Sport Phillip Marine Chandlery Supplies
Mornington Pier

General Information on Diving and Equipment

Commonly used terms in relation to:
S.C.U.B.A (Self, Contained, Underwater, Breathing Apparatus)
PADI, SSI, NAUI, TDI, GUE to name a few. (All are diving training agencies the first two are the biggest not necessary the best)
Duck diving (holding breathe and going underwater)
Equalizing (the pressure in your sinus’s cavity needs to be equalized once submerged more than 2mt by holding your nose and blowing - the reverse happens in planes or going up mountains)
The Bends or Bent (Diving injury from staying at depth for too long on SCUBA)
Decompression or Deco (what a SCUBA diver needs to do after staying at depth for a length of time to avoid the bends.
Free Diving also known as Apena (breath hold diving)
Software (means mask, snorkel & fins sometimes also wetsuit & boots)
Hardware (means SCUBA gear, regulators, gauge or computer & tank)
1st Stage (SCUBA gear the piece the connects to the tank)
Reg, Regulator or 2nd stage (SCUBA gear the piece you breathe from)
Occy (SCUBA gear back up 2nd stage used if someone runs out of air)
Buddy (SCUBA term for another diver who should be close by while diving)
Cylinders or Tanks there size can be spoken in metric (litres) or imperial (cubic feet)  example 10.5lt = 85 cubic feet, 12.2lt =100 cubic feet  
Skirt (sealing surface of a mask)
Purge (small one way valve at the base of a snorkel allowing water to pass) On all Sonar snorkels except Mustang & Sweetlip
Dry top (can be either Splash guard which reduces water entering snorkel via waves or Dry snorkel which stops water from entering when you submerge) Splash guards on Atlantic, Vulcan, Pacific, Trevally & Shrimp. Sahara is a Dry snorkel.
Snorkel keeper (can be plastic or silicone, holds snorkel to mask strap, should be on left hand side because scuba regulator always comes from the right side)
Open heel fin (fins generally designed to be used with boots or sox’s) Mocean fins are open heel but are suitable with bare feet.
Reels or finger spools used for marking a trail or deploying SMB’s.
SMB’s  Surface marker buoy. Safety item designed to help divers remain visible while on surface. Can be deployed underwater or on surface.
Safety stop 5min stop at 3 or 5mt to help reduce nitrogen that has built up during a scuba dive.

Wetsuit or Drysuit
Drysuit (suits were you stay dry (hopefully) - air is inflated into the suit by a one way valve to stop squeeze. Has exhaust valves to let air escape for accent, used in southern states in winter and down in the Arctic)
Semi Dry Wetsuit (Capri style) neck, wrist and ankle’s have smooth lined seals like a dry suit. Small amount of water enters suit.
Seals (smooth lining on wetsuit that help reduce water flowing into the suit)
Ti Zip (Capri & Platinum)(Dry zips water doesn’t pass through)
G Lock zip (Corsica) (Minimal water seepage, will hold back water, light not visible through it)
Standard Zip (All other suits) (water pass’s through, light can be seen through it)
Yamamoto (Neoprene manufacturer - high quality)
How does a wetsuit Work
Your body heats up the water that is trapped between the neoprene and your skin.
Neoprene is not porus, water will only pass through unglued seams, holes created buy stitching and zips, this is why we glue and stitch suits. When stitching a suit, care is taken only to stitch through the top layer of material to help reduce water seepage. That is why ti zips and G lock zips help the wetsuit preform better by limiting the amount of water that can enter the wetsuit. The thicker the neoprene the better it insulates, because neoprene is soft as the diver goes deeper the neoprene compress’s reducing its insulating properties. This is why thicker neoprene’s are used in southern states and deeper dives. 


Silicone Vs PVC /Silitex or Rubber skirts
  • Silicone seals on your face the best, less chance of leaks and greater comfort.
  • Silicone stays soft it’s entire life
  • Silicone won’t discolour as bad as PVC.
  • PVC is harder to begin with and gets harder as it gets older.
  • Rubber will perish; it’s softer than PVC but not as good as Silicone and becoming more expensive than Silicone.
Tempered Glass Vs Plastic lens
  • Only very cheap or poor quality masks will have plastic lens.
  • Plastic scratches easily and distorts vision more than glass.
  • Plastic lens can even promote motion sickness due to not being as flat as glass.
  • Plastic lens must not be used for scuba diving as they will fail.
  • Look for temper glass label on lens.
  • Sonar only sells tempered glass Lens

How to fit a mask properly

  • Looking to ceiling place mask on face
  • Check the skirt fits outside eye sockets
  • Breath in gently though nose to create seal
  • Ensure that no hair is under the masks skirt 
  • Mask strap should not be too tight allow two fingers.

Different styles

  • Single lens Vs twin lens, Black silicone Vs clear
  • Twin lens generally have lower air volume less to equalise at depth. (Pressure increases as you go deeper so you need to equalise the air in the mask by blowing air through your nose.) Larger masks means more air is needed to equalise them.
  • Clear silicone has light entering from the sides for less of a claustrophobic feel
  • With black silicone eyes don’t need to dilate when you go into dark surroundings reducing the time it takes for your eyes to adjust.
  • Black silicone popular with spearfisherman due to above reasons and while on the surface the sunshine isn’t coming in from the skirt like clear silicone.
  • Ratchet buckles allow precise adjustment of the mask strap available on Platinum, Saratoga & Spearfisher.
  • Mask straps only need to be firm not tight, water pressure holds mask to your face.
  • Before use, clean lens and skirt with white toothpaste or cream cleanser (Jiff)
  • Spit in mask before use or use anti fog to avoid fogging up
  • All diving equipment should be rinsed in freshwater. Dry away from direct sunlight


  • Silicone or silitex described above
  • Drop away section near mouthpiece for scuba divers allows snorkel to “drop away” from regulator
  • Splash guards wrongly called (dry tops) minimise water entering the top of snorkel from waves.
  • Some splash guards restrict air flow not ours
  • Dry snorkels like the Sahara have a float which closes off the tube so water cannot enter when you duck dive. With poorly designed dry snorkels the float can close with hyperventilation this doesn’t happen with the Sahara.
  • Purge Valve below mouthpiece helps in clearing the snorkel
  • Removable mouthpiece, great back up if scuba mouthpiece fails
  • Open heel Vs full foot
  • Open heel fins popular with temperate water divers because of the use of a boot for extra warmth
  • Rubber fins don’t have as much power as thermo plastics (technopolymer) but tend to be less fatiguing
  • Blue/Yellow rubber fins great for swim training, the blue/black ones designed for snorkelling with ribbing down the blade for added power
  • The more you spend on fins equals performance for minimal fatigue
  • Sonar’s Depth and Humpback fins incorporate the foot pocket as part of the blade for increased performance.
  • Long Blade fins for spear fishing and free diving designed for power in short bursts
   Sport Phillip Marine services the boating, yachting & fishing needs of the Mornington Peninsula from Frankston, Daveys Bay, Mt. Eliza, Mornington, Mt. Martha, Safety Beach, Martha Cove, Dromana, Rosebud, Rye, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea on Port Phillip Bay to Yaringa, Warneet, Somers, Hastings, and Flinders on Westernport Bay.

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