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

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.