Scuba Diving Equipment Essentials
At Ron Moore’s Dive Catalina in Avalon, California, we offer dive options for scuba divers of all experience levels. Some of the most beautiful diving sights are located in Southern California’s underwater ecosystem and it is always a pleasure to bring divers into our world; this introductory guide for scuba diving equipment is a great starting point for new divers and a fantastic refresher for experienced divers.
If you’ve ever had or rented a low-quality mask that was prone to fogging and low visibility, you’ll probably remember just how much of a nuisance it was. A mask, along with fins, should be two pieces of equipment that every diver should own. A high quality mask will pay for itself multiple times over. Choose one that is comfortable for your face and allows a high range of visibility. If you can’t seem to find a mask that you like, we also offer high-quality diving masks available for rental.
Wetsuit or Drysuit
Depending on the temperature of the ocean, a wetsuit or drysuit is a useful addition to a diver’s arsenal. Different wetsuits are rated for different temperatures; at Ron Moore’s Dive Catalina, we have the right wetsuits available for rental for the temperate Southern California water. Wetsuits protect your skin and keep you warm, so if you are sensitive to colder temperatures, we recommend using a wetsuit.
Another absolute essential to Scuba diving, fins help propel you through the water at speeds that an unequipped human body cannot match. Many rental fins will not be a perfect fit; so if you’ve had trouble finding comfortable rental fins in the past, we recommend picking up a pair of fins and booties if your feet are prone to chafing. Fins improve the control of your movement and the agility of your body while underwater.
Diving gloves help protect your skin against abrasions, cuts, and punctures when exploring the underwater environment. These are especially useful for exploring coral reefs and underwater caves, as many of the rocks underwater can be quite sharp. Just like a wetsuit, scuba gloves trap a thin layer of water between the material and your skin to slow down the loss of body heat.
You can’t scuba without a scuba tank! Scuba tanks are filled with various air mixtures and specialized gases – such as Nitrox – depending on the type of dive a scuba diver is planning. Either made from steel or aluminum, most tanks are rated for 2000-3500 psi and allow you to breathe underwater.
The regulator is the piece of diving equipment that you connect to your scuba tank that you breathe from. The regulator converts the highly pressurized air in the tank into ambient pressure that is breathable. A regulator is also equipped with a backup regulator and a gauge to show how much air you have left in the tank.
Submersible Pressure Gauge, Depth Gauge, and Compass
A depth gauge, simply put, will record your current depth and maximum depth that you reach during a dive. A submersible pressure gauge (SPG) is essential, as it tells you how much air you have left in your scuba tank. A compass is crucial when planning proper dive navigation and can help you find your way back to the dive boat in the case of low visibility or separation from your dive buddy. Many companies offer devices that combine all three of these components in either digital or analog forms.
How long have you been under the water? What is your current depth? How long can you stay at that depth? A dive computer is a digital piece of equipment that will answer all three of these questions.
Buoyancy Compensator (BC)
Referred to divers as a ‘BC’, this is the jacket that you see divers wearing when diving or preparing for a dive. It is used to strap the scuba tank to your back and helps you manage your buoyancy. Using the air from the scuba tank, the BC works like an inflatable mattress; to rise to the surface and float, you’ll fill the BC with air. To sink into the water, you’ll want to deflate the BC and adjust until you reach a proper buoyancy.
While not essential for many experienced divers, a snorkel is a great addition that you can strap to your dive mask if you want to swim on the surface of the water and survey the depths below you without expending air from the scuba tank. This is a recommended piece of safety gear for new divers.
A defogging solution usually comes in bottles about the size of an eye-drop container. A defogging solution will help your mask from fogging up when you are underwater. Some people choose to use saliva which is – believe it or not – quite effective.
This is a crucial piece of equipment for night dives or cave dives. It also helps illuminate smaller crevices and crannies during day dives.
A traditional dive knife is fashioned with either a serrated or sharp edge that is used to help free divers from underwater plants or fishing line. Dive knives are made out of titanium or stainless steel and can be strapped to your leg or BC.
If you want to capture your precious moments underwater, we recommend purchasing an underwater camera. GoPros are popular choices as there are many underwater options to choose from.
Catalina Island Scuba Diving
If you want to experience all that Catalina Island has to offer, Ron Moore’s Dive Catalina is the perfect destination for your Southern California scuba diving experience. We offer a wide range of dive experiences and scuba diving equipment for non-divers, new-divers, and experienced divers; we offer introductory dives for new divers and advanced diving courses such as rescue, dive master, NAUI instructor, and advanced/specialty courses for experienced divers.
We offer a full rental department as well! Whether you don’t have gear yet or just want to leave it at home, we have what you need:
- Mask & Snorkel – $7.00
- Fins – $7.00
- Wetsuit – $15.00
- Boots – $7.00
- Gloves – $7.00
- Hoods – $7.00
- Regulators – $15.00
- Buoyancy Compensators – $15.00
- Tank – $12.00
- Refills – $8.00
- Weights – $7.00
- Full Gear Package – $75.00
For more information, give us a call at (310) 510-3175 or visit our reservation page.