Maintaining Your Gear
Maintaining your gear is one of the most beneficial thing you can do to ensure your gear lasts as long as possible. Every piece of equipment has its own means of being cared for. In this post we will be going over some of the basic strategies for keeping your gear in top condition.
A good rule of all equipment at a minimum is to give it a good fresh water rinse after a day of diving. Saltwater destroys everything over time. Rinsing or putting your gear in a fresh water basin at the end of the day extends everything’s life.
Spearguns at a minimum need a good fresh water rinse like every other gear. It is very important to make sure the trigger mechanism is thoroughly washed out. This is extra important for metal trigger mechanisms. Most trigger mechanisms function as a result of springs, which are more prone to rust than the rest of the mechanism. Once the springs break you will need to get a replacement, or possibly replace the entire trigger mechanism, or the entire speargun.
Wooden spearguns can require additional maintenance to ensure top performance and longevity. Every year or so you should take your bands off your wooden spearguns and lightly sand any rough parts of the speargun. After lightly sanding the speargun you should apply a few coats of teak oil to the speargun. This helps prevent warping by preventing water intrusion.
Wetsuits need some extra maintenance attention if you want them to last. High quality freediving wetsuits are open cell to keep you warmer. The downside to open cell wetsuits is that they are not sealed, so as you dive all your sweat and skin cells start to clog the pores of the neoprene. This wears down the suit and causes it to insulate less well over time. The solution to this is to clean the wetsuit thoroughly with Wetsuit Shampoo. Wetsuits are made of neoprene, which are a type of rubber. You need to use specialized cleaners or they will fall apart. A de-greasing soap will degrade the neoprene, effectively eating away at the rubber. By using Wetsuit shampoo you are able to effectively clean your wetsuit and extends the life of your suit.
You should also allow your wetsuit to dry with the open cell out first and then make sure to turn the suit back out again to allow it to completely dry. This is especially important at then end of certain dive seasons. They will hold water if you do not allow them to dry and they can become wildly and moldy. For any small tear you can easily repair the suit with Wetsuit Glue.
In order to maintain masks need to be washed and dried like all other dive equipment. Use fresh water and allow them to dry before storing them. When you first get your mask you will likely need to break it in to prevent the mask from fogging up. Every year or so you may need to do this process over again. Oily substances, like sunscreen can get on the lens of a mask and cause it to fog up. To learn about how to defog a mask check out this other blog post.
Rigging is one of those keys to maintaining your gear and a lot of divers skip over. It is the key to landing big fish. It can even be the key to landing little fish. Gear failures can turn a good day of diving into a long boat ride if you don’t have your equipment ready to dive. This goes from having your shooting line in order, having spars spear shafts rigged up, and making your bands are in good working order.
Maintaining fins is pretty easy. At the end of the day they just need a good rinse to stay in good shape. It is a good idea to check the hardware every once in a while to make sure any retaining screws have not rusted through. If they are getting rusty it may be a good idea to replace any hardware. If your foot pockets are starting to get old and beat up they can be easily replaced as well.