down which colour and so on.

Once you have the one you are happy with, try another one, smaller than yours and you will see the difference.

Look after your mask and it will serve you for many years.

Scuba Gear

Scuba Diving Watches

Scuba Diving Watches – Since the advent of the dive computer dive watches have slowly but surely ben disappearing from scuba divers wrists’.

Although many dive computers can also been used as a watch – mainly in digital format- very few divers wear the traditional timepiece any more.

Scuba Diving Watches Fashion

Scuba Diving Watches - Citizen Pro MasterHowever that said, the big watch companies operating globally report a massive increase in diver watch sales. One cannot help think that James Bond has something to do with this increase in demand for these beautiful and expensive scuba diving timepieces.

007 rolling of the back of a dinghy on a moonless Caribbean evening, somewhere just outside of the Bahamas; one last check of his ridiculous expensive, all singing all dancing, laser firing, chic grabbing watch, and he descends into the depths of the warm Atlantic Ocean in search of another naughty criminal.

Dive watches are trendy, not amongst the diving community though as they seem to prefer the all in one dive computer, which is another story entirely.

Dive Watches through the years

Diving is a relatively new sport. We still refer back to those early days, although it may mean as far back as the sixties or seventies, which is hardly a millennium ago. The way that divers could track their time under water was to pull out the crown of the watch before descending down; they would set the minute hand to 12, push the crown back in a kick off down to the depths in search of treasure.

The rotating bezel introduced a far superior timepiece for divers. The diver would (some still use this method -not many though) twist the bezel so the arrow or marker aligns with the minute hand of the watch. As the dive time elapses, the minute hand is read against the bezel to easily tell the diver his bottom time.

Along with the other gauges he would use to track his depth and air consumption, and as long as he knew his no-deco limit, he could quite successfully complete the dive unhindered and in relative safety. The bezel was made so that it could move in a clock wise and anti-clockwise direction. This was soon enough figured that this was causing some divers so get bent (decompression sickness).

During scuba diving activities it is quite easy to bang and bump into things, equipment can and will get scratched, wetsuit can get ripped and bezels can move about, thus resulting in an inaccurate time reading. Therefore it was not long before the bezel could only move in one direction, thus resulting in even safer diving techniques and practices.

Scuba Diving Watches are cool and there is no denying it, they are made even cooler by having a helium release valve added. Helium Release Valve it even sounds cool. Dive watches have come along since they were first introduced to the diving community, but who would need a helium release valve mechanism.

The answer in short is, Professional Technical divers do. When they are working at depths sometimes hundreds of metres deep, they don’t use normal air to breathe, it has to be mix with other gases and as helium is inert and not harmful to humans, it is used instead of nitrogen.

The helium molecules are very small indeed, when the diver’s starts to ascend, the helium bubbles that have gotten inside the watch from the exposure of helium inside the diving chamber expand, and will need to be released.

The helium will look for the easiest route out of the watch, and before the introduction of the release valve, the helium tended to blow the crystal (glass casing) off in order to escape. This of course was not safe for the ascending diver, the watch or anyone else around.

Fear not the dive watch is alive and well, and in fact thriving, albeit not in the diving world; computers rule there now. However Scuba Diving Watches are far cooler than any dive computer.

They have been around since Cousteau and Hans Hass went exploring wrecks and reefs back in the fifties, they are a legacy of a bygone era. When adventure and exploration of the seas was in its infancy, these men were pioneers of the dive industry we know today, and their watch was a symbol of their daring achievement’s underwater.

Scuba Gear

Dive Computers

Dive Computers take the stress out of scuba diving. Their ability to measure bottom time, adjusted bottom, depth and time, have helped scuba diving to become the safe sport it is today. Diving is one of the safest activities to undertake as a hobby, the safety features available to divers these days is amazing.

Buying Dive Computers

Aqualung Dive Computers - The i300 - Blue
Aqualung Dive Computer i300

Dive computers not only sound expensive and they can be very expensive, it all depends what you actually need the computer to do for you. If you are going to the bottom of the sea on a record breaking 300 metre dives, then I suggest you consider the market very careful indeed; maybe buying several computers of the highest grade.

Visit Colona Liveaboards Thailand – Dive Computer Online Shop

If however, you will be using your new dive computer for general scuba diving, in friendly environs. Such as the warm waters of Thailand no deeper than 30 metres or so, then you do not have to go and spend thousands upon thousands of your hard earned cash to feel safe.

There are nowadays some great deals out there for inexpensive scuba diving computers. I would recommend popping down to your local scuba diving equipment retailer and check out what is on offer. Most of the main scuba diving brands have a decent line in dive computers, so you will recognise their names.

Diving Comuters - Aqualung Dive Watches
Aqualung i450T

We add Colona Liveaboards Thailand are a big fan of Aqualung Scuba gear and they just recently presented their own product line of diving computers. Ranging from simple computers to high end tec computers.

Where to Wear your Computer

The wrist dive computer is very popular. There are several ways to wear a computer and on the wrist is possibly the diver’s favourite, but not every diver prefers this way. Wrist mounted computers look like large watches, almost like a dinner plate, they are a real give away to other divers that there is another diver in the area.

However, unlike dive watches, people tend not to buy a dive computer unless they are actual scuba divers, though some people will wear their dive computer as a watch in between dive trips. The choice between wrist mounted and having the computer mounted on your dive console is a personal choice.

Aqualung Diving Computers - The i300 in Console
Aqualung i300 in Console

Some dive computers give the diver a choice; the same model can either be worn on the wrist or on a console. Either way, when purchasing a dive computer it is best to make sure you can see all the information on the screen. This is not usually a problem, due to magnifying effects that scuba diving masks have during underwater activities.

Some dive computers, like I have said, are very similar to watches in their shape and size. On the market there are many shapes and sizes to choose from, some computers are rectangular in shape giving the diver maximum screen vision. One of our Favorites are the new Aqualung wrist computers.

One downside to having a watch like dive computer is that divers tend to wear them more often than not, even when they are not diving, any slight dampness can set the computer into ‘Dive Mode’ and this can waste your battery life quite quickly. Although if the idea is to impress your friends that you are a scuba diver, then what’s the harm; it’s your money

A console dive computer is attached to the SPG console normally, which is part of the scuba regulator. This style of computer is generally larger than the wrist mounted one, and is easily detachable. Dive computers typically come with a pressure gauge, unlike the wrist mounted option.

This style of wearing your computer means that you will possibly have the computer attached via a high pressure hose to your 1st stage. This type of computer is air integrated which means that precise air readings are given as well as all the other info by the computer.

Tec Diving Comuter - Aqualung
Aqualung i750T

These days scuba divers, particularly on Thailand liveaboard dive trips (the diver goes onboard a dive boat for several days even a week or more), will have noticed that nitrox has become very popular.

So I would definitely recommend that even if right now you are not Nitrox certified, that dive computer you buy make it a Nitrox compatible computer, forward thinking is what separates divers form the rest of the pack.

If money is no object and you do enough diving throughout the year to justify such an investment, then maybe have a look at the hose-less computer set. These computers use a transmitter from the 1st stage to the computer which transmits all the info to your main computer on the wrist or console, these are top of the range and cost a pretty penny, especially the ones made form titanium.

Scuba Gear

Scuba Regulator

Scuba Regulator - DiverScuba Regulator –  The scuba diving regulator is singularly the most important piece of diving equipment you need, diving is impossible without some form of breathing device. The sheer amount of regulators on the market today is immense and can cause some confusion when a choosing one of your own.

Scuba Regulators are the one of the most expensive pieces of equipment you will ever buy when scuba diving. Dive computers and dry suits can also become very expensive at the top end range.

The scuba regulator is basically your life support while in an alien environment (underwater). It is advisable for the diver to buy the best one they can afford, especially when diving in cold or more difficult and stressful conditions than let’s say, in a warm water environment.

Diving regulators are designed in different ways, some are balanced some are unbalanced and some are over balanced.

Unbalanced are the cheapest ones and you will find these kinds of regulators are what most dive schools use around the world. They are the cheapest, but when dived within their limits are perfectly safe to use and all student divers at one point or another have used them with no problems.

Scuba Regulator - Aqualung Balanced scuba regulators are more expensive and tend to work almost as well as when they are on the surface as they do when diving into a headlong current, or any stress situation which cause the divers to breathe more heavily.

An over balanced scuba regulator is a relatively new design and is made for divers that really expose themselves to trickier dives. These regulators not only offer the same amount of air they would give at the surface, they actually give more air when they are under duress, ensuring the diver has as much air as it is possible to give him.

A regulator consists of several parts. The first part being, the first stage, this piece is the bit that is attached to the scuba cylinder. The air from the cylinder enters the first stage and the pressure of this air form the cylinder is so great, that it would be impossible for the diver to breathe if it were not for the reducing effect that the first stage has.

Attached to the first stage are the hoses, one hose leads directly to the second stage, which is also called your primary regulator. This is the piece that fits snuggly into the diver’s mouth and allows him to breathe. There is another hose which also has another second stage attached to it. This second stage is usually brightly coloured with a longer hose. This is for the divers buddy, in case of an out of air situation.

There is also a high pressure hose attached to the 1st stage, this hose leads to several gauges, which tell the diver the air content inside the cylinder. It may have a depth gauge attached to the console and it may also have a computer and or a compass attached too.

Another which is attached to the 1st stage is the low pressure inflator hose. This hose leads directly to the BCD and allows the diver to inflate his buoyancy control device at will.

There are other ports on the 1st stage for other hoses, like another low pressure hose for a dry suit inflator or a high pressure port where it is possible to attach a transmitter for a dive computer.

Scuba Regulator Maintenance

Regardless of what you may have paid for your regulator, if you look after it, wash it after every diving session and get it serviced every year, whether you have used it or not. It should last you many, many years, if you do not look after your regulator and expect it to work properly after several years of negligence you may just find yourself in a regrettable position of not taking care of it – and you do not want a faulty regulator at thirty metre dive.

After every dive session or trip, make sure you wash the regulator with fresh water, make sure after drying it, the dusk cap is placed back on the 1 stage. Rinse the second stages thoroughly; most second stages come apart very easily indeed for this particular reason.

A scuba diving regulator is very very important piece of diving equipment; it is up to the owner to take care of it. Purchase the best one you can afford, taking care of it is paramount.

Buying a second hand one is not always a good idea, unless you know who has been using it. Take into consideration before handing over the cash, how old is it and where it has been used and when the last time is was serviced.

Scuba Gear

BCD – Buoyancy Control Devices

BCD Diving Gear for Buoyancy Control
BCD Diving Gear for Buoyancy Control

BCD is another piece of Scuba Gear that would be very uncomfortable to dive without, possible yes, but very awkward nevertheless. The Diving BCD, along with the scuba diving regulator are the two most expensive pieces of scuba diving gear you will have buy. Unless you are diving in very cold water, then you can pay big bucks for a dry suit, but that’s another story.

Buoyancy Control Devices are known by different names around the world, not only BCD, but BC, Stab Jacket, Stabilizer even Wing. They all do the same thing and that is to give the scuba diver buoyancy, both on the surface and while scuba diving too.

The BCD is controlled by the diver, whom on the left side of the jacket uses a hose which will allow the diver to either inflate or deflate, by means of two separate buttons. One of these buttons is called the inflator button and the other is called the deflator button.

BCD Diving Gear for Kids
XS BCD for Kids – Scuba Diving Fun

It is relatively easy to use a BCD once you have been trained properly. We add Colona Liveaboards offer Scuba Courses, and we make sure you know how to handle your gear. The BCD uses air from the scuba cylinder to inflate it. It is also possible to inflate the jacket orally by mouth. There are several points for the air to be released from. The most common hose on the BCD to deflate it is situated next to the inflator button.

Most Bcd Diving models come in a few different sizes ranging from extra small to extra-large; some BCD’s only come in one size, but they are adjustable. This brings us to an important point; much like the wet suit, it is important that the BCD fits the divers properly.

BCD Size

BCD for Woman
Diving BCD for Woman

If the BCD is too small, it can actually be dangerous for the diver and cause unnecessary stress and problems, particularly on the surface of the water. The weight a diver wears is normally adjusted to their size; large diver tends to use more weight than small diver.

If the diver is large and uses a lot of lead weights, a small scuba diving BCD will not be able to support them and on the surface and may cause him to sink, thus causing the diver to kick to stay afloat, all the while adding stress to the situation. When the diver is stressed this can easily lead to other problems quickly and also causes the diver to become tired.

If the BCD is too big, it will simply move about underwater, and the diver will find control their buoyancy much more difficult. A large BCD worn on a smaller diver and partially inflated will start to move upwards, only stopping at the diver’s neck, the straps as you can imagine, can become uncomfortable.

These days BCD’s are made not only with safety in mind, but also comfort, which has not always been the case in the past. BCD’S use to look like an old toilet seat wrapped around divers necks. In fact, that was one of their names amongst the earlier divers, these old style BCD’s are very similar to the life jackets that you find on airplanes today.

BCD - Scuba Diving Gear
BCD – Scuba Diving Gear

As BCD’s come in many sizes it would not be correct or professional of me to recommend any particular one over the next. So it is a good idea when looking for a new BCD to pop down to your local diving gear store and try a few of the different designs on.

Female divers might be surprised to find a BCD to fit them much more comfortably then say only a few years ago. Being anatomically different than men, especially around the hips, chest and shoulder areas, women have much more choice and gone are the days when women have to use using a typically male designed BCD.

There are many different designs and colours of a diving BCD’s, regardless of what it looks like, making sure it properly fits and is comfortable is paramount when looking for your own Buoyancy Control Device.

Scuba Gear

Scuba Gear Quick Guide

Scuba Gear is absolutely necessary to be able to dive, you will at least NEED:

  • Mask – To be able to see.
  • Scuba Regulator – To be able to breathe.
  • BCD – To control your buoyancy.
  • Fins – To propel yourself.

There is so much scuba gear on the market that the mind boggles. Where does a beginner begin, where does anyone begin. If you go and have a look at your nearest scuba diving gear outlet, you will see just what I mean.

Cost is obviously a major factor in choosing any dive gear and not always is the most expensive gear right for everyone. In fact you can get some real bargains if you keep your eyes open, especially these days with various reasonable dive outlets online.

The most singular important thing about purchasing dive equipment is to find the piece which fits you and is comfortable. Comfort is absolute paramount, with every piece you buy.

Being a dive instructor myself I know full well the consequences of a badly fitting mask or tight fins. It plays on the divers’ mind the entire dive, taking their focus off what they should be enjoying and learning. Take your time when choosing dive equipment.

Making sure it is comfortable for you and that it fits you well, and it will be a long-term investment for the type of diving you plan to do.

Scuba Gear - Divers in Thailand

Scuba Gear You Need Depends on Where You Dive

There is so much scuba gear for varying kinds of dives; here we talk more about the regular scuba gear we use here in Phuket Island, Thailand.

As we are in a tropical climate we do not use as much dive stuff as say those diving in Europe for example.


As the water temperature is about 28/30 degrees here all year round, a full length semi-dry suit is not needed. Although we recommend that everyone uses some kind of wetsuit protection from the elements, it is unlikely you will get cold out here on a dive.

Most professional divers in Phuket wear either a short wetsuit of 3mm thickness, some do wear a 5mm suit, as they can be in the water the best part of the day and on the liveaboard, we do do, up to 4 dives every day.

Board shorts and a rash vest are very popular here in Phuket and can be purchased from any decent dive equipment out.
Using these two items have benefits too, you do not have the movement restrictions underwater that you may have using a more rigid wetsuit, also they dry very quickly, and as we all know, there is no joy in putting on wet clothes of any description now is there?

Scuba Diving Mask

When buying or trying on a mask this is the most important piece of equipment. Because if it does not fit correctly, you can spend the entire dive clearing the mask, and that is no fun, no matter how good you are at clearing it.

Try the mask on, making sure there is no hair inside the silicone seal and breath through the nose, making sure all the while no air is sneaking in, if air gets in, then so will water. Make sure it is comfortable around your nose and forehead areas.


There are many different kinds of snorkel on the market many many. I would strongly recommended you get one that clears water very easily indeed and if you are diving in the sea, where there may be swells, get one that does have a closed valve on the top, to stop any water leaking inside.


BCD for Woman
BCD for Woman

Buoyancy Control Devices come in many shapes and sizes. Out here in Phuket, we use the jacket style which is very easy to slip on and off. They have a few pockets for storage, with metal rings and other places where the diver can clip items on as not to lose anything, you can spend big money on a Bcd.

I recommend a mid-range priced bcd, making first sure that it is not too big for you. Bcd’s which are too big tend to move around a lot underwater and on the surface, making it a little awkward to control. Also the bigger the bcd, the bigger the air bladder is inside. Now a small woman, does not need an extra-large Bcd, as it not would look ridiculous and it is very difficult to control.

Read more…

Scuba Regulators

Scuba Regulator - AqualungUsually regulators like the ones we use here, have four hoses attached to them. However, if diving in other countries where the conditions are different, you may need additional hoses like for a Dry Suit inflator hose etc etc…

A very important piece of equipment is the regulator, without it you cannot dive. It’s that simple. The reg allows you to breath underwater and the more expensive ones even make coffee in the morning for you (joke).

It is recommended that again you spend decent money on a set of regs and I would strongly say that buying a second hand reg although cheaper, is not always a good idea. Unless you know who has been using it and how they have been using it and where and when was the last time it was serviced.


There are more fins on the market today than probably anything else in scuba save maybe the masks section. They come in all sort of shapes and sizes. A colleague of mine recently bought a bright pair of tangerine orange fins, when I asked him why so colorful, he wisely told me, ‘so my divers can see me even in low viz.’

Usually there are two kinds of fins, the closed heel fin and the open heel fin. The closed ones are ideal for places like Phuket. The water temperature is very warm and close heels fins do not require the additional cost of booties and they are also easily taken on and off, also they are used in swimming pool too.

The open heel fin does need booties, thus creating that little extra cost and added weight to any baggage; also they tend to be stronger, and heavier. There are many designs to choose from and as they will not let you try before you buy, it is very important getting it right the first time.

Choose the strongest and most durable pair that propels you through the water with the greatest amount of ease.

Additional Scuba Gear

There are other pieces of equipment which we talk about in other articles but here is a short list of other scuba gear you may need:

  • Dive watch – Used to monitor the dive time.
  • Dive computers – Checks your depth and time underwater allowing you to stay within established limits.
  • Weight system – Needed to offset any positive items you may use
  • Dive light/ torch – Used to look dark places and crevices, and for diving at night.
  • Dive knife – A handy tool as well as an important safety device.
  • Dive flag/float – Keeps boaters away from where you’re diving.
  • Digital underwater photo system – Used to take pictures of your adventures to share with your family and friends.
  • Accessories – like underwater slates, lanyards and other items make diving more fun.
  • Signaling Devices – Whistle, signal tube get attention of other divers or the dive boat from a distance.
  • Scuba gear bag – Used to carry your dive equipment to the dive site.