Depending on where you are in Canada, your local dive season could be as short as a few months. If you're lucky to live on either the East or West coats, you might be able to dive all year round. But if you're like most of us in a land-locked area, the local season can be pretty short running from about May to October and even shorter in some areas.
Spring is a great time to check over your dive gear to ensure it's in good working order once your local dive season gets underway. Contact your local dive shop for assistance with any maintenance or repairs that you think your gear may need. In the meantime, here is a quick checklist of things you can do to prepare:
- Scuba Tanks - Need to be visually inspected every year and hydrostatically tested every 5 years.
- Regulators - Check your manufacturer’s user manual for recommendations specific to your brand or model of regulator. If you're not sure, a good rule of thumb is usually about every 2 years or 100 dives, which ever comes first. In the meantime, check your mouthpiece to ensure it's still good and inspect the hoses for cracks or pin holes.
- BCD - People usually forget that they're BCD needs some tender loving care as well. Salt, sand, and dirt can get encrusted in your power inflator buttons or over-pressure valves. Press the power inflator buttons a few times and make sure they aren’t sticky, they should push easily and not get stuck. Rips, tears, or punctures can compromise the bladder and your ability to maintain positive or even neutral buoyancy. Orally inflate your BCD using the power inflator and let it sit for at least 10 minutes filled with air. After 10 minutes, check that it is still fully inflated and there are no concerns of a leak.
- Wetsuits - Check over your wetsuit, hood, gloves, boots and inspect for any tears or rips that you forgot about from last summer. (Also check that everything still fits!)
- Drysuits - Check your drysuit for any tears or rips as well. Check the integrity of your zipper to ensure there are no issues with the teeth of the zipper or the slide. Check your neck and wrist seals to ensure they aren't ripped or dried out (Also check that it still fits!)
- Dive Computer - Double check that your dive computer still turns on and that the battery is still good. Many dive computers have a user-changeable battery so you may be able to change the battery yourself. Take care and inspect the oring for dirt and dust. Ensure the oring and the groove are clean and free of debris. Check the manufacturer’s user manual for recommendations on how to store your dive computer.
- Masks, Snorkel, Fins - Take a look at your straps, buckles, and clips for any missing or broken parts that need replacing.
- Accessories - Give your other dive accessories a good check.... do your dive lights still charge or have good batteries? Does your SMB (surface marker buoy) still inflate and stay inflated? Check your dive reels to ensure they aren't tangled or the line is stuck together and gummed up. Check your dive knife to ensure it isn't rusty and corroded.