Did you know that artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci designed scuba gear way back in the 16th century? It featured a suit and face mask made of pigskin, goggles, hollow breathing tubes made from cane and reinforced with steel, and even a special pouch to contain the diver’s urine.Never mind the fact that it looked like H.P. Lovecraft’s creepypasta fever dream. Needless to say, today’s scuba gear is a lot more advanced than anything da Vinci could have imagined. If you’re serious about this sport, it’s important to keep your gear in the best possible condition. Read on to learn the five most important ways to care for your scuba stuff and keep it looking and functioning its best!
1. Rinse Your Gear Thoroughly
You might think that this tip only applies if you are a saltwater diver. In fact, it applies to you fresh water fans, too. Rinse your gear thoroughly after each and every dive. Why? Well, it does prevent salt crystals from building up if you’ve been diving in the sea. But it also removes dirt, contaminants — think microorganisms, stinging coral or jellyfish particles — and just general gunk. Keeping it clean will help extend your gear’s life.
2. Next, Take Steps to Dry It
If possible, hang your scuba gear up to dry thoroughly before using it again. This can be difficult if you’re an instructor or if you simply go on a lot of dives. It’s important to do the best job you can, though.Damp gear, especially if it’s stored before being completely dried, can lead to damage. Equally importantly, it can lead to your skin getting infected or irritated.
3. Give Your Scuba Gear a Once Over
After each use, inspect everything closely to check for dirt, sand, salt crystals, seaweed or other aquatic life. Pay particular attention to buckles, buttons, and any other moving part. Stuff can get stuck in your diving gear, and stuck stuff could potentially lead to a malfunction. Of course, that’s the last thing you want.
4. A Regular Cleaning Is a Good Idea
Clean your gear to prevent wear-and-tear, bacteria build-up, odors, and other issues. You will need to do this every week if you dive frequently, or after each scuba vacation or other period of heavy diving if you don’t get into the water as often as you’d like. You can use commercial wetsuit cleaner, or use a mild detergent. Baby shampoo works well to clean your mask and leaves it smelling sweet, too. And while silicone conditioner is optional for your fins — all they need is a thorough dunk in fresh water — there’s no harm in spraying some on.
5. Store It with Care
Storing your gear properly is essential, especially if it will be a while before you get back to it. Don’t stand your fins on their blade ends, or bend the blades while packing the fins away. Either save the plastic inserts from the foot pockets to hold their shape during storage, or use socks or wadded newspaper. Be careful not to mash or squash your mask. As for your wetsuit, it’s best to hang it on a wide, padded hanger. If it needs to go in a bag or storage bin, roll rather than fold it.
It doesn’t take a lot of time, effort, or money to keep your scuba gear in tip-top shape. A few simple steps will help protect your investment, and make sure you’re ready to dive at a moment’s notice! Do you want to take your scuba diving to the next level? Check out the courses we offer! If you are looking to so some local diving or just want to improve your scuba education, get in touch with us.