Dive Tables vs Dive Computers


scuba dive computer

There are many benefits of using dive computers over using dive tables. There is no excuse, however, for any scuba diver not knowing how to use dive tables vs dive computers.

Dive tables assume that a scuba diver has spent the duration of a scuba dive at their maximum depth, and therefore calculate nitrogen absorbtion accordingly. Dive computers, however, work differently. As dive computers are underwater with the diver, they give a more accurate estimation of the amount of nitrogen a diver absorbs during a scuba dive as they are able to track depth changes throughout the dive. The biggest benefit of dive computers vs dive tables is that they allow you to stay underwater for longer and can give shorter surface intervals, without needing a decompression stop.

It must be understood that no dive computers or dive tables can eliminate the risk of decompression sickness. All dive computers and dive tables give estimated nitrogen absorbtion rates using mathematical models and do not account for different divers physical condition or body makeup. Also, dive computers and dive tables must be used properly for them to be effective at calculating nitrogen levels. All dive profiles must be deep to shallow – meaning you should start your scuba dive at the deepest point and work your way shallower as the dive progresses. If you do not follow this simple rule of diving, then dive computers can not properly calculate nitrogen absorbtion and elimination rates and are therefore become unreliable. Divers must also be sure never to reverse profile – meaning that the first scuba dive must be your deepest dive and all repetetive dives must be subsequently shallower.

Dive computers are also subject to mechanical failure. Something as simple as a battery in a dive computer dying will render them useless. All divers should know how to use dive tables as a backup method when using dive computers.dive-table

Understanding Dive Computers: No matter what make or model of dive computer you use for your scuba diving activities, you must always be familiar with how to read and use the dive computer and it’s features and functions.

Divers must also have a thourough understanding of the model of dive computer they are using and how to read it.

More benefits of dive computers vs dive tables: Dive computers, like dive tables, allow a diver to plan subsequent scuba dives. Depending on the make and model of dive computer they can assist a diver plan depth limits, time limits and surface interval requirements based on previous or planned dives throughout a diving day. They also feature a divelog mode, so divers may look back at previous scuba dives for their records. Most computers also have a time to fly mode, which indicates an estimated time when a diver may fly or travel to altitude after scuba diving (please note all major diving agencies reccommend a minimum of 18-24 hours after scuba diving before flying or travelling to altitude, regardless of whether a diver has used dive tables or dive computers). Modern dive computers come with a wide range of functions and features to make them user friendly depending on the type of scuba diving they are required for. Talk to your local dive centre for advice about what dive computer will best suit your needs and always do your research before investing in a dive computer.

Dive Tables vs Dive Computers