Aquanauts FAQ: Do I Really Need A Dive Computer?

September 06, 2022 3 min read

Aquanauts FAQ: Do I Really Need A Dive Computer?

When you’re looking to buy scuba diving kit, you’re likely to come across a lot of gear, making it hard to know what to prioritise. However, one piece of equipment that is absolutely essential to buy is a dive computer. This is now a standard piece of safety equipment for all divers, and one that has some pretty cool perks too!

What Does A Dive Computer Do?

A dive computer is usually worn on the wrist, just like a regular sports watch and is designed to provide you with vital information like depth, dive time, no decompression limits and ascent rates. The computer records your previous dive details and applies it to a decompression model in order to track the dissolved nitrogen levels in your body during a dive. This provides you with your no decompression limit, and enables you to plan your next dives, depending how long and how deep you have been diving. Your computer will also automatically count down your safety stop for you and, should you need it, tell you how deep and for how long to complete emergency decompression stops. Replacing the old method of using manual dive tables with a much more accurate representation of your dive profile, a scuba diving computer is one of the most useful  pieces of safety equipment that you can own.

Scubapro Aladin dive watch on a white background

Key Features Of Dive Computers

There is a huge range of dive computers available, all at different price points and with their own unique features. However, with any scuba diving computer, you can expect to find the following core features:

  • Current depth
  • Maximum depth and bottom time
  • Current time and temperature
  • Ascent rates
  • Nitrox mix
  • No stop limits/ no stop time remaining
  • Previous dive information

Depending on the level of dive computer you invest in, you can also find a number of additional really cool features, such as:

  • Detailed air and gas mixture information
  • Heart rate monitor
  • CNS tracking
  • Customised alerts
  • Various colour screen and display options 

The Importance Of Having Your Own Dive Computer

Owning your own scuba diving computer rather than renting one will significantly enhance your safety and comfort when diving. For one thing, you’ll be able to choose a computer with display options that you find easiest to read, and a design that you find most comfortable to wear. A classic choice for an affordable and accessible computer for recreational diving is the Suunto Zoop. All the relevant information is readable at a glance on a large, bright screen, and finding pre and post – dive information is simple with clear categories in the menu. Although simple, the computer has full decompression capabilities and is nitrox-capable. For technical divers seeking multiple dive modes, an excellent choice is the Shearwater Perdix 2. Capable of connecting to up to four transmitters, the Perdix 2 is ideal for advanced and technical diving. Its aluminosilicate glass screen makes it robust and reliable and it has a high resolution, easy to read display. There are many more brands and models to choose from – just remember that the first thing to do with any dive computer is read the manual! 

Suunto Zoop dive computer on a white background

How To Choose The Right Dive Computer

There are a lot of dive computers out there. So, in order to ensure you’re choosing the perfect fit for your requirements, it’s important to consider the following key questions:

What type of diving do you do? Do you need any special features on your computer?

Can you clearly read the data with your mask on?

Is the display easily readable to you? Do you prefer numbers, graphics or charts?

Can you easily & quickly access the real-time information you need?

Is the computer comfortable & does it fit well with your other kit?

If you’re not sure which dive computer is best suited to your requirements, our experienced team of divers at Aquanauts can help point you in the right direction. If you live locally in the Plymouth area, feel free to pop into the Aquanauts shop where you’ll be able to browse our range of dive computers. Alternatively, spend some time browsing our selection online, and if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or drop us a message.

Lizzie Chapman
Lizzie Chapman



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