Having the right dive equipment can make a big difference to your scuba diving experience. Here are some of our best tips, tricks and strategies about getting the most out of your scuba regulators.
Though the name sounds a bit unsettling, unbalanced scuba regulators aren’t unstable or necessarily less reliable; in fact, they generally have fewer moving parts, cost less, are easier to service and will provide many years of service. The trade off is that they lack the additional internal components that ensure perfectly consistent airflow at varying scuba tank pressures.
Like supercars, high-end diving regulators command premium prices because they incorporate advanced and intricate engineering that increases performance. But rather than speed and handling, it’s about instant response, reducing the work of breathing, high-volume air delivery and fine-tuning. All great features — provided you really need them and can justify the expense.
Piston or Diaphragm?
This debate has no clear winner, as both first-stage designs are well proven and have been honed and perfected over the past half century. Sealed diaphragm designs are often touted as superior for cold or contaminated waters, but even here, piston designs have their proponents.
Second stages are fitted with several types of adjustments. Some control the level of venturi assist. Some adjust initial cracking pressure. Some integrate both functions into a single control. Whatever system you choose, what’s important is understanding how these controls function, and how they should be adjusted on the surface and underwater.