An accessory is defined as an item that can be added to something else to in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive. With scuba diving equipment, there are plenty of accessories that add function and convenience to your primary gear, and can add a bit of style too. Visit your PADI Dive Center or Resort to get advice about accessories, but here are some of the more popular items.
Underwater slates and wet books help you communicate and record dive information, such as your depth, time, direction and observations. You use a pencil, that’s attached by a cord, to write on most slates and wet books. However, there are magnetic writing slates that erase with the push of a button. Typically, you choose a slate that fits in your BCD pocket or exposure suit thigh pocket. There are specialized slates for aquatic life identification, navigation, research and mapping, dive planning and underwater photography.
Use gear markers to put your name or initials on your scuba equipment so that you can quickly identify it when diving with others, such as on a full dive boat. Markers or paint come in variety of colors, so you can be subtle or creative with your markings.
Used for securing gauges and accessories, various clips and lanyards come in handy to keep your gear streamlined and to allow you to carry items conveniently. Some clips have retractable lines that keep items close, but let you pull them out for a look without unclipping. When purchasing a new scuba diving kit at your PADI Dive Center or Resort, be sure to get clips to keep everything in place.
Large mesh bags are great for carrying wet gear and small mesh bags are good to have with you while scuba diving. If you come across rubbish you want to take out of the water, it’s handy to stuff it in your mesh bag for disposal topside. Keep one or more mesh bags in your gear bag because you never know when you’ll need it.
Scuba diving equipment is reliable, but some parts will need to be replaced due to wear. Having a spare parts kit, also called a save-a-dive kit, with you makes it easy to take care of minor issues at a dive site. Your kit should have extra fin and mask straps, snorkel-keepers, tank valve o-rings, a regulator mouthpiece, clips and lanyards, silicone lubricant, basic tools and cable ties, etc.
Specific to your regulator, consider adding hose protectors or brightly colored hose wraps to prevent wear. Custom mouthpieces are designed to mold to your bite and add comfort.
Mask straps made from wetsuit material that adjust using Velcro® are very popular because they come in a variety of colors and can have logos, words and other art printed on them. They also reduce hair pulling. Other mask accessories include defog solution and optical aids that attach to the mask lens.
A tank boot helps protect the bottom of your tank and add stability. Tank covers also protect the tank and add a bit of color.
Many divers are replacing their regulator fin straps with adjustable-spring straps. Because the spring automatically adjusts, putting on, taking off and wearing your fins is easier and more comfortable.
Hoods, gloves and boots are accessories you add when wearing a wetsuit or dry suit for additional warmth and protection. These accessories come in a variety of thicknesses and styles to handle different water temperatures. It’s best to purchase these accessories when you select your wetsuit or dry suit in order to get the right style and fit. Wide, durable wetsuit hangers are also a good accessory for properly storing your suit.