There are a variety of manufacturers and types of dive kit available. Below we cover the basics but every diver in SASAC will be happy to give you recommendations and discuss the options and on occasions will demonstrate their kit.
Obviously to go diving you need a supply of air. Tanks come in a range of sizes. The tanks are measured according to the amount of air they hold in litres, with common sizes being 10L, 12L and 15L. As you get more experience you may find yourself using more technical setups including twin sets, stages and ponies. Prices for tanks can vary as its highly dependant on the cost of the materials they are made from.
Regulators allow you to breath the high pressure air in your tank and need to a type that is designed to work in the water temperatures found in the UK – so its important to do your research first.
Pressure gauges show how much air you have in your tank and depth gauges show your water depth.
On the surface and underwater you control your buoyancy using a Buoyancy Compensator (BC) also known as a Buoyancy Control Device (BCD). Essentially a BCD is a jacket with an inflatable bladder inside. They come in standard sizes for both males and females.
Jumping into British waters is obviously going to be chilly so you’ll need something to keep you warm. There are two main options here – wetsuits and drysuits.
Wetsuits – as you may guess mean you’re going to get wet – they keep you warm by trapping a layer of water between you and the suit. This traps heat to keep you warm. For British waters you’ll need a 7mm suit at minimum.
Drysuits on the other hand keep you warm by trapping a layer of air around you. To help keep you warm you wear an undersuit that provides layers underneath (as you would in cold weather). You can pick up drysuits starting from around £650 new but the cost of an under-suit is extra. If your thinking of buying a second hand drysuit – try it on first as they suit needs to fit well. There are a wide range of suppliers of drysuits – and everyone has an opinion as to which ones are the best, and they change over time.