How to Choose Scuba Gear

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How to Choose Scuba Gear

Scuba divers who want to purchase their own equipment should keep their gear up-to-date and in good working order. Sometimes this involves purchasing new scuba gear. With the amount of diving equipment available on the market it can be a difficult purchase to make. Many divers purchase a BCD or buoyancy control device, sometimes called a buoyancy compensator, and a regulator. These devices have different fits, sizes, and features to choose from.

 

Choosing a BCD

The BCD (buoyancy control device or buoyancy compensation device) is a device, when inflated, helps a diver control how much or little they float, allowing the diver to remain at a specific depth without touching the surface or bottom. The important parts of choosing a BCD are comfort, function, and form.

Comfort

Like clothing, each BCD fits differently. It is important to find the correct size of BCD to ensure maximum comfort and manoeuvrability.

 

Size

Height Feet

Height cm

Weight lbs

Weight kg

Extra Small

5'0" – 5'5"

152.40 – 165.10

100 – 125

45.36 – 56.69

Small

5'2" – 5'7"

157.48 – 170.80

120 – 155

54.43 – 70.31

Medium

5'7" – 5'10"

170.82 – 177.80

150 – 175

68.04 – 79.38

Large

5'10" – 6'2"

177.80 – 187.96

175 – 210

79.38 – 95.25

Extra Large

6'2" – 6'5"

187.96 -  195.58

195 – 240

88.45 – 108.86

 

This is a rough size to height and weight correlation and gives the buyer a guideline to go by. Each manufacturer of BCD's uses a slightly different sizing chart. Regardless of how the BCD inflates it should fit comfortably across the shoulders, under the arms, and around the middle. A good fit is one that does not restrict movement but is not loose enough to chafe either.

Function

All a BCD technically has to do is have variable inflation and the ability to hold a tank securely to the body. It needs to inflate and deflate at a rate that the diver is comfortable with. It also needs to hold the correct type of tank. Some BCDs fit all tanks in a variety of configurations while others only fit one or two types of tank.

Form

The form of a BCD depends primarily on the bladder style that a diver prefers. The most popular types of bladder either inflate on the back, called a black bladder, or on the back, front, sides. A diver who prefers a streamlined profile should choose a BCD with a back bladder. The back bladder is often used for caving and other tight spaces. The fully inflatable bladder is usually used for open water or diving in open spaces.

 

Choosing a Regulator

The tank and regulator are the two most important pieces of scuba gear. The regulator allows a diver to breath air from the tank. They consist of a first stage, a second stage, and a hose. Although there are a variety of shapes and styles of regulator, it is another piece of equipment where comfort is a large factor.

First Stage

The first stage is the coupling from the tank to the second stage. This coupling should fit the tank. The yoke design for a coupling is the most commonly used and consists of either a piston or a diaphragm. The DIN design is less common. An adaptor can be purchased to fit a DIN to a yoke take and a yoke to a DIN tank.

Second Stage

The second stage consists of a purge valve or exhaust valve and a mouthpiece. The mouth piece should fit comfortably in the mouth without stretching it too wide. The lips should easily seal around the bite edge without allowing air to escape.

Air Hose

The air hose is simply a hose that connects the first stage to the second stage. It should be long enough to reach another person comfortably but not long enough to become tangled. This piece of diving equipment also depends on the size of the wearer.

 

How to Buy Scuba Gear on eBay

When searching for scuba gear on eBay you should start by deciding which piece of gear you need. Then type the name in the search box on any eBay page. This brings up the listings for the piece of equipment you want. When searching, be specific about your product brand or style. This allows you to browse all of the scuba gear for sale on eBay and narrow down the choices. When shopping for scuba diving gear devices, purchasing ones that feel comfortable and function properly are the best.

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