Marking Your Dive Gear

Picture this scene:

Photo Source Destination Cayman

Photo Source Destination Cayman

The dive boat has just docked after a two tank dive. You’re getting bumped from every direction as you and the other fifteen divers gather up your gear and prepare to disembark. Your inside-out wetsuit drips from the same support bar where six others just like it hang. Your fins are shoved under the bench along with the guy’s next to you, who also owns blue Hotshots. You’re feeling around in your mesh gear bag where you’re pretty sure you tossed your mask, though the one the guy across from you is holding looks an awful lot like yours…

Sounds familiar, right?

Don’t get all the way to the hotel and realize you have one of your size medium blue Hotshots and one of that other guy’s extra large. Marking your dive gear is a simple way to quickly and easily identify your scuba equipment. Below are creative ways to mark your gear. You’ll find all product information at the bottom of this article.

How to Mark Your Dive Gear

mark your scuba gear

My Hotshots, bought at Dolphin Dive!

Write your initials, your name, or a special symbol on each piece of gear you own. Use Trident U-Mark It, a Sharpie or a permanent paint pen on fins, mask cases, the back of wrist computers, flashlights and camera equipment. Permanent silver markers work well on neoprene wetsuits,  booties, gloves and hoods.

Adhere personalized, waterproof labels to camera equipment, flashlights, fins, log books, and luggage. 3M makes sticker labels specifically for scuba divers and boat enthusiasts.

Attach personalized, waterproof zipper pulls to wetsuit and gear bags.

Wrap regulator hoses with brightly colored, plastic wraps.

Attach military or dogtag style tags to BCs and mesh gear bag zippers. Have them engraved with your name, mailing address and/or phone number so anything accidentally lost or taken can be returned to you. Consider using brightly colored zip ties to attach them to D-rings.

Tie fluorescent-colored nylon string to D-rings on your BC and straps on mask and accessories like flashlights, etc.

Cut narrow strips of lime green, hot pink or orange duct tape (or electricians tape) and thread one strip through each of the zipper pulls of your booties and wetsuit. Press the sticky sides together for a bright and visible marker that will make your stuff easy to find, even in a rinse bin full of black neoprene.

dolphin dive center

Reflective diver identification stickers for your tank, light canister, etc.

To mark your scuba tanks, safety sausages, rebreather, and other larger items, check out DiveSigns.com for reflective diver identification stickers. They are highly visible in the worse of underwater conditions.

DiveSigns.com also sells Stealth Diver Name Stickers. As explained on their website, these are great: “For the diver requiring a more understated name marking. When fitted to a black surface, Dive Signs black-on-black reflective Stealth identification stickers are all but invisible until they are ‘lit’ by torch or sun light. When the light hits the reflective backing the stickers become as clear to read as our regular black on white stickers.”

A Couple Points to Remember

  • Don’t forget to mark your weight pockets too. They are easy to lose in a big rinse tank! Use paint pen, Sharpie marker, or stitch a label onto the fabric.
  • Make re-marking your gear a yearly goal. When you get your gear serviced each year, re-check the marking system you use, go over any faded writing with Sharpie/paint pen, and replace worn out nylon ties, duct tape or zip ties.
  • As divers, the marine environment is important to us. There is interesting information and discussions on environmentally safe ways to mark your scuba gear at TheDivingBlog.com. (Click here to read the article.)

Dive Gear Marking Tools, Product Information

How do you mark your scuba diving gear? What’s worked for you, and what hasn’t?

Everything Diving by SSI

Dolphin Dive Athens GA

Jay Kloepfer first told me about Everything Diving, an app for smartphones by Scuba Schools International. Jay explained that the app is free to use and allows you to carry copies of your c-cards on your phone. This could be more convenient, he said, than pulling out the actual cards when you need proof of certification when, for example, renting scuba gear or refilling tanks on vacation. And, come on. It’s just plain cool.

Though the app is available to both Android and iPhone users, at the time Jay was telling me about it I was closing in on two years with a Samsung phone running on the Android operating system. Most apps took ages to load and frequently provoked forced closures. It wasn’t until I recently upgraded to the iPhone that I remembered the Everything Diving by SSI app. This weekend, I downloaded it.

They called it Everything Diving for a good reason. The app covers 7 topics interesting to divers of all levels. In addition to displaying your c-cards (more on that below), the main menu offers these options:

  • SSI Dive Center Locator
  • Hand Signals
  • Checklists
  • Tables
  • SSI Information
  • News
  • Settings

Dolphin Dive Athens GAThis is a screenshot from my phone. There’s DDC!!

SSI Dive Center Locator – Uses your GPS location to compile a list of SSI dealers, up to 125 miles away. Addresses, website links, phone numbers, email addresses and maps are included.

Dolphin Dive Athens GA

Hand Signals – 25 of the most common diver’s hand signals are displayed. This is good review for the first dive of the season!

Tables – Most of us plan our dives using our dive computers, but it’s nice to have the old dive tables along for the ride. In addition to the SSI Air & EAN Tables we all grew to love during Open Water Certification, these other tables come with the Everything Diving app: EAD Equivalent Air Depths; CNS Clock Table; Diving Accident Management Flowchart; 5-Minute Neuro Exam (for Stress and Rescue); SSI Diver Diamond; Diver Career Path; Dive Professional Career Path.

Dolphin Dive Athens GAChecklists – Although I don’t envision myself pulling out my phone on a dive boat and actually ticking off the boxes, these comprehensive lists are great tools for review when you’re packing for a dive vacation or diving for the first time of the season. The 6 lists on the submenu are: Checklist – Equipment; Checklist – Buddy Check; Hints – Dive Planning; Hints – Dive Computer; Hints – Nitrogen Management; Hints – First Aid for Divers.

SSI Information and News – These are basically advertisements for SSI. 🙂

Settings — Allows users to switch from Imperial to Metric – very useful when diving abroad and renting gear that displays in Bar! Also, users can choose to display from a list of over a dozen languages…if, you know, you’re French or something.

To display all your c-cards on the Everything Diving app, follow these easy steps:

  1. Download the app for free to your iPhone or Android smartphone.
  2. Log in to Scuba Schools International website at www.divessi.com. If you have never done this before, just enter your email address for a username and the site will send you a temporary password to use. (It only took about 10 seconds for me to receive the email.) You’ll see on your profile page that the SSI website already has all your certification information. Isn’t technology great? You can also create your own, unique password from there.
  3. Now, open the Everything Diving app on your phone and log in when prompted, using your divessi.com login username and password. The app will sync with your account info and your c-cards will now display, front and back, on your phone. Each time you take a specialty class and earn another card, it will automatically update on the app. Cool!

Do you use other scuba diving related apps on your smartphone? What are they and what do they do?

Thanks for reading and happy diving!

The Scuba World is Geared Up at DEMA Show 2012

Dolphin-Dive-at-DEMAIt’s that time of year again: DEMA Show 2012 is underway in Las Vegas, Nevada! Our own Tim Bridgham, along with several DDC instructors, is in the midst of the action at the only international trade-only event for the diving, action water sports and travel industries. The DDC crew joins thousands of dive industry professionals who have gathered for the three day event. They’ll peruse hundreds of exhibits featuring the leading dive equipment manufacturers, travel destinations, and water sports apparel, and have the opportunity to attend DEMA Sponsored Seminars on state of the diving industry and current economic topics. And they’ll be present at the DEMA Awards Party, the premier industry networking event of the year, where our own Ron Aiello will be awarded the prestigious Platinum Pro 5000 Diver card. What a week!

Switchblade Fins

One of the highlights of DEMA Show is always the unveiling of new products driving innovation in the dive, travel and action water sports industries. The list is long of featured products that range from newly designed regulators and buoyancy compensators, to switchblade fins, to new underwater lights and improved underwater housing for camera and video equipment. The future of scuba diving is already here!

Scuba diving as we know it today is possible thanks to dive pioneer Jacques Cousteau. DEMA Show celebrates his legacy in many ways, including a guest appearance by Jean-Michel Cousteau at the Body Glove booth on November 14 where he promoted his book “My Father, the Captain.” Body Glove, incidentally, is celebrating a milestone anniversary. Every day at 4pm, Body Glove invites all DEMA attendees to have a beer with them, toasting their 60 years of innovation. I wonder if Tim and the guys will stop in…?

Simone Cousteau

Another member of the Cousteau family is being recognized for her diving achievements. Simone Cousteau (January 19, 1919 – December 1, 1990), pioneer diver and Aquanaut, was the wife of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. For her long list of contributions to the development of scuba diving, she is among 13 new inductees who will be welcomed into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in March 2013.

The DDC guys will be back home in Athens, GA this weekend, ready to share all they learned and observed at DEMA Show 2012. We’ll bring all that info to you right here, in a future blog post!

For more information:
Featured Products at DEMA Show
Body Glove Celebrates 60 Years of Innovation
The Women Divers Hall of Fame to welcome 7 New Members in 2013