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Owning Your First Set of Dive Gear

Dive training complete. Check.
Check Out dives signed off by instructor. Check.
C-card in hand. Check.

Photo Courtesy of PADI

So now that you’re a certified beginner diver  what do you do next? Stay in the water, of course!

You’ve invested time and money getting certified plus you love your newfound hobby so why not continue to dive? After all, this is the crucial period that will determine whether you’ll keep diving or just have another Done that item to check off your list.

We are assuming you want to stay wet and enjoy the underwater world so; the next step is to gear up!

Let’s face it  diving isn’t cheap and neither is the gear so what is a beginner supposed to do? Most new divers buy mask, fins and snorkel then just rent their other gear but that can stack up to a lot of wasted cash on gear that doesn’t fit or work well, has been used by God knows who, and we are pretty sure that smell isn’t the ocean.

Best way to ensure your comfort, safety and convenience is to start investing beyond a mask, fins and snorkel in your own gear and you start with the wetsuit.

The Wetsuit

Photo Courtesy of Scuba Gear Reports

The most important and personal piece of gear you will EVER own (trust us). A proper wetsuit is supposed to act as a second skin while keeping you warm and comfy in the water.

Just like Goldie Locks your wetsuit should fit just right. A suit that is too tight will make it hard for you to move and breathe properly and a suit that is too loose will make sure you can’t feel your fingers from the cold.

Your best bet is to buy your own wetsuit and you should buy it in person to ensure it hugs (and lets loose) in all the right places! Also, keep in mind where you dive as water temperatures can help you determine how thick or light a suit should be or if more than one is needed.

The Regulator with Instrument Console

Now that you are all suited up your next piece of gear should be your regulator with an instrument console.

Who wants to use gear that has been drooled all over by countless others, not to mention the fact that you aren’t sure how well its been cleaned or when was the last time it received maintenance.

Your regulator system includes a first stage, a primary second stage, a back-up second stage or octopus, and an instrument console with a dive computer to measure depth, air consumption and inform you of your dive profile for safety. This is the heart of your life support system, so you can dive happily knowing your regulator is properly adjusted, up to date with its service, and who the last person to use it was.

The BC

Photo Courtesy of Scuba Gear Reports

Of course, we all know you need some sort of buoyancy in the water because who wants to constantly fight rising or sinking as you enjoy the sights of the ocean? Your next piece of equipment should be the Buoyancy Compensator.

We placed this one at #3 because you can rent it easily and comfortably so long as you pick up the right size for you. So, it can wait til you’ve got your own wetsuit and reg.

The key to picking the right regulator is size and (like a wetsuit) keep in mind where you will be diving.

Your BC will be the center of your dive rig; it’s what everything connects to and it allows you to fine-tune your dive set-up, which adds up to a more pleasurable experience.

All the Rest

After you’ve got your fins wet and your basic gear you will probably want more equipment as an avid diver.  Your own tank, weights, underwater light, extra dive wrist computer, booties, gloves, safety sausage, accessories like a ScubaDoRag and dive bag to hold it all together come with time as the need for it grows.

For Scuba Gear Reports full detailed article on Buying Your First Set of Dive Gear click here.

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Carded: Your Favorite Dive Certified Celebs

It’s no secret that Hollywood stars seek out the hottest and best fitness trends to stay in shape but one fitness regimen has these celebrities hooked.

From James Cameron to Penelope Cruz and future king of England, Prince William, these celebs all have one thing in common: they love the water and they love to dive.

Into the Abyss

Academy award winning director James Cameron admits to having begged his father for lessons at 16 and says:

I learned to scuba dive in a pool. It wasn’t until I moved to California that I ever even scuba dived in the ocean. But I just loved it. I loved this idea that there was this alien atmosphere right here on planet earth. I knew that I was never going to be an astronaut and visit another star system or land on another planet, but I knew I could explore an alien world right here.

"Abyss" Director James Cameron

But his love of the alien planet doesn’t stop there. Cameron plunged into the Earth’s deepest recesses in a minisubmarine he designed himself; sinking in waters of the western Pacific to a depth of nearly seven miles.

You can also note his enthusiasm for the underwater world in the scenery and landscapes of the 3D blockbuster film Avatar which resemble marine life and corals of the ocean. Even Oscar winning films Titanic and The Abyss involve the sea life, diving and exploring mysterious wrecks.

Act on It

America’s sweetheart and Oscar winning actress Sandra Bullock took up diving for a different reason which was to get over her fear of the water.

While most of us would probably take baby steps to overcoming our fears, Sandra just dove right in (no pun intended).

Other red carpet scuba divers include:

Katie Holmes who learned to dive because of husband Tom Cruise.

Latin ladies Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson and even Vampire Diaries sensation Nina Dobrev are all certified divers!

Actress Jessica Alba

Another starlet had been exposed to the water since before she could walk or talk; the New Adventures of Flipper star Jessica Alba learned to dive when she was 13 for the TV series but was already accustomed to the water thanks to her mother who was a lifeguard.

When I was thirteen I learned to dive for a TV show I did called The New Adventures of Flipper I grew up in CA where the water is so cold that diving isn’t something you do if you’re a regular teenage girl. But I loved it immediately, I was fearless.

So, although most of us can’t afford a Ferrari or build our own submarines (showoff) we can all share the passion for diving and its beautifully mysterious abyss.

Click through our Celebrity Divers Pinterest Board for more of your favorite celeb divers.

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Experience the Fiji Firewalkers of Beqa Island


Lately we’ve been a little Bucket-List crazed. We’re itching to find and experience the greatest dives, destinations and attractions the world has to offer.

What did we find?

One of the world’s most beautiful and mysterious wonders: the Fijian Islands and the magic of the Firewalkers.

The Legend of the Firewalkers of Beqa Island

Courtesy of Beqa Lagoon Resort

Firewalking is a beautiful and sacred Fijian ceremony that originated at Beqa Island in Sawu Village. Locals like Tuemo (who used to introduce the Firewalkers) at Beqa Lagoon Resort tell of a legend of the Fijian Firewalkers.

About 500 years ago a storyteller named Dredre (which means laugh) was looking for a gift to present to the Chief. As he was following a creek up to the waterfall he noticed an eel in the muddy waters. Dredre caught the eel and once he caught it the eel began to speak.

The eel asked him to let him go and Dredre said ‘No’

It kept pleading, offering riches to the man and still he said ‘No’

Courtesy of Beqa Lagoon Resort

Knowing he was going to die, the eel began to cry; he offered him one last gift in exchange for his life, ‘Do you want to be a Firewalker?’ the eel said.

Intrigued, Dredre finally agreed. The eel instructed him on how to set up and prepare the fire and then buried Dredre for 4 days. After the fourth day Dredre was dug up, still alive.  And he now had the ability to Firewalk.

The Priestly Clan

Today after many generations Dredre’s descendants can still Firewalk, performing for tourists in hotels like the Beqa Lagoon Resort. In fact, any man from the Priestly Clan may become a Firewalker. It is a gift that is in their blood and can neither be given nor taken away.

We are told that there are many variations to this ceremony throughout the Fijian Islands, but Tuemo tells us that since Firewalking originated on Beqa Island, their Firewalking practice is the most traditional.

Two Simple Rules

Courtesy of Beqa Lagoon Resort

Tuemo also shared that there are two very important and core rules you must follow as a Firewalker:

  1. No coconut for 4 days before the ceremony
  2. No sex for 4 days before the ceremony (bummer)

It is believed that if the men do not follow these two rules it is very likely the hot stones will burn them.

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

The men who practice today wear the traditional Fijian attire in the ceremonies. Their clothing is made of dried flax, which is thin and flammable. They wear this to show viewers that even though the fire is hot, the people and their clothing can never be burnt.

The Firewalking ceremony on Beqa Island is really something to experience first-hand. Not just viewing the act of walking on red-hot stones (which is marvelous in itself) but how these Firewalkers are unharmed – not a single burn or discomfort to these men.

You definitely couldn’t pay us enough to try that, although if you give us some Scuba Tubesocks we wouldn’t mind walking into the ocean for you.

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