Scuba Gear: 10 Dive Shop Essentials
Scuba gear should be durable, comfortable, and healthy. Whether you're to stock your dive shop with American-made scuba diving equipment or stocking up for your next underwater adventure, high-quality at competitive pricing is key. Silicone Gear is proud to offer premium medical-grade gear at factory-direct prices, designed and produced in our ISO certified facility in Maine, USA.
Scuba diving lets you explore deep underwater worlds ranging from the Great Barrier reef to the Red Sea. But to have a safe and non-stressful experience, you need the best gear—that means made in the USA from medical-grade silicone.
Do not go diving without a scuba certification. The following information is intended for educational purposes.
Scuba Gear: 10 Essential Pieces of Scuba Equipment
What scuba diving equipment do you need, exactly? If you're a dive shop, you can answer this already: Check out our wholesale section for bulk orders and factory-direct pricing. For individuals, know that safely diving requires more than a scuba certification: you need access to a whole lot of high-quality gear, including the following key items.
Iconic to scuba diving, a tank is a cylinder filled with high-pressure gas that allows someone to breathe while underwater. It's hard to miss—and absolutely key to exploring deep underwater. By contrast, snorkeling can be done without a tank or a lot of these accessories.
For a safe experience, a tank requires a tank strap, designed to secure scuba equipment such as hoses or other necessities. The best tank strap is compatible with standard or side-mounted tank models and is available in a variety of sizes. It should also be made from medical-grade silicone for durability and easy use: No one wants to be fumbling with their scuba gear while on a dive. It's also a great, lightweight material.
Scuba Diving Mask
Another crucial (and iconic) piece of scuba diving equipment is the mask. There are different mask styles, such as full-face or those that only cover the eyes and nose. Determining which is best for you may be a matter of personal choice. The best mask or other accessory is hypoallergenic, wear-resistant and strong.
Though some argue that snorkels are not necessary scuba gear for technical divers, others emphasize that for people who dive recreationally, they're really important. Choosing whether or not you use one should be determined with the help of a dive shop or instructor and is a matter of personal choice, though always keep safety first.
For example, shore divers who may have to swim for a distance prefer to have a snorkel. It's also a great way to explore and understand your visibility if using a dive boat.
Regulator Mouthpiece: Essential Scuba Gear
Regulator mouthpiece comfort and quality are crucial for recreational and technical divers alike. When it comes to comfort, you want a mouthpiece that won't lead to jaw fatigue or soreness. Not only does this impact your scuba diving experience, but it may also affect air use and safety.
It is also crucial that this essential piece of scuba gear be made from hypoallergenic, soft yet durable silicone. The best way to know that your mouthpiece is of great, medical quality is to shop with an American manufacturer like Silicone Gear.
Size-wise, you typically have three options for a regulator mouthpiece:
- A standard mouthpiece may be ideal for most people—making it a great option for dive shops.
- Have a larger mouth? a Longbite Mouthpiece may be much more comfortable. These are a favorite among some divers.
- Kids' mouthpieces should also be an option as an adult mouthpiece will almost certainly be too large.
No matter what size regulator mouthpiece you choose, remember to consider quality, comfort, and health.
Now that you have your regulator mouthpiece, it's crucial that you don't lose it. It's also a great reason to carry another with your Octo Strap, Otherwise known as a second regulator strap, our Octo Straps are made from healthcare grade silicone rubber designed for long elongation. Diving in cold water? The Silicone Gear octo strap will remain flexible, a crucial safety feature.
Octo Necklace & Regulator
Attached to your mouthpiece is your regulator, another crucial piece of scuba equipment. A diving regulator is designed to reduce the pressure of the gas held in the tank. This allows the diver to breathe highly pressurized gas that they wouldn't otherwise be able to.
A big part of scuba diving is preparation in case of an emergency. With that in mind, many technical and cave divers use our Octo Necklace to fasten their primary or secondary regulator. A secondary regulator is a key safety feature that allows you to assist your diving buddy in an emergency.
You want your Octo Necklace to be made from medical-grade silicone engineered for cold water flexibility. That's why we never use vinyl elastomers or questionable mixed silicone products, only medical-grade materials. Silicone Gear is a longtime favorite in the diving community because of our emphasis on quality and transparency in our processes.
Drysuit or Wetsuit
Every diver needs a drysuit or a wetsuit, but what is the difference between the two? It all comes down to heat loss. Drysuits are preferable in cold water locations whereas wetsuits are customary in warmer water. In simple terms, drysuits are designed to keep your warm whereas wet suits are not: they only have a layer of neoprene and a thin layer of water against the skin, whereas dry suits contain elements designed for insulation.
Choosing between these generally comes down to where you are diving and how much you're willing to spend. Though you can find dry suits for much lower prices than previously, they require more upkeep than a wetsuit.
Fins are another type of diving gear that affects your comfort level and the ease with which you move around underwater. There are two main types of fins: split vs. padded.
- Padded fins function as a paddle, meaning that they're one solid piece that allows you to kick underwater.
- Split fins are exactly that: Their split design allows for an easier, lower energy kick but you will typically move at a slower speed compared to with a padded fin, the industry standard.
Some fins have an open heel, while others have a full foot design. Again, which type of scuba gear works best for you may depend on preference and water temperature: a full foot design is great for cold water scuba diving.
Scuba Gear: Dive Knife
A knife is a key thing to bring on any dive. Whether cutting yourself free from a sticky situation or exploring a deep-sea wreck, it's crucial to have a knife—specifically a dive shop knife—with you. There are sharp tip and blunt options, ones made from titanium and others made from stainless steel. Typically, they range between five and two inches long and size is a matter of preference.
Keep in mind that serrated edges are ideal for cutting through a rope. Need to cut through a fishing line? A sharp straight edge may be best.
Otherwise known as a decompression meter, a dive computer is an essential tool. It may help you calculate:
- How long your dive is
- How deep underwater you are
- Your decompression profile
If a diver ascends too quickly, they are at risk for decompression sickness. Also known as the bends, Decompression Sickness may result in the formation of small bubbles of gas within the body's tissues. It may have longterm impacts such as muscle pain, nausea, and paralysis. Death may occur in extreme cases.
Other Scuba Gear
These are far from the only types of scuba equipment necessary for a safe and relaxing underwater adventure. Other important gear to bring with you include:
- Scuba gloves
- Buoyancy compensator
- Mask defogger
- Dive light
- Underwater camera
- Submersible pressure gauge
- Depth Gauge
Online Dive Shop Guide: How to Spot Quality Diving Equipment
What should you look for when choosing the gear for your next adventure? In addition to being certified to dive, you should consider quality above all else. That means choosing brands that have ample experience producing dive gear—and those that are conscious of the wear and tear associated with diving.
Silicone Gear has designed and manufactured quality scuba equipment for two decades. Our gear is produced from medical-grade silicone designed for flexibility in cold, deep water. It is also hypoallergenic and biocompatible, unlike lower-quality materials. All of our products are manufactured in Maine, USA.