Dive Computer

Selecting the Right Dive Computer

David Mansfield

When it comes to scuba diving, safety should always be the top priority. One essential tool that every diver should have is a dive computer. But with so many options available in the market, how do you choose the right one for you? In this blog post, we will explore the current dive computers in the market, discuss the importance of dive computers in dealing with nitrogen narcosis, and explain why a dive computer is a better option than the recreational dive planner.

What are Dive Computers and Why are They Important?

Dive computers are electronic devices that track and display important information during a dive, such as depth, time, and decompression limits. They help divers avoid decompression sickness by calculating the amount of nitrogen absorbed by the body and providing real-time data to ensure safe ascent rates. Unlike traditional dive tables or the recreational dive planner, dive computers offer personalized and accurate information based on the diver's profile and actual dive conditions. They take into account factors such as depth, time, and previous dives to provide precise dive profiles and decompression limits.

Current Dive Computers in the Market

The dive computer market offers a wide range of options to suit every diver's needs and preferences. From entry-level models to advanced technical dive computers, there is something for everyone.

Let's take a look at a few examples:

1. Shearwater 2 Perdix AI: This highly regarded dive computer offers advanced features such as air integration, multiple gas capability, and a user-friendly interface. It is suitable for both recreational and technical divers.

Shearwater Perdix AI

2. Suunto D5: With its sleek design and intuitive menu navigation, the Suunto D5 is a popular choice among recreational divers. It offers customizable features, such as vibration alerts and dive modes for different activities.

Suunto D5

3. Garmin Descent Mk2i: This dive computer stands out with its built-in GPS, surface GPS tracking, and smartwatch capabilities. It is a versatile option for divers who enjoy both underwater exploration and outdoor activities.

Garmin Descent MK2i

Dealing with Nitrogen Narcosis: Why Dive Computers are Essential

Nitrogen narcosis, also known as "the rapture of the deep," is a condition that affects divers at certain depths. It can cause impaired judgment, euphoria, and even hallucinations, posing a significant risk to divers' safety. Dive computers play a crucial role in managing nitrogen narcosis by providing real-time information on depth and dive time. They help divers stay within safe limits and avoid the potentially dangerous effects of nitrogen narcosis.

Why Dive Computers are Better than the Recreational Dive Planner

The recreational dive planner (RDP) is a set of tables that divers traditionally used to plan their dives and calculate their decompression limits. While the RDP is still a valid tool, dive computers offer several advantages over this manual method:

1. Accuracy: Dive computers provide real-time data based on the actual dive conditions and the diver's profile, resulting in more accurate and personalized information.

2. Convenience: Dive computers eliminate the need for manual calculations and allow divers to focus on their underwater experience. They provide instant feedback and warnings, making it easier to stay within safe limits.

3. Flexibility: Unlike the RDP, dive computers can adapt to changes in dive plans or unexpected situations. They continuously monitor the dive and adjust decompression calculations accordingly.

Choosing the right dive computer is a personal decision that depends on your diving goals, experience level, and budget. It is essential to research and consider factors such as functionality, ease of use, and reliability. By investing in a quality dive computer, you can enhance your safety, enjoy more immersive dives, and make the most of your underwater adventures. 

About the Author:
D.J. Mansfield

D.J. Mansfield is a PADI Course Director who dives Southern California and has done so for 24 years. He is currently the Director of Operations for Beach Cities Scuba and is a committed ocean steward and trainer for divers all over the world. 

Follow him on Instagram @djmansfield7 or contact him at dj@beachcitiescuba.com.   

Did you know Beach Cities Scuba is a 100% AWARE partner? We are committed to supporting our ocean partners and creating a protected environment for sea life that includes responsible fishing practices and minimal human interaction. See how you can get involved today!


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