Scuba diving is fun and safe with the right equipment. While you are the one that does the physical act of diving, it is your equipment which keeps you breathing and allows you to see underwater. Each part of your dive gear is important in keeping you safe and comfortable, so it is vital to choose the right gear for your dive.
There are different types of scuba gear for different types of water. Because the waters of Costa Rica are tropical, and thus warmed,
you can go with minimal to moderate levels of protective suiting. The most critical part is to ensure that all of your equipment is properly rated, maintained, and that it fits you properly as well.
The diving mask has gone through a lot of revisions throughout history. Older diving masks consisted of a single pane of glass with indentations placed on either side of the nose. The large amount of air that could be contained within this design often led to pressure concerns, which were addressed by bringing the glass closer to the eye. It was then divided into two panes, with a section for the nose added later. Improvements to the mask increased the field of vision of the diver, and allowed for advances such as customized bifocal lenses. A high quality mask is recommended, because it will be both comfortable and more capable of allowing you to see details underwater.
In tropical water, you will most likely use the body suit or the wetsuit. Suits are necessary because they protect you from scrapes, stings, and burns from sun exposure, but mainly because they help your body to retain heat more efficiently. Both wetsuits and bodysuits have their own varying degrees of thickness. Your dive instructor or leader can help you to decide which style or configuration of suit will be most appropriate for your dive location. Most areas of Costa Rica require minimal diving exposure protection, but different seasons may dictate different needs. Always choose a suit that fits you perfectly, and remember that there are many different visual styles of suit as well. Some also provide foot protection and pockets.
Tanks and Regulators
Since you can’t breathe underwater, you need assistance while exploring the depths. Tanks hold the air that you’ll be using, and regulators make sure that you get the amount of air that you need when you need it. Both are important parts of scuba diving, and should be chosen according to safety regulations and recommendations. It is generally recommended that you bring a tank which is the largest that you can carry, as larger tanks mean more air storage. Tanks with enriched air nitrox are popular, as they allow you to stay in the water for longer periods of time without negative side effects. Your regulator should be chosen according to the type of system used by the tank, which will either be DIN or yoke systems. Adapters may also be available to connect a DIN regulator to a yoke tank.