What was the most influential development in scuba diving?

What technology (or piece of equipment) had largest impact on recreational diving?

  • The SPG

  • Mixed gases (nitrox)

  • The dive computer

  • BCD

  • The octopus

  • Training (OW, AOW, Wreck, Cave, Tech, etc)

  • Thermal protection (wetsuits, drysuits)

  • Digital photography/video

  • Dive Travel

  • Pee valve (late addition)


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CT-Rich

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I was just reading some old timers talking about their J-valve adventures and this topic jumped to mind. There are a couple of ways you could look at it. Did it make diving more accessible to the average person or did it make it safer/enjoyable or popular. Because it is so broad, I am letting you select multiples. Feel free to rationalize your choices in the comments.

Edit: some one was asking about time frames, which is fair. I am going to set it at 1960. That way we are not arguing about single verses two stage regulators and the invention of dive tables compressed air or muzzle loading dive knives.
 

NothingClever

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I voted for PDC.

For those without the aptitude or motivation to develop a profile and plan it, I think the PDC lowered the entry barrier and made it an “every man sport” rather than the somewhat exclusive activity it was before.

For the explorers, it allowed for increased concentration and range to observe the underwater world.
 

lexvil

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While I selected SPG, b/c and dive computer I hope the AI can encompass both. None of these were commonly available when I started diving.
 

ShariM

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Thinking back 45 years, the only thing we didn’t have were dive computers. Our BCs weren’t anything like we have today but they more or less worked. I think we should also include dive boats in the list, I don’t remember diving from any boats configured for diving. It used to be more difficult. I guess the industry has done a good job becoming more relevant to the average diver.
 

broncobowsher

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The ability to compress air is pretty high on the list. But that's pretty old tech.

Basic decompression theory is another one.

As for modern times, computer and lights.
Add in the waterproof zipper.
 

Johnoly

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The poll is really difficult & tough unless you specify a timeframe

For "influential development " and most widely used it could range from the Aluminum 80 tank all the way to YouTube.
 

captain

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For me who started diving in 1957 it's the dive computer hands down.
 

ofg-1

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For tech diving, the pee valve.
 

Bigbella

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I would say that the advent of the SPG was a huge advancement; since before its use, dives were generally called only when breathing became labored. It also paved the way for the eventual development of the dive computer; though it's still quite nice to see all of the analogue gauges nowadays. especially among the "tech," "tek," or "tec" and side-mount crowds.

All other options on the list, by way of comparison, simply strike me as conveniences . . .
 
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