Abyss Scuba Diving

Do You Need A Dive Computer?


Do you need a dive computer?

Do you often ask yourself if you need a dive computer? A lot of divers have asked us this question at one time or another and our response is always the same: Yes! Dive computers are necessary for every diver, but unless you are doing technical diving, you only need a basic dive computer.

Thirty years ago, dive computers were a luxury but today they are an essential piece of dive gear for all divers. Entry level dive courses no longer teach the use of dive tables, which was formerly used to monitor nitrogen loading among divers. Today dive computers help to keep track of time, depth, nitrogen loading and gas consumption while diving, which ensures the safety of the diver. There are diverse types of dive computers available on the market suited for various levels of diving experience and budget.

Basic model dive computers offer features such as monitoring depth and time during a dive, calculating ascent rate, and giving warnings when approaching decompression limits. More advanced features may include multiple gas mixes, Nitrogen loading graphs, altitude compensation, built in digital compasses, and wireless connectivity/data downloads to name a few.

If you are a recreational diver, the computer you dive with should have all the basic functions. The computer should be able to calculate and display your nitrogen no decompression limits (NDLs) so you can avoid slipping into a decompression dive. The computers also monitor your current depth, maximum depth, and bottom time; monitor your ascent rates and provide guidelines for performing safety stops; plus, if possible, it should be able to program nitrox mixes.

New divers should consider buying a basic dive computer rather than investing in a more advanced model and putting some money towards a quality BCD, to maximize pleasure, comfort, and safety.

Why should you invest in your own dive computer instead of renting?

Have you ever wondered why divers choose to purchase their own computers and not rent or borrow one? Well, the answer is easy: safety and convenience. If you buy your own computer, you will know exactly how it works every time, so if anything goes wrong while you are diving, you will understand what your computer is telling you and know how to react to keep you safe.

Second, if you own your own computer, you will know exactly how it works every time and will never waste time, looking like a newbie at the dive site as you try to figure out how your rental computer works.