Why a dive computer should be your first purchase

One of the most common questions we get is, “what piece of dive equipment should a new diver buy first?”

Well, that is an easy one. After a good set of mask, snorkel and fins, a new diver’s first purchase should be a dive computer. Unless one gets cold really easily, then they should add a nice wetsuit to that order.  I know that you can rent a dive computer and or a wetsuit any where you go diving. But, here is why these items should be 1 and 1A on your wish list.

dive computerA dive computer is the most important piece of diving equipment a new diver should have, because there is a learning curve with every dive computer on the market. If you are spending extra time or worst yet not even bothering to learn what your dive computer is telling you. Well, you are putting yourself in danger. All dive computers function basically the same, but how you access that information is different on every one. Some are 1 button where you press, press and then hold to access the sub menus. Some are 2 or 3 buttons. But they are all different. By having your own dive computer you take that learning curve out and you will know your dive equipment. I tell every new diver that once they make the commitment to purchase and own their own dive gear, they instantly become a better diver. Why? Because they know their equipment and can operate it without thinking about it.

As for 1A, well if you get cold easily then a nice fitting high quality wetsuit should be right there on your list. There is nothing worse than being freezing cold on a beautiful dive. Being so cold that you cannot even enjoy the beauty that you are there to see and the playful fish is just no fun. Being warm and comfortable and knowing your dive gear does make for many happy dives.

When you are ready come on into the shop and we can show you all your options.

Listening to your Dive Computer

padi idcDid you know that your dive computer can “talk” to you? It can tell you more than just how deep and how long. Your dive computer can tell you so many different things if you will listen.

The first step in learning to listen to your dive computer is to look over the operating instructions. Or if you are lucky, you might find a helpful video to walk you through a few things.  I like our divers to read the instruction cards and play with their new dive computer some and then come in and ask questions.

One of the most important and valuable things your dive computer can tell you is all about your nitrogen loading. You might have heard some divers referring to “bubbles”. This information refers to the level of nitrogen in your body. Remember the “letters” on the dive table? These letters have been translated into a bar graph, aka bubbles, and are broken into green, yellow and red zones. Keep your bubbles in the green and you will be a very safe and conservative diver.  Are your bubbles pushing up high in the green and maybe into the yellow or caution zone? Ascend some and watch the bubbles drop back down.

As your dive week progresses you’re left over bubbles will grow some and that is why a lot of divers will take an afternoon or a day off from diving or they dive Nitrox. Another way to drop your bubbles is to extend your safety stops from 3 minutes to 5 or more. As long as you have air why not hang out under the boat and watch what swims by. We have seen many sharks and turtles just hanging out under the boat.

Yes my friends, your dive computer can tell you so many things. It can tell you if you ascend to fast. It can tell you how long your next dive can be for and also how deep. Are you listening to your dive computer?