Heads up divers! The traditional scuba season starts in March (even though we at DiveMania Scuba dive all year round) and now is a good time to check your kit for wear and tear to make sure it’s fit for the new season.
What can you do?
Drysuits - check overall condition of the suit but pay extra attention to the seals around the neck, wrists and boots for obvious tears and breaks in the seal that may turn it into a wetsuit. If you have any doubts about the integrity of the seals of inflators, bring them along to the pool and try it in a controlled environment first. A single session at our pool is £15 so its great value to join our club and there are lots of other benefits too, check out what membership includes here.
Regs - An annual service is a must, remember this is your life support equipment, talk to us and we can arrange this for you with our service partners and also remember if you're an active PADI professional here in the UK, it’s a requirement under HSE rules that your kit is serviced.
Cylinders - Visually check the outside of the cylinder for rust or unusual dents and marks. You should also remove the boot and also submit for a hydrostatic or visual inspection if required in line with the markings or sticker on the cylinder. A service may take a few weeks especially when everyone is undergoing pre-season preparation so plan ahead and it will be ready when you need it. We can also arrange testing for you so just ask us for details.
Training review - take a look at what you want to achieve this year in your dive education and learn something new relevant to what you are doing this year, if you're going to be diving regularly then maybe consider the Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty. This is certainly one to consider if you are planning on going on a holiday where multiple dives over a specified period are planned, such as a live aboard. Another great specialty to do in the winter is the Equipment Specialty, a dry course that will improve your basic understanding of your kit and how to look after it. Both these courses are being run as part of our Winter Warmer Offer where you can get 5 dry specialties for only £349
What about that life saving skill of Emergency First Response (EFR) and Emergency Oxygen Provider courses that give you a qualification in first aid and confidence for you to deal with scuba and other emergencies. EFR is a required course if you are planning on becoming a Rescue Diver.
As mentioned above, if you're taking a trip with us on a live aboard why not look to qualify In the Enriched Air (Nitrox) course to extend your bottom time and see more when you're blowing bubbles.
A handy hint for those who received a dive computer from Scuba Claus, or want to purchase one from the DiveMania Scuba Shack is to make a digital copy of the user manual and keep in a file on your phone. It saves you keeping the manual with you and when you're out and about diving and need some help with your computer you can avoid the unhelpful RTFM! answer (not that you'd hear that from us at DiveMania). Anything you're then not sure of appearing on your computer you can quickly check to see what those codes mean or how to change settings when you switch from Air to Enriched Air. A really simple computer to use is the Deepblu Cosmiq+, I personally use one of these and think they're great, check them out in our shop here or ask me about them at a pool session.
If you require a kit service, new kit or advice just ask and we can quote, advise or help out with your scuba questions.
Next blog from me will be about essential scuba tools and save a dive kit.
Happy New year and I look forward to diving with you soon. Thanks for taking the time to read this if you got this far.