Here at Crystal Dive, Koh Tao we are always striving to provide our divers with a better, easier and more enjoyable scuba diving experience. With this in mind, last year we introduced mandatory dive computers into our day to day scuba diving activities, with all our divers now provided with a ‘Mares Puck’ dive computer, integrated into the console that also holds the SPG.
Significant changes to the PADI Open Water course, introduced in 2015, included embracing the new ‘Diving with Computers’ section and was the catalyst for this. Our Management & instructor Development team, along with several senior Instructors, beta tested this revised course during its developmental stage working closely with PADI.
Becoming a Scuba Diver
We recognise learning to use a dive computer is one of the most important aspects of your scuba diving training and believe that this should be done at the earliest possible level, during the Open water course. The new PADI open water course has much more of an emphasis on dive planning and a dive computer is an essential part of this.
A dive computer is an excellent tool and plays an important part in diver safety. Dive computers will calculate your no stop time throughout a dive making sure you stay within safe nitrogen levels and it also monitors your ascent speed making sure you aren’t ascending too fast.
As you progress up the PADI ladder and throughout your scuba life, your dive computer will accompany you on your amazing journey.
Crystal Clear Display
Our aim was to replace all our standard analogue depth gauges with brand new Mares Puck computers. We chose the console version of the Mares Puck as this allowed us to directly replace the analogue depth gauge in the console, positioning the Puck directly above the SPG making it easy to use and view.
The Puck is a very user friendly dive computer with its large display giving it superior readability to smaller models. This makes it the model of choice for entry level divers.
When in dive mode the screens large digits show depth at the top, no stop time in the middle with time and temperature shown at the bottom, everything a diver needs to see. This makes it perfect for completing your Deep adventure dive as part of your Advanced course due to one of the requirements is to compare computers depth and no stop time.
Once you get to your safety stop depth the display will give you countdown throughout the remaining minutes and seconds or your dive. During your ascent it will give a loud warning to the diver if they ascending to quickly towards the surface.
The computer itself has only one button giving the user a smooth experience when operating and scrolling through screens and settings. If you are diving on enriched air you can set the Puck to nitrox mode and then choose the blend you will be diving on.
As a backup you can set your own dive time and depth alarm. This will give you a warning if you are getting close to your limits.
For student divers on your PADI open water course the dive plan mode will help you complete the course standards as you have to plan your final open water training dive.
Whatever dive you wish to make, whether your final PADI open water course training dive or later on down the road your 40 metre dive as part of the Deep diver specialist knowing how to use a dive computer is only going to enhance your experience.
More information on the Mares Puck (also produced as a wrist mounted computer) can be found on the Mares website.
Go Pro, Be Smart…. and Be Cool!
For those looking to go beyond the basic PADI courses and thinking of ‘going Pro‘, Mares have developed the Mares Smart computer. It comes as a wrist mounted computer which means you can wear it out of the water as it functions as watch too.
Available in a variety of different colours this means you can look cool both under and above the surface!
The design is a slim profile and uses a similar display as the Puck, with an additional button located on the right hand side. The 2 button system makes the computer easy to navigate and is very logical in dive mode with the top button modifying the upper part of the display and bottom button adjusting the lower display.
For budding Dive Pros, the computer ticks all the boxes that you should be looking for – EANX compatible, log book, stopwatch in bottom time mode, good visual/audio alarms and it is really cost effective.
And if you are an enthusiastic Free diver too, the Smart offers a Freediving mode!
More information on the Mares Smart can be found on the Mares website.
Author: Crystal Dive