Sometimes it seems to us as if the diving equipment we carry could be extended at will. At this point, however, a short reminder should be given on the essential components of diving equipment that will enable you to have fun underwater.
Diving masks are available in different types. Whether you have a mask with a continuous lens or two is a matter of taste. In any case, however, it will have a nose oriel, swimming goggles cannot be used for diving, as they do not enclose the nose.
This is necessary because otherwise, you would not be able to equalize the pressure to prevent mask barotrauma. To test if the mask fits correctly, hold it in front of your face without pulling the band around your head, press it on and breathe in through your nose. If it sits comfortably without you having to hold it further, it fits. The test is important, otherwise, water can enter during diving and spoil your diving fun. If the mask fills up despite the previous testing, check whether hair or a piece of the diving suit has come under the edge of the mask.
To prevent the mask from fogging up while diving, you must prepare your mask briefly. You do this very simply with some spit and a short rinse in the water. There are also special resources you can get in the dive shop, but personally, I think this is a waste of money.
Much cheaper and most effective for me is baby shampoo, which you can get in small bottles in normal drugstores. If the mask mists up underwater, don’t let the diving fun spoil but flood the mask and blow it out afterward.
This is no drama and much better than swimming half blindly past the most beautiful corals. If you feel a bit hesitant, please hold on to your buddy so that you don’t ascend or descend uncontrollably or drift against something.
With new masks, a chemical protective layer is partially applied. You can easily get rid of them by applying some normal toothpaste to a cloth and rubbing the glasses with it. Afterwards you rinse the mask until all residues are gone otherwise you connect your first dive with the scent of peppermint.
The second method is to burn out the mask with a lighter. Make sure that you do not touch the silicone edge with the flame, but only the glass. After each dive, rinse the mask with fresh water to avoid salt residues. After a diving holiday I thoroughly rinse all my diving equipment at home and clean it with a mild product like the already mentioned baby shampoo.
When snorkeling, the (diving) spirits are a bit divided.
In your training you will learn that it is part of the basic equipment. In many dive centers you may be looked at in amazement if you ask for it for your rental equipment.
I have done almost all dives without it. However, if you have to stay on the surface for a while during strong waves, it can be very helpful because the waves do not go over the snorkel or if it has a splash protection, it is even easier not to accidentally swallow water. If you are on a boat, it makes sense to have a snorkel with you, because it is always possible that you want to go on a spontaneous snorkeling trip in the break between two dives.
Make sure that you can breathe easily through the snorkel, a large diameter is helpful. Also the fit – especially of the mouthpiece – should suit you well, so that you can use it without it rubbing somewhere. A blow-off valve is very useful as it will be much easier for you to get water out of the snorkel.
When diving it is your legs that do the work, unlike swimming, you do not use your arms.
Therefore it is important to use fins that have the best effect on your stature and constitution. Basically, fins can be divided into fins with closed and fins with open footrests. The latter has an adjustable fin strap that you tighten around your foot. I personally prefer the open foot parts because they are much more comfortable to put on and take off and of course because they can be worn with booties.
If you want to buy fins, you will be confronted with different designs. Ribs, flow openings, flow channels, dichotomies, different material; the fin bed appears like a science in itself. Try different types before you buy.
If, for example, you are rather dainty, large or stiff fins could lead to very rapid fatigue of your leg muscles and thus interfere with the fun. If you buy rather short fins, you have to kick much faster to move forward. Once you have decided on a type, the fit should be such that the footrest reaches up to your ankle and the fin is neither too tight nor too slobbery. If you buy fins with an adjustable heel strap, you should bring your booties or buy them at the same time, so that you can see if both fit together.
After diving, rinse the fins briefly with fresh water and allow them to dry without direct sunlight. Fins with adjustable heel strap need to be checked regularly to detect cracks at an early stage. Of course, you can buy a replacement band in such a case.