ANSWERS TO BASIC GEAR QUESTIONS THAT GET ASKED ON THE FORUM ALL THE TIME
What size gun should I use for Vic waters?
The best suited size gun is either a 90cm or 100cm unless your targeting larger species such as kings or tuna where your probably best to use a 120cm or larger.
What thickness wetsuit should I get for Vic waters?
If you are diving all year round a 5mm wetsuit will be good enough but if your only a summer diver a 3mm or 3.5mm will suffice.
Open cell vs closed cell wetsuits?
Open Cell Neoprene (unlined interior)
Is much like slicing a loaf of bread in half, which exposes the open porous surface. This open porous surface allows for greater stretch properties and allows them to stick to the divers body which provides greater insulating efficiency, minimal abrasion to the skin, and excellent range of motion. Open cell suits do require soapy water or talcum powder (if dry) in order to put them on and but downfalls can be more susceptible to tears and cuts.
Closed cell neoprene (lined interior) These suits are easily identifiable by their rigid, rubbery nature. They are less expensive and longer lasting than open cell suits, but they have several downsides. Closed cell suits are much more constrictive, difficult to get into and out of, less efficient at insulating, and can be slightly abrasive during long diving sessions.
How much weight to wear?
Safest approach when "first starting out" is to wear enough weight to still remain buoyant at the surface and keep your head above by water. If you are to sinky and still have to kick to keep your head above the surface. Youre to heavy, remove some weight. If you're to floaty add weight.
How to choose the right fins?
Open heeled are more common among SCUBA divers. The advantages of open heeled would be the ease of donning and the ability to wear hard soled dive boots with them. The disadvantages of open heeled fins would be the overall bulky design of a foot pocket and the loss of power common with the loose fit of these style fins.
Close heeled fins are the preferred choice for free diving. The top two advantages of the close heeled fins would be the streamlined design and secure fit. The secure fit translates into increased power and the streamlined design results in reduced drag. Longer length blades are preferred overall and definitely for deeper diving as they will provide the much greater propulsion needed during ascent and ease the overall exertion during descent. Exerting less energy you waste less oxygen. Saving oxygen will improve your breathe hold.
The three most common materials used in manufacturing blades are polymer (commonly referred to as plastic), fiberglass and carbon fiber.
-Carbon fiber provides the stiffest blade which results in the best propulsion with least efforts. They are also the lightest available. The disadvantages of carbon fiber blades would be the fact that they are much more delicate, and quite expensive.
-Fiberglass blades provide nearly the same stiffness as the carbon blades, are more rugged, and can generally be purchased for less than carbon. Both the carbon and fiber blades are commonly available in different stiffnesses
-Polymer blades are the most common blades. Of course polymer blades do not provide the stiffness of carbon fiber or fiberglass blade, but they are very rugged and the least expensive. The blades are commonly available in two stiffness. Some manufacturers differentiate this difference with the color of the blades.
What are low volume masks?
The air volume of a mask is important for freediving but not as important for scuba diving. Therefore using a generic “scuba mask” for freediving is not a good idea but using a low-volume “freediving mask” for scuba is fine. A low volume mask is an equation of the distance from your face to the glass x the height and width of the mask. As a freediver descends, water pressure creates an effect that pushes the mask against the divers face where a diver must “equalize” the pressure within the mask or risk causing damage to the divers eyes and/or sinuses. To equalize the pressure within the mask a diver needs to exhale from the nose and into the mask. A low volume mask requires less air that a freediver must “waste” into the mask. Clearing the pressure in the mask is considered a waste because the divers lungs cannot utilize the air/oxygen within the mask, therefore, the more wasted air, the less time a diver can stay underwater.
What safety equipment should I have?
Please refer to the Diving Safely Page Equipment link in the New Forum Members Section