More and more dive operators are making them mandatory. Some even include a wrist dive computer as part of the gear provided to their customers. This is especially true for live-aboard dive boat operations.

Of course that only makes sense for these “dive your brains out” deals. You’re doing a ton of diving, spending serious time underwater, and a computer not only makes it easier, but helps avoid compromising safety.

And don’t misunderstand, live-aboards are great. It doesn’t get much better than five or so dives a day, and merely rolling out of bed to get to the site. Put that together with great food, pristine reefs off the beaten path, & falling asleep under the stars, and it’s a super vacation recipe.

Aside from their obvious usefulness in the live-aboard world, dive computers make sense for most all diving situations. In fact, anyone serious about the sport shouldn’t make another dive without one. From maximizing bottom time to calculating complex dive plans without compromising safety, these wrist computers are invaluable.

Even the dive operators who don’t make them mandatory, will separate the computer divers from the non-computer divers, requiring those without personal dive computers to follow a much more conservative profile, which most often results in a shorter dive.

Now there’s nothing wrong with being conservative, but not to the extent of cutting a dive needlessly short. And that’s the whole point behind using a computer. It allows more time at depth and/or underwater while still helping you stay within safe limits.

There may be a handful of very experienced scuba divers who are so skilled with the dive tables, they can recalculate complex dive plans on the fly during their dive with some proficiency. But even they can’t beat a computer in terms of speed and accuracy. And most, if not all those guys, still use a computer simply because they prefer to get the most from their diving.

Whether you need the full functionality of variable gas mixtures, extensive dive logging, complicated multi-level dive profiles, deep or decompression dives, etc., or just want to stay safe while allowing for slight changes to your dive plan, a good dive computer is an excellent investment.

They really should be considered required equipment. Prices have come down so far that cost just isn’t an excuse anymore, especially when thinking about safety. Get the most out of your diving by making a wrist computer an integral part of your dive gear.

J Allen