Kevin Deacon Dive 2000 Dive Travel & Photo Centre Dive 2000[caption id="attachment_2128" align="alignnone" width="496"] Divers circa 1950. Hopefully your gear isn't this old![/caption]
Dive equipment has evolved a great deal in the last decade bringing improvements to comfort, fit, performance, durability and the enjoyment of our pastime beneath the waves. We test dive everything we sell to discover the advantages modern dive gear provides.
1: DIVE MASKS. Modern masks feature deeper vertical lenses angled for superior vision which suits both snorkel and scuba dive applications. The mask buckles are now moulded into the mask skirt which eliminates breakages and allows the strap to configure to individual head sizes. This feature also allows the mask to fold up reducing space needed for travel or the option of carrying a spare mask.
2: OPTICAL LENSES. Finally optical correction lenses for dive masks are available as an inexpensive stock item for both long sighted or near sighted divers needing prescription lenses. Most divers can now enjoy perfect vision for reviewing their instruments, camera monitors and spotting macro critters on every dive.
3: FINS. The latest model Scubapro Seawing Fins provide a single blade design which is perfect for every finning style (including Frog Kick). They pack plenty of thrust when needed while also providing an effortless swim style when cruising due to the clever hinge point on the blade. Made from indestructible material with a non slip grip built into the bottom of the foot pocket, an unbreakable bungee style heel strap, they are easy to don or remove and are very lightweight for travel. Introduced five years ago this fin has had worldwide success in the dive market.
4: DIVE KNIFE. We have come a long way from `That’s not a knife, This is a knife!’ Crocodile Dundee days. Try taking a typical dive knife through customs in multiple countries and sooner or later you will find yourself up to your neck in trouble with more than crocodiles. Today’s traveller can opt for the EEZY CUT Trilobite cutting device which is harmless to everything but cord or fishing line which is why we carry a cutting device in the first place. A perfect inexpensive present for your travelling other half unless he is the type who wants to impress with `Mine is bigger than Yours’ ! And we said HE because that’s never a SHE : )
5: WETSUITS. Gone are the days of non stretchy suits with inferior nylon linings that shrink over time. Well we used to be able to blame it on the nylons! Now you have no excuse if the suit starts getting tighter, new fast dry, non shrink, high stretch nylons combined with superior neoprene bring a whole new level of comfort, and a bit of relief if you expand a little. Modern suits also provide reduced water flow into the suit due to semi dry seals, reduced water ingress zips and advanced zip flap features. Incidentally, wetsuits provide insulation due to thousands of closed air cells in the neoprene. Every time you drag a wetsuit on or off, dive deeper than 10 meters or pack it up tight into a bag, these air cells progressively break down. So if you have done a few hundred dives in it by now it is working at half its original efficiency. Time for a new one, you won’t believe how much warmer it is.
6: WETSUIT/DRY SUIT POWDER. Wetsuit dry/suit powder is the ideal product to help your suit slip on. This extends the life and function of the suit and makes your life much easier. The latest wetsuit powder is safe for the environment and non carcinogenic which means it’s also safe for you. Wetsuit wash is also the correct product to use when cleaning your suit, it is safer for the garment than other cleaning agents.
7: WETSUIT UNDERGARMENTS. Adding layers under your wetsuit is the best way to add extra insulation when needed. Probe wetsuits have produced an excellent set of undergarments that add a great deal of insulation while avoiding bulk and buoyancy issues. The product is very easy to don or remove and best of all the inner lining will dry in 10 minutes making multiple dives much more comfortable. The range includes long sleeve tops, with or without attached hood, hooded sleeveless vests and long trousers.[caption id="attachment_2134" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Modern dive gear, undergarments, luxury Winnebago shore diving, who would want to go back to the old days![/caption]
8: DIVE COMPUTERS. These days every dive computer provides the option to programme enriched air (EANX or Nitrox) as enriched air diving is universally popular for many valid reasons. However the more advanced models also monitor your air consumption. Apart from convenience this also means the computer is part of your physiology as it detects diver exertion, temperature change and divers fitness, all are predisposing factors for decompression illness so the computer adjusts the dive time algorithms to provide a safer profile during every dive. Some even include a heart rate monitor option (think, FIT BIT) for the ultimate in diver/computer interfacing and safety.9: BCD. Buoyancy Compensation Devices evolved over four decades from air bags resembling a life vest into fitted waistcoat models until someone came up with the bright idea of adding the dive weights into the BCD which provided far more comfort and eliminated the BCD riding up and lead weights dragging down since some divers almost ended up with a permanent curve in their spine. [caption id="attachment_2131" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Kevin Deacon circa 1976[/caption] However, early models were just old models with weight pockets added. Ultimately very bulky shaped models lacked the strength needed to carry the lead long term. In the last decade, strong, purpose designed, rear inflation BCD’s have emerged that are far superior. Many other state of the art options have also been built in so if your old BCD doesn’t resemble this description we suggest checking out the current models. Start with the Scubapro Knight Hawk for the guys or Lady Hawk for the ladies and you might be amazed at the evolution.
10: REGULATORS. Regulators have been safe and reasonably efficient for many years. However today’s top models deliver far more air with minimal breathing resistance than ever. This means less air consumption and greater breathing comfort at any depth and in any conditions. The size and weight has also been reduced which is helpful for travel. Hoses are now available in lightweight, super flexible, braided design and a wide range of hose lengths in many choices of colours provides customisation, comfort and equipment identification. Not to mention you can look very smart, colour co-ordinated or very pretty : ) Most importantly, easy adjustable controls are provided at your fingertips to ensure your regulator is always performing correctly. Note, if your dive centre consultant can’t explain what these controls are for and how to use them, you are in the wrong shop!
Author, Kevin Deacon. Over the past half century Kevin has dived just about every invention in scuba and underwater photography equipment in just about every ocean in the world. This ranges from the original Jacques Cousteau double hose regulator through to today’s state of the art single hose units and rebreathers. Hard Hat Copper Helmet diving suits through to Kirby Morgan deep sea diving helmets. Snorkels with ping pong ball valves to modern venturi valve models. Cameras with 12 shots per roll of film and flash bulbs through to today’s state of the art Nikons, endless shots per capture card and Seacam supercharged strobes. Dive boats that were powered by paddle to live on luxury live-aboards. Motor bike mode of transport to dive sites through to Boeing A380. If pressed for an answer he will swear `it was not better in the old days’ ![gallery ids="2130,2140"]
By Kevin Deacon. Dive 2000 Dive Travel & Photo Centre Dive 2000