Enjoy more bottom time with your dive computer
Use the dive tables allows you to plan your dives. This is a conservative method. But it should involve a depth gauge and a stopwatch. How to remedy if you forget or lose one of these accessories? Modern dive computer contain these three elements: dive tables, depth gauge and timer.
The recreational dive training has changed much in the last years. Using a dive computer was once unthinkable for entry-level course. Today, Open Water students can choose to complete their training using tables or a dive computer.
The main advantage of a dive computer is combining the dive tables, a depth gauge and a stopwatch, within a single instrument.
Most of my PADI Open Water students often ask me what would be the first equipment I advise them to buy their future dives. If we abstract snorkel kit (a good pair of fins, mask that suit your face and a snorkel), have your own dive computer is an evidence. It is not a heavy equipment, much less expensive than a regulator set, take less place compare to a BCD, and more useful than a wetsuit. You can take it anywhere with you, especially that there are models strongly looking like wristwatches.
Wherever in the world you dive, dive centers can provide the equipment for scuba diving, but few of them offer renting of dive computer. A dive computer is relatively expensive. However it is an instrument that will provide safety and comfort. The first models offer sufficient features for the recreational diving : Diving in the air and enriched air (Nitrox), logbook function and dive planner. You keep it for all your diving career.
Integrated in your PADI course
Whether for the PADI Open Water or PADI Advanced Open Water, you can use your computer to get used to. Indeed every computer has its own characteristics. It is recommended to dive as often as possible with, to know all its functions. If you have questions, ask your instructor. If my students have their own computer, throughout their training, the computer will be included as a part of the standard equipment. You will use it as well as your pressure gauge. The computer will not be a simple accessory, dive plan will be made with your computer.
To fully enjoy your computer, your instructor will show you how to set up Nitrox mode. This mode will be useful for Enriched Air Nitrox specialty PADI. Remember, this training is available from the PADI Open Water, and requires only half a day to get the certification.