The basic equipment for a recreational scuba diver is a diving regulator, a depth gauge, and an underwater watch, all attached to the diving cylinder which holds the air or other gas mixture that a diver breathes. Other optional items include gloves, masks, snorkels, and fins.
There are many types of diving equipment, but the two most used for casual scuba diving are the BCD and regulator set. A little about this equipment before we move forward:
Buoyancy Control Device diving equipment,
BCD is an acronym for Buoyancy Control Device, which is a piece of equipment that helps a diver control his buoyancy by inflating or deflating air chambers to achieve neutral buoyancy at any depth. it also gives a diver the ability to do different body positions in water by adjusting some attached parts while underwater. Another function of BCDs is that it provides back protection for divers who wants to go for wreck dives etc..it is important to note here that modern-day BCDs have integrated weights systems on them where you can add or remove weight at your convenience.
BCDs come in different types, from the jacket-type to the back inflate type and even console types where you can attach a console with gauges, compass, lights, etc.. these are generally used by professional divers. In our case here we will stick with “inflate” BCDs since they are more convenient while learning and doing recreational dives.
Regulators help a diver breathe underwater by reducing the high pressure of water (which is about 1400 psi per 10 meters) and delivering it at ambient pressure for safe breath-ability. there are two types of regulators, first, the regular scuba regulator which has a normal demand valve, and 2nd, the semi-closed or computer type regulator that only delivers air when you inhale and blocks it when you don’t (fully automatic). They both have different applications depending on where one wants to use them. For example, military divers will prefer the fully automatic/semi-closed regulators since others may tamper with their equipment while they are sleeping or resting, etc.. but recreational divers would mostly go with the regs that have valves since you can hold them your breath for more than 2 minutes.
in this discussion, we will stick with the regular scuba regulators, but most of the concepts are the same for both types.
Recreational Scuba regulators
Recreational Scuba regulators come in 3 major parts, first is the regulator body which has a submersible pressure gauge that shows how much air one has or how long they can stay underwater(not that accurate though), the second part is the carbon last which is attached to it and regulates airflow depending on what depth you are at. The third part is the mouthpiece where you “breath” through.. they come in different colors too depending on manufacturer, etc.. also some have little light so divers can see them better when driving at night.
O-ring is a vital part of regulators since it ensures that there is no loss in pressure while underwater and hence prevents the diver from blacking out(when at high depths). Most o rings are made up of silicon rubber material which can withstand temperature highly.