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Equipement de plongée sous marine


This gear will allow you to breath under water, so it's not an option so much as a necessity. The key component is a supply of compressed air that you wear on your back, with regulated pressure.

You will want to invest in quality gear, that's new or gently used. Although this is an expensive choice, you will likely save money by avoiding the need to repurchase components that you wear out. The scuba takes are the most important piece, and are generally available to rent at diving resorts. You will also need a regulator that fits in your mouth and controls your air intake. Using a mask or goggles will help you clearly see all the underwater world has to offer.

Fins fit on your feet, and make your kicks more efficient. If you start buying your own gear, it gets even more expensive, but you have the freedom to dive wherever you please. You can dive closer to home, where you're familiar with the rules and comfortable with the location.

When you're diving on your own though, always consider safety and plan for emergencies. It will be necessary to have your own BC, a properly fitting wetsuit, computer readouts, and similar aspects that you don't have to worry about on charted dives. You'll also have to maintain your gear, keeping in mind that your stainless steel knives will rust without care.

You need to make sure that you're serious about scuba diving before you make such a large investment. Try it a few times with a charted dive, where the equipment is provided for you. Then if you feel ready make the plunge.

The final aspect that you will have to consider is the training and certification. You have to be comfortable with all of your gear in order to have a safe and fun time. Also, schedule time in your life to use your equipment, regardless of how busy you may seem. Your gear doesn't do much good sitting in a hobby room collecting dust. Take the time to enjoy yourself, exploring the mysteries of the underwater world.

I/ Choosing your scuba tank

Floating seems easy when you're lying on the surface of a swimming pool. Keeping your body horizontal seems like child's play.

But when you're strapped down with gear, breathing in huge gulps and trying to maintain a certain depth, all the while adjusting the air flow hoses and valves, it can be quite a challenge!

Scuba tanks can greatly affect your buoyancy and choosing the right one for your trip -- as well as proper positioning on your back -- can make the difference between a hassle and an enjoyable dive.

While buoyancy seems like a simple concept (we add air to our BCD, inhale and float along at what is called "neutral buoyancy"), some novice divers have a hard time maintaining their depth and are constantly fidgeting with the valves and hoses. Sometimes just having the proper tank for your particular diving trip can be a huge help.

Aluminum scuba tanks are the most popular -- possibly because they're cheaper -except in some country like UK where there are the same price-, but also because they're a lot easier to lug around. These lightweight tanks - not lighter than steel but more buoyant in the water for the same size - may require you to carry more weights with you if you wish to descend to greater depths, yet are perfect for those surface and reef dives.

Be aware that most dive shops won't refill an aluminum tank if it is more than 15 years old, so if you plan to keep scuba diving for many years, a steel tank might be a better fit for you. More precisely aluminium cylinders made before 1995 need to be tested every year, it is an electrical Eddy Current Non Destructive Test (NDT). Dive centres will not fill any cylinder not 'In Test'. 

When you're diving in cold water with a thermally insulating dive suit, you're better off with a heavier cylinder made of steel. Actually you need more weigt when using a thermally insulating drysuit, using a steel cylinder helps by not having to put so much lead on your belt. Steel scuba tanks, while they may cost twice as much as aluminum, don't dent easily but the paint and galvanising does chip. Ali cylinders rarely corrode, steel cylinders can have huge corrosion problems by comparison.

A problem with many aluminum tanks is that they can get stripped from screwing on the regulator time and time again. This is not an issue with the steel tank.

Another problem many new divers have with scuba tanks is in the positioning. Did you know that a cylinder placed higher on the back - more obvious with steel tank of course - puts a diver in a naturally head-down position?

Conversely, a cylinder worn too low will leave divers feet-heavy. You can improve your air consumption by placing the cylinder a little higher, just below the head, so that you are naturally horizontal.

You can purchase tanks at 50, 70.2 and 80 cubic feet levels. New divers are advised to purchase either 71 or 80 because they will likely need more air. Larger scuba tanks are harder to find but can still be found for those going on very long excursions. Auxiliary or pony tanks hold 10-40 cubic feet of air and are strapped onto the larger tank for backup.

Scuba tanks need to be inspected every five years, by law in the United States. In Europe, the mandate is every two years. Many divers feel comfortable testing their scuba gear every year, as you can never be too safe when it comes to your underwater breathing apparatus.

Scuba tanks are a large investment initially, but they should last for many years and many breathtaking trips. However we advise that this investment should be done only in case of professional activity or if you dive at least 200 times a year.

II/ How about your wet suit

Equipment that you would be wise in investing are that of the fins and mask, as well as a decent scuba wetsuit. The scuba wetsuit can afford you the opportunity of staying in the water a little longer, as well as diving in colder water regions that you would have not ventured into, had you not invested in a scuba wetsuit. The scuba wetsuit is available in various sizes and designs, from the shorty wetsuit to the full steamer suits, which cover the entire body. The thickness of the wetsuit is relevant in terms of how cold the water is that you will be frequently diving in. It is necessary to get a good fitting scuba wetsuit to allow the item to function correctly when you go scuba diving.

Extensions of the scuba wetsuit include the neoprene hoods and booties, which provide a good source of insulation for the whole body, which is ideal in very cold water conditions. Therefore the mere fact that you will be visiting or going on holiday in a colder water region does not mean that you will have to give up your scuba diving passion. It is vital that you follow the care instructions of your scuba wetsuit and accessories, as the salt water and sand that may get into these items can cause the neoprene and other materials to perish before they should, hence a good rinse in freshwater after a dive is highly recommended before anything else.

The scuba wetsuit, and other personal items are a valid and necessary purchase for those wishing to pursue scuba diving on a regular and consistent basis, as these items will enhance the experience as well as add functionality in terms of protection and insulation.

III/ Then your scuba fins...

Choosing the proper scuba fins can save energy, air and unnecessary hassle. The right pair can feel like natural appendages, powerfully propelling you forward with each little thrust.

The most important consideration is fit. Then you'll want to contemplate design. Don't get caught up on brand names or price. Make the investment that will work for you.
Cold water divers will want adjustable strap scuba fins, so they can wear warming booties underneath. Coral divers and deep sea excavators need the adjustable strap model for its great propulsion and foot protection.
However, some people complain that the straps can break easily and the less-expensive full-footed fins are designed for warm water surface swimmers.
Thanks to recent innovation, some paddle fins come with self-adjusting blades. At the highest end, the Mares Volo scuba fins have received awards for its patented Optimized Pivoting Blade technology.

The Mares Volo design puts the blade at the best position on both upward and downward strokes, allowing for optimal propulsion. Experienced divers also recommend Apollo brand scuba fins , which are the only fins to score perfect in the Rodale Magazine evaluation.
Comparable lower-end options include the Dacor or Tusa brand, full-foot, OPB models or the more advanced adjustable strap OPB models.
The split fin design is practical for adventurers who are prone to leg cramps and who are willing to spend a little extra for the added comfort provided by their scuba fins.
Because of its unusual shape and the empty space down the center of the blade, water is propelled behind the diver, adding increased efficiency. The Apollo Bio-Fin Pro or Sherwood split fins rank high for maneuverability and speed.
However, photographers and cave divers won't care for them, as they aren't recommended for hovering, fighting currents, back-pedaling or frog-kicking.
A second option, well-suited for tourist swimmers, are the comfortable and marine-life safe polyurethane force fins. Force fins are very comfortable for surface divers but aren't recommended for wreck diving or dry suit diving.
The Original Force Fin designed by Bob Evans received high praise from the US Navy for its functionality and toes-free foot pocket that reduces cramping.
A third design offers Power Enhancing Vents that are said to reduce the stress on the diver's legs and slightly accelerate the kick by allowing water to pass through slits and over the fin blades. Aeris Velocity has them.
A more obvious consideration for scuba fins is length. Current divers, competitive underwater hockey players and fitness swimmers often like the longer blades like Aqualung, which has won "the best paddle fin" award.
Cave divers love the massive, powerful Scuba Pro Jets for their comfort and short length that's good for navigating cramped spaces.
To summarize, cave and wreck divers will want scuba fins that are short, with adjustable heel straps. Tourist swimmers should look into force fins or fins with power enhancing vents.
Divers in heavy currents will want sturdy, longer blades. If there's one place to spend, it's on comfortable scuba fins. Choosing the right pair could save you 40% in air supply refills and your body will thank you later


IV/ ... and the BCD...

When a diver wants to buy a scuba diving BCD, they have usually only used a set of school diving equipment, and don't really know the options available. The first question most people ask when faced with a shelf full of BCDs is 'What is the difference' or more to the point 'What am I paying for?' - in this article I will explain most of the common features found on current scuba diving BCDs and who they're aimed at.

First of all I should explain that most jacket style diving BCDs are largely the same - the main difference is usually whether they have an integrated weights system or how heavy/feature packed they are.

How does the Scuba Diving BCD fit?

This is the SINGLE most important factor to consider when buying a BCD. The most feature packed BCD, with the most rave reviews in the dive magazines is useless if it is uncomfortable. For this reason always try on a BCD before you buy it. You should consider:

1) How does the cut of the BCD feel - does it cut in under your armpits or is there plenty of room? For ladies, consider a special ladies jackets.

2) Can you get in the pockets? A lot of BCDs have ridiculously inaccessible pockets that are basically useless!

3) How does the BCD feel when fully blown up? The BCD must feel fine when fully inflated otherwise you will feel the discomfort when at the surface.

4) Does it drag when you put a tank on it? If possible, get your dive centre to put the tank on your BCD and let you see how it feels - now would be a good time to play with the tank buckle as some are better than others.

Air Release Valves

Scuba BCD´s usually have three release valves plus another one next to the inflator valve. One is positioned on the lower back usually on the right hand side, the other on the top right hand side and the third on the top left hand side and this one you can pull with your inflator valve hose.

How much lift does the Scuba Diving BCD offer?

A surprisingly common question is whether a BCD will offer enough lift - do not worry about this - all modern BCDs will offer you plenty of lift, the fit of the BCD is much more important. If you really want a number to gauge, around 10-15kg of lift is enough for all basic recreational scuba diving.


Rings in the shape of a “D” are excellent to clip on extra gear. Make sure your BCD has at least two of them. You can always add more on if necessary.

Integrated Weights

The idea behind integrated weights is to take some of the pressure off your hips and back, and spread the weight about a bit more. When you first start out you generally use more weight than you need, and might not be sure about integrated weight systems. Luckily most BCDs allow you to either use or not use the weights as you see fit; you can just leave them out if you like.

If you have the money, and have decided upon a jacket style BCD, its best to get one with the option of integrated weights. Typically you can put up to 5kg in each weight pocket.

One point to make is that putting all your weight in your BCD is NOT recommended, as this means you can't dump it all quickly in an emergency like you could with a weight belt.

Weight of the Scuba Diving BCD

The weight of the BCD can be a very important factor especially if you plan to travel or not. On scuba diving mainly in Europe, go for a sturdy and rugged BCD which can stand up to the typical European diving conditions. If you plan on scuba diving like in Asia then go for the lightweight option - don't try and go for an in between scuba diving BCD, it won't be totally suitable for both, and will cost you in airport fees.

So to sum it up, when buying a scuba diving BCD, choose one that fits even when fully inflated with a tank on, and if you can afford it get one with the option of integrated weights so you leave your options open. If in doubt, keep it simple!

V/ ...the first stage...


The first thought when shopping for a scuba regulator is to decide where you will be doing most of your diving. Will it be in warm water destinations, or areas where the water can be cooler or even cold. Will the regulator be used in both cold and warm water?

Next, decide on a budget. There are many manufacturers and all of them have various price ranges, based on the features and benefits of each model as well as what conditions are best for each model. Think in terms of how long you plan to keep diving.

Most of the major manufacturers have replacement parts available for regulators that are well over 20 years old. Also, remember that this is life support equipment!

Various types of regulators

The simplest and the type that has been around the longest is the piston regulator. This type of first stage (the part that connects to the scuba tank) has fewer moving parts and has simpler maintenance requirements. Another advantage of a piston first stage is it's high air flow. Typically piston regulators can generate higher air flows than other types of first stages, but this comes with a price. Piston first stages are not as reliable in colder water than other styles, but some manufacturers have incorporated various devices and technology to help prevent regulator malfunction in these conditions.

The next style of first stage is called the diaphragm style. Diaphragm first stages are the best for cold water, silty conditions, or even for salt water, as the moving parts are protected by a diaphragm. These regulators have more moving parts and can require a bit more maintenance due to their complex designs, but the reliability overrides this concern.

Some diaphragm first stages also incorporate what is known as "environmental sealing". This technology uses a second diaphragm on the first stage to give extra protection against very cold

water and under ice diving conditions. Many divers choose environmentally sealed first stages due to the fact they can be used in any type of diving circumstance.

First stages also fall into two categories of "balanced" and "unbalanced". Balanced first stages will deliver the same flow of air, no matter what the tank pressure is, while unbalanced first stages will allow less air to flow as tank pressure drops.

Unbalanced first stages are usually at the lower end of the price spectrum.

The first stage has a number of ports. Some of them are high pressure ports that connect to the pressure gauge or dive computer. Those ports require special high pressure hoses and have a different thread than the low pressure ports. Low pressure ports connect to low pressure items: the second stage with the mouthpiece, an alternate breathing source, a hose for inflating the BC or dry suit, and perhaps an blower or a hose to power tools.

First stages also differ in the number of low pressure ports and the type of valve they connect to (A-clamp "yoke" or DIN fitting, or both). The more ports, the more hoses can be connected, and the easier it is to connect at just the right angle. The first stage shown above to the left uses a yoke design.

VI/ ...and finally the 2 second stages...

Most second stages can be grouped into two major types: balanced and unbalanced.

The lever that opens the valve upon inhalation is controlled by a spring inside the second stage. In unbalanced (some refer to this type as a "mechanical") second stages, the spring is rather stiff. The advantage of this is that the second stage is less likely to flow a lot of air in "free-flow" conditions; in other words, the second stage is less likely to malfunction. The downside to an unbalanced second stage is that the air flow is reduced, consequently not as easy from which to breathe.

On balanced second stages, the spring used is of a lighter construction, with air balancing or counteracting the spring tension, thus making these second stages extremely easy from which to breathe. These tend to be on the high end of the price range.

Other features on many second stages include venturi assist levers, which control the direction of airflow. Sometimes these are referred to as "free flow" controls. The function of these levers is to direct the flow of air through the mouthpiece in a straight line (easiest air flow) or slightly interrupted (less likely to flow air continuously). Another feature on higher-end second stages is an adjustment knob, which controls the trigger of the regulator.

These have some benefits, in that the user can control how easy the second stage breathes. In deeper dives, the control is opened for maximum air flow, while diving into currents requires the control to be slightly reduced so the second stage does not waste air.

Maintenance is an important issue. Remember, we are dealing with life support gear. Many manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their regulators, provided the original purchaser brings the regulator in for service to an authorized dealer at least once per year. The dealer will inspect and clean the regulator and replace any parts needed to keep the system in top condition, and adjusts it to factory specifications.

To sum it up here are important points to keep in mind:

* Ergonomic design and easy to hold. It is important to try the mouth piece.

* A purge button which is easily pressed even when wearing 6mm neoprene gloves

* External controls which let you make fine adjustments to air flow

* Non-corroding metals like titanium or chromed brass

* Diaphragm vs. piston mechanics. Many divers prefer diaphragm regulators for its smooth movement and its moving parts are less

* Balanced vs. unbalanced regulators. Almost all regulators are balanced. Do not buy an unbalanced regulator.

* Always buy new. Do not pick up a cheap second-hand regulator; it may be faulty or reconditioned

* Look for a lifetime warranty

* Swivel joints on the second stage offer improved ease of movement

* Hose should be soft and flexible

* For the octopus preferably use colorful hose, bigger diameter.


VII/ ... but dont forget the mask !

The right scuba mask can make or break a dive. It is hard to enjoy a dive if your mask is constantly leaking or fogging.

Scuba Diving Mask Types


Single Lens Scuba mask

– Remember the old 007 movies where Bond was fighting the villain underwater and the type of masks they wore? Those rounded oval masks are single lens. They are nowadays much more stylish and squarer on the sides to give you a wider angle of vision.


Double Lens Scuba mask

– Same as above only the lens is divided in the middle just above your nose, so you have two lenses. They are most common type of scuba masks found in the market nowadays.


Multiple Lens Scuba Mask

– There are many diving masks styles with multiple lenses on the market. This style of lens could be just like a single or double lens type described above but in addition either it could have small lenses on the sides of the mask to help your peripheral vision and or smaller lenses on the bottom to help you visually locate your scuba gear on your BC.


Scuba Masks with Purges

– All the scuba masks mentioned above can come supplied with or without a purge. A purge is a one-way valve that lets you clear water by exhaling into the mask. Purges can come on the bottom of the nose or on the side of your scuba mask. This last one to clear the water away, you will have to tilt your head to the side where the purge is and exhale. I have never had one of these, but some diving buddies have told me that sometimes the purge can block and even some have problems equalizing the pressure while on deeper dives.


Integral or Full Face Scuba Mask

– These masks cover the whole face of the diver. They are mostly used by professional divers or when for some reason verbal communication is necessary and these masks can easily be fitted with that device.


Tips for choosing the Right One

Following along the lines of which type of scuba mask you should choose as mentioned above, you have to consider as well with each and every scuba mask you try, which one gives you a better field of vision.

Nose fitting is important, not too tight not too loose. Pay extra attention to the fitting and comfort on the top part of your nose. This is where a lot of people fail when buying a mask and then find out after their first dive that the bridge of their nose is a bit sore.

There is various quality degrees of silicone used on masks skirts. On the more expensive masks you can notice the silicone skirt more flexible, softer and “gluey” as you try it on your face.

Pending on your scuba mask buying decision, a double strap can be bought separately for your mask if it comes only with a single strap. Double straps are more comfortable on your head and hold your mask better.



To make it short in few points :


* Wide field of vision to permit you with greater visibility underwater

* Good seal and comfortable skirting with a close fit against your face

* Tempered Glass lenses - These types of masks provide additional safety for the fact that if they were to break, the glass is less likely to shatter in fine small pieces

* Nose pockets enabling you to equalize during descents

* Low profile mask which enables easier equalizing due to the lesser volume of trapped air

* An adjustable strap which can easily be locked in place. (Note that some cheap masks have straps which are fused to it. Should the strap tear, the mask will be rendered useless).

VIII/ Consideration on computers
Serious scuba diving entails more than just the basic gears of the beginner diver. The diver needs more than just his set of mask, fins, regulator, oxygen tank, and wet suit to ensure the diver’s safety.

For external data that the diver should know, the assistance of a diving computer is essential. The diving computer provides information on the amount of time needed for decompression and even the depth of the dive itself. It also gauges data such as the levels of nitrogen content in the bloodstream, or decompression sickness that could be fatal to the diver’s life.

It would be wise to compare brands of diving computers before actually making a purchase. Aside from considering factors such as cost, quality and accuracy of the machine should also be weighed out. One effective way of doing this would be to search for reviews of the products and gather consensus of those who have bought and used it in their dives.

After buying one’s personal choice it would be prudent to study and understand the features and commands of the equipment. It should be known by heart, in the same way that a beginner is trained to deal with various situations that can happen to him under water. To get used to operating the product, it would be advisable to use its functions little be little in short-term expeditions.

Various unforeseen accidents can occur to a diver, especially when he is underwater. One trick is not to panic and to remain calm. Fear is a diver’s greatest enemy since it can blur out good judgment and training. Besides, another aspect that should be checked from time to time is the relaxed breathing of the diver. Panic can cause hyperventilation or worse, rapid ascent towards the surface can cause bubbles to form in the body’s tissues that could cause lack of sensation, immobility, or death.

Happy bubbles.