- A freediving computer is a device designed to aid in freediving. It measures depth and time underwater, records dive profiles and offers other features, such as alarms that help the diver stay safe while exploring the depths. They are usually worn as a watch.
- When choosing a freediving computer, it is important to consider your needs as a diver. Many freediving computers come with features such as an easy-to-use interface, water activation and backlighting for improved visibility in dark waters.
- Battery life is also a factor to consider, as is water resistance. Additionally, many freediving computers will also provide data such as dive time and the surface interval between dives, allowing you to track your progress over time.
Freediving is an exhilarating sport that allows divers to explore the ocean’s depths without being weighed down by bulky scuba gear. But with greater depths comes greater risks, and freedivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times to stay safe.
One essential piece of equipment for a successful and safe dive is a freediving computer, which tracks your depth, time underwater and other important information. Choosing the right freedive computer can make or break your diving experience, so it’s important to know which features are most important and how much you should spend on one.
This article will discuss choosing a dive computer that best suits your needs and stays within budget. We’ll also provide insight into our selection of related products here at Agulhas, where we strive to bring you the highest quality diving equipment so you can dive safely and confidently every time!
So let’s dive in with the ten essential considerations for choosing a freediving computer!
What Is a Freedive Computer?
A freediving computer is a special device that helps freedivers stay safe when exploring the ocean’s depths. It tracks how deep and long they have been underwater and other important information. Freediving computers help divers in an emergency and make their dives more enjoyable by providing them with accurate information about their time underwater.
With the help of these devices, divers can safely explore deeper depths for longer periods without worrying about running out of air or getting lost.
It’s important to remember that the latest research shows that decompression sickness is not limited to scuba divers, and dive computers can help freedivers know when to surface safely and so avoid DCS. All these features mean divers can enjoy safer and more enjoyable dives!
Can You Dive without a Freediving Computer?
It is possible to freedive without a dive computer, but it is not recommended. Freediving computers provide important information about the dive that helps keep divers safe when exploring deeper depths for longer periods. Without a freediving computer, divers may be unaware of their depth or how long they are underwater, which could lead to dangerous situations or even death.
For these reasons, it is highly recommended that all freedivers use a freediving computer whenever diving. Freediving computers are designed to help divers stay safe and enjoy their dives more, so investing in one is essential for any serious diver.
How to Choose the Right Dive Computer
When selecting a freediving computer, several features should be taken into consideration. The most important of these is the display type and size, which determine how readable the information is underwater. Other factors include battery life, water resistance rating, depth range, and compatibility with other dive equipment, such as a GPS tracker or alarm. Let’s take a look at some of the factors in more depth.
Display Type and Size
When selecting a diving computer, the type and size of the display are two of the most important factors to consider. The type of display will determine how easily readable the information is underwater, while the size will determine how much can be seen at any given time.
Many freediving watches/computers offer LCD and OLED displays for better underwater viewing. It is important to note that OLED displays may not be as legible in low-light conditions. Additionally, larger displays may provide more information at once, but smaller displays can be more compact.
It is also important to consider whether a freediving watch has backlighting or touchscreen capabilities, as these features can make the device easier to use underwater. Backlighting is especially useful for night dives or low visibility due to murky waters. A touchscreen allows users to quickly access specific data points with their fingers rather than having to scroll through menus manually.
The battery life on a diver’s computer should also be considered. It determines how long your device can last before needing to be recharged or replaced altogether.
A quality freedive watch/computer will have an average battery life of 6-12 hours. However, it is still important to check if additional features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity or GPS tracking, may decrease battery life further. Some models feature removable batteries, allowing users to switch out drained batteries for fresh ones to continue their dive uninterrupted. These models generally offer longer battery life since they don’t require frequent charging cycles like other devices.
It is also important to remember that some computers require special chargers incompatible with all outlets or power sources. Research this aspect beforehand to know what charger you need to keep your computer running smoothly during longer dives.
Water Resistance Rating
Another key factor when selecting a freediving watch/computer is its water resistance rating. This will tell you how deep your device can safely go without suffering water damage or malfunctioning due to pressure changes experienced at greater depths.
Some manufacturers give their freediving computers waterproof ratings up to 300m (984ft) if they’re scuba diving compatible. This offers plenty of depth range for most divers and a number way beyond freediving limits. Exclusive freediving watches, meanwhile, normally have a depth of around 100m, with some models going up to 150m. However, it’s still important to double-check the specifications before purchasing to ensure your computer can handle deeper depths if necessary!
The depth range of a freediving watch/computer should also be considered when making a selection. This refers not only to its maximum depth but also its accuracy at varying depths throughout the water column.
Some devices may only track up to certain depths, whereas others offer larger ranges. Make sure you read up on specs to understand what data your chosen model will provide during each dive session.
The accuracy of information provided by each freedive watch should also be considered. Look out for enhanced sensors that reduce errors while providing reliable readings no matter where you’re diving. Some even come with built-in algorithms designed specifically for deeper descent and can accurately track data down to extreme depths.
Compatibility with Other Dive Equipment
When it’s time to purchase, customers should pay attention to the technical aspects of their chosen diver’s computer and how well it integrates into existing gear setups.
Many models now include Wi-Fi connectivity to sync up with additional accessories such as GPS trackers. This could prove invaluable during longer dives, giving divers real-time updates about their position.
Moreover, compatibility should extend beyond just connecting with other devices. Many modern models feature software suites tailored towards customising settings according to user preferences. This way, they get the most out of their dives regardless of the environment (e.g. saltwater vs freshwater).
Ease of Use
When choosing a freedive watch/computer, it’s essential to consider how easy the model is to use. After all, no matter how feature-packed or accurate it might be, there’s no point in getting a freedive watch that proves too complicated for the user!
Look for models with intuitive interfaces and clear displays to get the maximum benefit out of your dives without constantly referring to manuals. Some devices even come with extra features such as audio warnings and haptic feedback, so divers are always alerted whenever important data changes occur during descent.
If possible, seek out beginner/intermediate computers for more straightforward operations rather than advanced/professional models.
This might not be necessary for everyone, but it’s worth considering if you’re after a computer that requires minimal effort to set up and pack away. Some models now feature water activation mechanisms that automatically start tracking as soon as the device is submerged – no need to press a button before beginning your descent!
Such technology also allows divers to easily configure settings from within the water (e.g. changing depth alarms/safety stops), meaning they don’t have to continually refer back to the surface between dives. This could prove incredibly useful during longer sessions where multiple dives are planned out in advance.
So if convenience matters most, research models with built-in efficient water activation systems.
One of the main functions of a dive computer is safety. Ensure it has both audible and haptic alarms for when you exceed set depth/time limits to stay aware of your surroundings and avoid any potential accidents.
Additionally, some models come with additional emergency functions, such as decompression protocols and oxygen toxicity warnings, that could prove invaluable during deeper descents. Be sure to look into this before making a final decision.
Air System Integration
While we focus on freediving here at Agulhas, you may also go scuba diving. As such, you might be interested in a computer with air integration to track your oxygen levels. Air integration refers to a feature of some higher-end dive computers that directly communicate with compatible tanks mounted on buoyancy compensators underwater.
This system provides real-time pressure readings so divers know exactly how much air they have remaining in their tanks at any given moment during their dives. This feature helps them stay safe by allowing them to plan accordingly without relying on guesswork or manually checking valves/gauges throughout their dives, which could be dangerous if done incorrectly or at an inopportune moment.
However, most cheaper recreational models don’t have this feature. Despite this, finding such models is not too difficult. Most top manufacturers offer specialised options with integrated air systems to accurately track O2 consumption while providing access to important data points such as depth and time to the bottom of the planned dive.
Finally, it’s worth researching the make and model of the device you’re looking to buy. While most computers share similar specs/functionality, there can be vast differences between manufacturers, such as accuracy, reliability and battery life.
Buying a computer from a reputable brand is important in terms of quality assurance and safety. After all, you don’t want it breaking in the middle of a dive!
Don’t forget to also check out reviews from other divers to gain an insight into how your chosen computer works over extended periods of use. This way, you can easily determine whether a particular product is worth the money or not.
Considering Your Budget for a Diver’s Computer
It’s important to ensure that whatever diver’s computer you choose fits within your budget. While keeping in mind brand reputation, buying a top-of-the-line model with all the bells and whistles often isn’t necessary, and you may struggle to get the most out of such an expensive device or use all the functions if you’re a beginner.
Think carefully about what features are essential for your diving needs and compare prices across different models to take advantage of any offers/discounts available. With some searching online, you might even find second-hand computers that provide excellent value without compromising performance.
Remember that there’s no “one size fits all” approach when buying a dive computer. Depending on your requirements, certain models may offer better value than others. Take your time to consider all the points discussed here, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect device for your next underwater adventure!
Here at Agulhas, we might not produce freedive computers, but we stock some of the best equipment on the market. All our equipment is made with sustainability and your budget in mind – and our modular pieces are revolutionising the market!
Agulhas’ modular gear means that you can mix and match different parts as per your requirements. As such, it’s easy to replace any piece whenever you want. Not only does this cut down on waste, but it saves you money in the long term. Plus, you don’t have to compromise on quality or performance either!
If you’re looking for the best freediving equipment, look no further than Agulhas. With sustainability and comfort guaranteed, your next adventure will be sure to start with a splash of style and confidence!
As you can see, choosing the right diving computer is not an easy task. There are many factors to consider, such as technical specs, ease of use and compatibility with other accessories. The most important thing, however, is finding a device that meets your specific needs and preferences. After all, it’s no good having an advanced model if you don’t know how to fully use everything it offers! So take your time researching different models to find one that best suits you, and you’ll be sure to get the maximum benefit out of your dives every time! Happy diving!
How much should I expect to pay for a basic freedive computer?
Entry-level devices typically range from $150-$500, depending on the specific model and features. More advanced units with multiple sensors, built-in trackers or wireless connections can cost up to $1500. It’s important to evaluate your needs before purchasing to select an appropriate model for your budget and skill level.
Are there any safety considerations when using a freedive watch/computer?
Yes! While freedive computers provide valuable data that can enhance performance metrics and help increase overall safety during freedives, users must understand how these devices work and take precautions while operating them underwater. Otherwise, they could put themselves in danger unintentionally due to not reading/heeding any warnings generated by the device or not following proper procedures while switching modes (causing incorrect information readings).
Is there anything else I should know about selecting an appropriate freediving computer?
Besides considering the technical specifications listed above (ease of use, battery life, etc.), you’ll also want to make sure that you select one designed specifically for freedivers rather than general-purpose diving watches. These won’t necessarily offer all the specialised features most freedivers require.