Why is it important to have the right size gear?
There is nothing better than finding that perfect wetsuit, BCD or mask, that fits you just perfectly. It becomes one with you as you dive and it makes your dive experience sooooo much better.
So often people dive in gear that is too big or just the wrong shape for their body and then they struggle to maintain body position in the water or they get cold or their mask leaks and this then makes the whole dive unenjoyable, and even worse it can put someone off diving altogether!!!!
Everyone is different and what is amazing for one person is a nightmare for someone else, so here is a very QUICK rundown on some basic gear and how it should fit and why. There are so many options these day so it is always best to stop in for a chat at your local dive centre and get some free advice.
Mask - Should seal on your face properly, make sure its not pushing too hard on your face and creating pressure spots, over time this will be uncomfortable. The strap should not be pulled too tight to make a fit. Spend time trying on different ones and feel the difference between them. A mask that leaks or becomes uncomfortable after awhile will take the fun out of your dive.
Fins - Get the right size. When in the shop put on a bootie and try the fins on. Make sure with the open heel fins that the bottom of the foot pocket sits back to your heel, if they are too small and sit near the arch of your foot you are going to get foot cramping and if they are too big they will slop around and make it hard to control yourself in the water and I have found it can give you sore ankles too.
Wetsuit- If you have never worn a wetsuit before it can be all too easy to buy a size too big. Wetsuits should fit snugly over your whole body, no baggy areas. If your wetsuit is to big or not right for your shape it will not do it's job of keeping you warm. Look for one with good stretch as it will help get a better fit and be comfortable too. Also buy one that is the correct thickness for the diving you will be doing. You can dive happily and warmly year round with the right suit and accessories.
BCD - All too often I see people diving with a BCD that is too big, it makes keeping good position and maintain good buoyancy in the water very difficult as the tank slops around on the back and then on the surface the shoulder straps are up by their ears and the BCD pushes them forward into the water. Use the manufactures size guides and be sure to try it on. If it only fits when the straps are tightened up to there limit then you need a smaller size.
There is so much more I could talk about but this should give you a good start in getting the right gear for you. Don't let poor quality and poor fitting gear ruin your diving.