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130 Years Closer to a Cover Shot

130 Years and Closer to a Cover Shot.

A History of Underwater Photography

Since 1893, when Louis Boutan first used a surface supplied hardhat to take photos underwater, divers have circled the globe to get an ever-elusive cover shot. The only problem was that aluminum housing with a good camera was too expensive for most except professionals. Of course, when it comes to underwater photography, the real mass shootings didn’t occur until Jean de Wouters designed the Calypso camera in 1957 and had it promoted by Jacque Yves Cousteau. In 1963 Nikon bought the right to produce the Calypso and it became the Nikonos I. You probably don’t want to hear about every make and model of every brand of underwater camera system, but it’s safe to say that there were plenty of reasons to wait more than half a century for the next generation models to come along.


We’re not saying that early underwater photography was as difficult as walking uphill to school and back up even higher to get home, but there were a few inconveniences you had to tolerate or adjust for to get a few decent shots. First of all it was easy to forget to load film in the camera. You could spend a day with a great white whale, but if you forgot to load the film, the camera could still snap away with nothing to show for it. Setting the film in the sprocket teeth so the film would be pulled across the plate was sometimes a touchy issue too, and for those of you that never had a camera housing flood on you, you were one of the lucky ones. We should mention strobe lights here too, as they made a popping noise like a faraway depth charge when the batteries and capacitors touched salt water.

So the film was set in good and you were ready to click away; you only had 24-36 frames to fill in those days. If you took three images of each subject (fish or shrimp), this only gave you 12 different subjects to choose from, and this didn’t even hold back at least one frame for the end of the dive in case you had a once in a life time meet and greet with a large pelagic such as a manta or gray whale right before boarding back on a boat. Even if you managed to get 30 some images, you now had to wait a week or two to get them developed at Costco; yes, some of us lived in Kirkland Washington in the 1980’s before they went nationwide. Oh and when the film was ready to be picked up, that’s when you realized that only half of the subject (fish) was in the original frame. As a beginner, you could get the top (dorsal) or the belly side (ventral), but the total fish’s body just didn’t want to be set in print until you underwent a period of sometimes frustrating apprenticeship. You could also get your filmed processed at a local film kiosk, but they didn’t always develop the film fully, and when film went into the bin of history, all the kiosks apparently became coffee stands. With the passing of film you also didn’t need to pack everything (all your film) in lead bags to keep it all from becoming exposed in the old school x-ray security machines before you got to your departure gate to start your dive destination.


Of course, there were other opportunities for learning curves. To get macro shots with the Nikonos IV-A macro lens was needed and a black coated metal rectangular frame was attached to the camera; this was considered progress, but only if you could get the subject (a fish) within the frame, and to do that, the fish couldn’t be skittish and you had to watch that you didn’t crash the frame into the coral background during the process.


So when you were getting good at framing your subject, getting the right aperture setting, right film speed, and the lighting just right, along comes digital cameras and with using SD cards instead of film, you could take hundreds of images on a single dive depending on the settings you chose for image size and how fine you wanted the image detail. Not only did the number of potential images to be taken soar, but you could see each and every one of the images there on the dive. Oh, and these new digital cameras with their houses were small, inexpensive, and portable too. It was awesome, you could frame potential images through the lens and most of them looked good. Maybe not cover image good at first, but at least page three good, or web front page good. A good example would be from Las Vegas when a world record was set at the former Riviera Hotel for the most media attendees at an underwater conference using OTS full face masks and underwater electronics that transmitted the conference to speakers above the water too. Although the group contained many professional photographers, the underwater images of the event in the pool were taken by a small portable digital 1.3mp Sealife 100 camera. As the golden rule states, if you are the only person that took images, then your images are the best taken at the event, and these images captured went viral around the world. Suddenly any one going out for a dive could afford an underwater camera and capture never before seen images. The only problem? The new digital cameras were so slow that you had to hold them still while waiting for the shutter system to finally click into gear. We found this to be really tricky when taking pictures of fast moving objects such as spiny dogfish sharks. Imagine that you’re trying to take a picture of a shark coming at you and ten feet out you snap the shutter, three feet out the shutter moves and the flash goes off, then you feel the nose of the shark bump into your shoulder as you try and see if you got the shark framed in the image viewfinder. You had to guesstimate the speed and where the subject would be by the time it was close enough to take the shot and hope for the best when it came to lighting, back-scatter or anything else.


Within a few years, what we called a lag time was eliminated or barely noticeable but video emerged and then GoPro came out with their water proof housed video camera. They were so small that you could hook them on almost anywhere and you were ready to film for the next James Bond movie festival. Divers embraced video and while still images for dive websites and magazines had moved online and smaller photos were in, links to videos were super in. GoPro has just put out the Hero Five and Sealife just produced the DC2000, a duel layer 20MP image sensor camera that is enclosed in a external housing good to some 500ft, and has secondary housing/body on the video camera good to 60ft of depth. These new systems are rugged and can go just about anywhere you ever dreamed of above and below water. A novice can produce professional quality images and video with just a slight training curve compared to years earlier. Android and Iphones now have cases or housings which are great for personal image albums. We guess that within several years the next step in camera/video evolution will allow you to take videos and photo images simultaneously and they will automatically down load via satellite before you’ve reached the end of your three-minute safety stop. When you arrive home from your next vacation, the videos and images will already be queued on your smart TV, edited by AI (artificial intelligence) programs automatically posted on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram and leave you time to address comments on your personal video and image cover shots.


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A Short DEMA Show Gear Review

What’s New in Dive Gear?

 A Short Review of Unique New Equipment!


Every year we can’t wait to go to the Dive Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) Show, the dive industry’s premier trade exhibition. Sure, it’s a time to visit with old friends, strengthen business relationships, and attend a plethora of interesting seminars, but for us, the icing on the cake has to be the unveiling of new scuba dive gear, free dive gear, and in general, the products that make playing in water just more fun, enjoyable, and/or exciting, and without doubt, this November’s DEMA Show exceeded our expectations.


First off, we were swept away by the SEABOB F5 DPV. The underwater propulsion system can go 12mph/25kh/h in water. It can last for 300 minutes on the lowest power setting and recharges in 90 minutes. The max depth and time can be preset, plus you can wear a harness that’s easy to unclip when going fast or spinning around. The DPV only weighs 64 lbs / 38kg.


For a revolutionary product that is right out of Star Wars, you have to see the SWES 600 underwater ionic light. This 600 lumen light (in salt water) does not use batteries and you can’t recharge it. You simply place it in the water, and the ionic exchange gives it power. You can literally dive, rinse, and dive again, for three hours a day for two years, giving you 2140 hours of dive light time. How cool is that?


As for trends, people have been making new fins for years, but this year TUSA is making the Hyflex Switch fin, which you can detach the blade from the foot pocket and fit it all in a travel bag, then put it all back together again in minutes, so you no longer have to purchase a smaller less powerful set of fins for your travel vacation while leaving your favorite pair of fins back home. Speaking of new fins, Indigo Industries makes the Shift XT modular fins and you can also detach the fin bade, but in this case, you can exchange a split fin blade for a zip split fin blade, plus you can change the bare foot pocket for a strap when wearing booties, which seems to be the ultimate transformer type fin to date.


Also excellent for traveling divers is the new Scubapro Hydros Pro BCD. The thermoplastic material and gel pockets dry fast and fold down to almost nothing making this BC easy to place in onboard luggage. You can add weights to the pockets, or use as a harness system with a weight belt for further reduction of travel space.


Now when it comes to details, we have to mention the new WaterProof EX2 drysuit that has built in thigh pockets on both front legs, a side arm pocket for sunglasses when on shore, a built in strap for VH1 radios, a pee zipper already installed, a zip pocket for pens, a built in blind plug that can be replaced for a air release valve, or heater battery cord intake valve. It also has velcro locations for applying your name, badge, and identity patches, plus a new type of velcro straps for dry gloves. It’s like they thought of everything that you might want, and then added some extras features just to blow your mind.

Ok, so you don’t always have to have a ton of improvements to set a product apart from the rest, take Aqualung’s EVO4 boots for example. Sure, they have a sturdy drysuit boot with a vibram sole and are made with the military in mind for slippery decks and rocks, but when you pull on the laces of the EVO4 boot, they cinch from the bottom on up, not just the top tightens like most other boots with the laces loose near the toes. EVO4’s produce a fast good tight fit all the way up, and something as simple as a good fitting boot can make or break an easy entrance into or out of the water.

Having a defogged mask can also make or break an enjoyable dive. Fog Kicker is a new biodegradable anti-fog coating that you can apply like marking with a felt pen on your mask lens and one coat is good for 10-15 dives.


As for cameras, SeaLife has the new DC2000; a 20 meg pixel camera that shoots jpg and even in raw format. This 1 inch fast sensor camera comes in a new rugged easy to use housing rated down to 200ft / 60m, but even without the outer housing, the inner camera is rated down to 60ft / 18m, making ideal to use below or above the water. Of course it wouldn’t be a SeaLife product if the DC2000 system wasn’t compatible with a fish eye lens to give an 80º wide field of view, and you can also use it with all the Sea Dragon Flash and light systems, including the new Fluoro-Dual Beam to give animals a blue background to show off their natural colors when desired. How awesome is that?


Sometimes all you need to impress us are great prices on dive gear and in this case we have to mention SEAC, pronounced “Sea-ak”. From an Italian free dive and spear gun foundation they have expanded to a worldwide made full line of scuba dive products that are comparatively low priced, which is a major priority for getting new divers such as millennials into aquatic sports. As we have seen in the past, as dive gear prices go up, the percentage of potential new divers attracted to the sport goes down. So we have to commend Seac for not only producing quality gear, but for helping price point conscious new scuba, skin, and free divers focus on the immediate fun of these aquatic sports; long term retention in these sports will then just be a matter of good times!


On the other end of the spectrum our list would not be complete if we didn’t mention The Darkwater Vision Hammerhead mask that allows technical divers to see in low light arenas. Whether you are doing night dives, deep dark dives, or murky river dives where you are trying to find Megalodon teeth on top of the sediment with the touch of your hands, now you can wear this high tech mask and see with a game-like ethereal quality what was previously too dark and occluded to see naturally. The Hammerhead mask system essentially does for divers, what night vision does for the armed forces, but it’s also excellent for underwater welders too; Dearth Vader would be jealous if he wasn’t already seeing red.

There were lots of other products that we would like to mention that were unveiled at the DEMA Show, but hopefully you’ll get a chance to see them at your local dive store early this year when many of these items should be shipping. For us, it’s time to stop writing, go get wet, and try out the aforementioned products extensively until the next DEMA Show.




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Anxiously Awaiting Your Next Dive?


Anxiously Awaiting Your Next Dive?

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If you dive less than 7 to 14 times a year you might want to take a refresher course before you go on your next big vacation or scuba dive adventure. You have either read something like this in your introductory scuba course, a dive magazine, or heard it down at a local dive shop. The reason is simple, if you practice diving on a regular basis, you become more familiar with more facets of your dive gear and scuba diving conditions in general. Being comfortable with your dive gear and the local dive conditions is the goal of every diver as it reduces anxiety and enhances your over all dive experience, but besides the basics, what else can you do to ensure the a perfect dive the next time out? Perhaps we should talk about dive gear first.

Even if you are diving warm waters, we recommend wearing a full rash guard or preferably a 3ml wetsuit that covers your torso, arms, and legs. Sure on the first dive you are warm in just a swimsuit, but after several dives and several days, you may start to feel cold before the end of the dive, and the urge to find a bathroom will eventually override your desire to maximize your bottom time. Acting on this urge before surfacing only exacerbates the situation by briefly heating your outer extremities then cooling them down while your blood vessels have become dilated by the sudden warmth which makes your heat loss increase exponentially. A wetsuit or rash guard is also a good way to protect your body from fire corals, jelly fish, and even prevents you from getting sunburned shoulders and legs when you are diving less than 20ft below the surface or doing decompression stops. A hood, bandana, cap or scap also works as the ultimate sun blocker for your head, especially if your hair is short or you’re like some of us and folically challenged.

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Having your own gear with you on a trip always reduces anxiety because your familiar with how it operates and comfortable with how it fits , but sometimes renting gear is the best option, especially when it comes to the airlines baggage policies and added cost. We always recommend taking your own mask, booties, dive computer as there is nothing worse than a leaky mask and a limited or unfamiliar computer. Fins could be added to the essentials list if based on previous rentals that with every kick it reminded you of the movie Foot Loose. As for the rest of your rental gear, be sure and do an easy shallow shore dive to make sure you are absolutely comfortable with how the unfamiliar gear operates, sits, and fits. Now if you dive with steel tanks and you find yourself using rental aluminum tanks while on vacation, you’ll need to add some additional weight too. You’ll notice the difference aluminum tanks make at the end of the dive when aluminum tanks down around 500psi try to make you float to the surface if you didn’t plan a head and weight yourself properly for this contingency.

Everyone talks about how important buoyancy is and we recommend on working on perfect buoyancy so you can glide down underwater and surface later on as soft and slow as a snowflake or leaf swept along in a gentle breeze, but what if your next dive adventure calls for diving down quickly to get below the swift currents near the surface? You might need a little more weight, and little more practice to control a little quicker descent. Also, the added weight will affect how much air and at what rate you need to expel air from your BC on your ascent back to the surface too. Practicing with a few extra pounds of weight will lessen your overall anxiety when it comes to diving in areas where currents are typically stronger.

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Task overloading is a common phenomena that can lead to symptoms of high anxiety. If you have been out of the water for awhile, chances are diving a deep night drift wreck dive from a boat while navigating using dive lights and taking video/pictures while lobster hunting is going to feel like a multitasking nightmare. Perhaps a better option is to strap a Gopro or Intova video camera in place so you are hands free, and for all the types of diving you plan on doing, perhaps training in each of these fields separately and in advance would not only prepare you for your next dives, but would also put you in the water more frequently. Skills in boat diving, deep diving, drift diving, night diving, and navigation to name a few, could be used at almost any resort or dive site worldwide. When your trained properly, it is easier to anticipate your needs, plan your dive, and actually dive your plan from Belize, Cozumel, Bonaire, Palau, Truk, or Papua New Guinea. Also, good dive operators are there to help you. Don’t hesitate to communicate any concerns you may have. Even the most experienced divers have encountered feelings of unease and apprehension. Voicing any worries along with all of this training with your gear and dive conditions increases your safety, knowledge, and your confidence and ability to make the best decisions when it counts most, and thus makes every dive more pleasurable and relatively anxiety free.

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Problem With A Leaky Mask?


Problem With A Leaky Mask?

We have all had it happen at one time or another. A dive mask that leaks.

It could be one that was burrowed, rented or recently purchased but that constant distraction of continually having to clear your mask makes your dive uncomfortable. Water inside your mask also creates a distortion in viewing objects underwater which makes taking pictures a future exercise in editing or deleting. Salt water in your eyes stings and water in your nose can lead to coughing which is not fun at 60 feet.

So here are a few suggestions on how you can avoid this problem.


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Lightweight Travel Gear

Lightweight Travel Gear


If you believe that baggage fees belong on the “No Fly List” then it might be time to invest in some new dive gear or try a few new packing strategies.

Starting off with the newest piece of dive gear to deny boarding to baggage fees, we have the Aeris Jetpack. This revolutionary designed system is not a backpack, but is part Buoyancy Compensator (BC) and part semi-dry day bag (SDB). While traveling to the airport, you can hold around 30lbs or a weeks worth of gear and essentials in this combined (SDB-BC) or Jetpack . . .for short.  Once you arrive at your destination, just unzip the two compartments and within minutes you can assemble the one-size fits all BC section while the other section now functions as your boat and beach dive bag for fins, mask, snorkel, towel, and other items that may be placed in two small side pockets. The 6.25lb BC has 30lbs of lift and can carry 14lbs of dumpable weight and 10lbs of non-dumpable weight. We guess they assumed that if a BC shoulder strap system could be used to carry a scuba tank to the beach, then why not dive gear to the plane? The best part of this system is that it fits in the overhead compartment of most commercial airplanes so you know where your dive gear is at all times, and with most major airlines, this means the Aeris Jetpack is baggage fee free and dive wallet friendly. See the video under:


Another approach to overhead space is the Aqua Lung Travel system. Inside the Aqualung roller bag, you can place the 4.4lb Zuma BC, a micron regulator, a low volume micromask, snorkel, aqualung hot shot fins, and a mesh bag for right around 20lbs. The hot shot fins are shorter than most other fins, but if you are in to 15 to 50 dives a year, this light weight system may be just perfect for you. The strategy is simple, small lightweight dive gear items means easy storage in overhead bins, and long term savings on baggage fees. See an Aqua Lung 20lb video on Youtube under:


Another revolutionary approach that works just as well with big and heavy revolutionary dive gear bought before 1776 as it does with newer lighter dive gear is the DiveCaddy Gen2. This system uses your gear to form the padding, rigidity, and essentially the structure of your complete dive bag. You simply have to release 3 compression straps and you can quickly fold out the travel bag to insert gear, take out gear,  or more importantly impress the staff at TSA. The Gen2 comes with a Spider bag for cold water gear storage, and a FinCaddy for quick storage or access to fins and a mesh bag for mask, snorkel, gloves, etc. The Gen2 also comes with a destination bag that you can use as a boat bag, or to cover/conceal your DiveCaddy Gen2 when on little planes that don’t have overhead space and instead load onboard luggage tagged bags right next to the plane in a special gateway deliverable compartment as apposed to the baggage claim destination compartments. On a side note, we think the DiveCaddy Gen2 was built to last 365 dives a year, or 365 years; we’ll have to get further clarification, but we definitely know that it’s built to last. See the Quick Start or Airport video at:

As a reminder, fins that are wide, long, or the length of a thresher shark’s tail may just have to travel as checked in luggage. They could also put you over the 50lb limit set by many airlines for the maximum weight of a bag, so you may find it cost effective to purchase a smaller travel size fin. Tusa, Mares, Scubapro, and other manufacturers make travel fins that are on average less than 24inches, but offer impressive performance without leg strain.


You might also consider placing all your light dive gear in a 747model Travelpro roller bag or a Rick Steves Europe soft travel backpack to place your gear on board in the overhead bin. Photography savvy divers sometimes use large vests with lots of pockets to store lights and camera gear and remove the vest once onboard the plane. If it’s worn aboard, it’s not considered a carry on item by major airlines.

As for dive knives, there will always be a need for checked luggage no matter how lightweight they make these sharp edge devices. Some airlines though let you check your first bag for free.  Some airlines let you check a bag in for free if you are part of their mileage plus program.  It’s something else to consider when you book your flight. We don’t recommend putting anything you can’t live without in your checked luggage though as strange things occasionally happen to checked bags, and HNL and HKG look really similar on a baggage tag to a tired eye. Not everybody knows that (HKG) Hong Kong is where factories make certain wetsuit items, and (HNL) Honolulu is where tourists wear certain items. Dive gear in the overhead, under the seat or in a vest will give you peace of mind every time you fly.

With so many ways to carry dive gear, and so many lightweight dive gear products developed over the last few years in response to airline baggage fees, finding the right lightweight dive gear system for you should not only be fun to try on or pack for your next flight, but even more fun to use on your next dive.

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New Gear, New Gear!!

Photo Courtesy of Scuba Gear Reports

Where can you get over hundreds exhibitors with the newest in scuba gear and over 9,800 dive professionals under one roof?

DEMA Show!

The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association hosts the largest trade-only event in the world catering to companies in the scuba, water sports, and adventure/dive travel industries.

 So who was there? 

Well, aside from us and the awesome Scuba Gear Report whose full article is featured on this post, great companies like Apollo Sports, Aqualung, Dive Dawg, McNett, Scubapro and tons more!

What we found? 

Nothing short of greatness.

Photo Courtesy of Scuba Gear Reports

Bodyglove was commemorating 60 years of wetsuit design and innovation and they were celebrating with a bang! Their site now allows you to design your own wetsuit!  Just choose the model and colors you want and click click your custom suit will made to your specifications – something tells us we’re going to need one in every color, to match our fins of course.

Mares was also present with a new Hybrid Pure BC as well as their latest Avanti Quattro + fin with a more flexible compound and bungee strap.

Another company celebrating 50 years in the biz was Scubapro. Their booth had an awesome display with every regulator they ever built from their first stages and on.

We’re not going to give everything away because SGR’s already got it covered here.

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Donate Your Old Dive Gear for a Cause


Photo Courtesy of

Been eying some new gear but get that voice telling you this stuff’s still good, don’t even think about it! We found the solution! (And just in time for the holidays) PLUS you’ll feel even better when you hush up that little voice. recently reported on a great charity that helps children, veterans and the disabled dive with YOUR old gear! Sounds awesome right? Read more below as seen on Enjoy! 

YOU KNOW THAT brand spanking new BC you’ve been aching to buy, but can’t really justify it because your current BC is still in perfect shape? Or what about that new wristwatch-style dive computer that just hit the market that would finally allow you to go air-integrated, but would also elbow your existing gauge console from your dive bag? What to do? Give up, stick with your old gear? We have a better solution, a totally win-win solution: go ahead and buy that new BC and that new dive computer, then donate your old gear to an organization that will put it to really good use.

It’s called the Diveheart Foundation, and it’s a non-profit organization based in Illinois whose mission is “to build confidence and independence in children, adults and veterans with disabilities through the activity of scuba diving.

For the past 13 years, the Diveheart Foundation, which is essentially volunteer-driven, has worked tirelessly to use scuba diving as a tool to build self-esteem and provide physical and psychological therapy to people with disabilities. According to Founder Jim Elliott, it’s all about instilling the Can Do spirit into both children and adults who are faced with life challenges and barriers that, without confidence and a level of independence, might seem insurmountable.


Photo Courtesy of

One project the organization is currently working on with the Hines V.A. Hospital in the Chicagoland area is the creation of a new scuba therapy facility that would allow Diveheart to do research, rehabilitation, education, and training, as well as provide vocational opportunities in areas like marine biology, oceanography and underwater engineering, to those with disabilities.

The Diveheart Foundation does not discriminate when it comes to disabilities. Children, adults and veterans with any type of disability are welcome to participate in Diveheart and Diveheart Military Wounded local, regional, national and international dive trips (with supporting medical authorization). These trips are supported by incredible Diveheart volunteers who come from around the world to participate.

For more on the Diveheart Foundation, their projects and how to get involved click here for full article

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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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Diver Fashion: Why You Should Suit Up in Color

Recently we verified that almost a third of divers are female and an increasing percentage of women are being certified yearly. You would think with the growing number of ladies trading in their heels for fins, we would see some pink wet suits, and other styles we recognize from fashion magazines. Whether you’re part of the one third of female divers or part of the other two-thirds, you may want to reconsider that black wet suit and fins.

Picture This

You’re on a boat, getting suited up for your first ocean dive as a beginner diver. You’re nervous but excited as you slip into your black wet suit. You don’t know what to expect and you definitely don’t want to get separated from your group, so you ask your instructor, “Hey, what color are your fins?”

Your instructor responds, “Black.”

For a second you pause and notice, “Everyone’s wearing black!”


This was Suuz Martines of ScubaDoRags experience on her first open water dive. After searching high and low she couldn’t believe no one had yet created a line of identifying products for diver visibility and safety. So she decided to create one herself.

What initially started as a solution for a safety issue turned into a full-blown variety of colorful custom scuba gear to deck divers out from head to fin! From her first ScubaDoRag to her ScubaTubeSocks, Suuz wanted to minimize diver distractions while diving. She also wanted divers to have the option to express themselves and have fun with what they wear!

The ScubaDoRag

The ScubaDoRag

The ScubaDoRag is a patented head covering that serves scuba divers as a hair wrap. It contains and holds hair away from the face (and gear) during underwater activity. Made of high performance fabrics in vibrant colors and distinctive prints, it provides high visibility at great depths and on the surface of the water. The ScubaDoRag even contains a hidden pocket for storing charms, I.D., a room key etc.

Suuz and her quirky alter ego, CoCo Cheznaynay, are revolutionizing diver fashion -understanding the power of colors and the importance of individuality. “Color is very powerful, it can even change your mood,” Suuz tells us. Her ultimate goal is to have every diver express his or her unique and colorful personality while exploring the just as remarkable ocean.

What Others Are Saying About the ScubaDoRag

Here is what Larry Wilson from Joelton, TN says about the ScubaDoRag: (that’s right, guys love em too!)

“I recently returned from the Bahamas where I went diving for the first time. What an amazing experience! At the suggestion of a friend, I had purchased a few ScubaDoRags for the trip.

I wore one while snorkeling (saw a HUGE Barracuda) and it prevented any burning to my head (the hair is starting to get a little thinner these days).

Larry in his ScubaDoRag

Your ScubaDoRags are well worth the money and I will be getting more of your products as I go for my open water certification! I just wish someone here in Nashville carried them!”

There’s more to diving than meets the eye. Colorful reefs and gorgeous hidden treasures are waiting to be seen and discovered and every diver is just as vibrant and unique. Suuz and CoCo invite you to trade in the black for a pop of color and embrace the sea.

For more on Suuz and CoCo Cheznaynays ScubaDoRags and other dive fashions click here.


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Reef Safe Skin Care Products

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Look and smell good in eco-friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable skin products that are as good for you as the ocean, say what?

Reef Safe

Divers and ocean enthusiasts have always been conscious of their impact on the ocean and marine life. Never messing with reefs down below or spear fishing more than what they would eat for dinner – it only seems fitting to take this lifestyle one step further.

Reef Safe skin care products offer a variety of items including body wash, lotion, SPF and even jellyfish sting relief gels and sprays!

Click here to read more on Reef Safe.

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