Using the right dive equipment is the key to comfort underwater. These six inexpensive products can help you avoid blisters, tangled hair and other common diving discomforts.
When your fin or fin straps rub against your foot, it can cause blisters and raw spots – even if you wear dive boots. Many scuba divers discover this the hard way during their first liveaboard or multi-day dive trip. Scuba socks are an inexpensive and stylish way to protect your feet.
Ask any diver who’s made the switch from clips to spring straps, they’re great. Whether you shore dive or boat dive, spring straps make getting your fins on and off easier and faster than the traditional clip straps. Some divers also say they’re more comfortable.
It’s easy to get chilly after multiple dives, even in tropical water. A beanie cap will help you stay warm and, for divers with longer locks, keeps hair out of your eyes. Beanie caps attach with a velcro chin strap so are easier to get on and off compared to a hood; there are also a lot of fun styles to choose from.
Bulb Syringe for Post-Dive Ear Cleaning
Despite the unsettling name, a bulb syringe is the gentler, safer way to clean and dry your ears when you’re done diving for the day. Squirting a mixture of half white vinegar and half rubbing alcohol into your ear using the bulb syringe will clean and dry your ear canal. It also changes the pH balance which prevents bacterial infections such as swimmer’s ear.
The experts at Divers Alert Network (DAN) recommend the method above versus using cotton-tipped swabs. In a DAN article about aural hygiene, Dr. Cameron A. Gillespie, notes, “I have often found the ends from cotton tip applicators in patients’ ear canals, the tip having separated from the shaft without the person knowing it. In a few days, this usually results in a severe ear canal infection; the cotton retains moisture and bacteria grow between the fibers.”
A mask strap, also known as a slap strap, keeps hair from getting painfully entangled. It’s also a fun way to show off your style. Get one to show your support for your local dive shop or as a souvenir from your favorite diving destination.
Flexible Snorkel Keeper
Most masks come with a hard plastic snorkel holster. They’re a magnet for long hair, and some hold onto your snorkel a little too well. An inexpensive, figure 8-shaped snorkel keeper can help simplify snorkel removal and prevent hair breakage. Read more ways to manage hair when scuba diving.
Nearly all the items above can be purchased at your PADI® Dive Center or Resort. They may also have suggestions specific to the dive conditions in your area. Support your local dive shop!