Inspect Your Regulator Mouthpiece
When is the last time you gave any thought to your regulator mouthpiece? Our service technicians tell us one of the most commonly damaged parts they discover during routine maintenance on a regulator second stage is the mouthpiece itself. Many divers bite down much too hard on the mouthpiece, particularly if it is a poor fit. Besides the fact that biting too hard may cause the diver to climb out the water with an annoying headache, we even find bite tabs completely missing from the mouthpiece where they have been literally 'chewed off'. If that's happening to you, consider trying a different style of mouthpiece such as the C-Bite+ or moldable design customized for your bite. A more subtle damage often responsible for second stages 'breathing wet' is an almost invisible tear in the mouthpiece, just past the mounting lip on the second stage body near or under the cable tie. These often can't be seen unless you stretch the mouthpiece by hand and inspect in bright light.
What about your fin straps or mask strap? Because the materials will degrade over time, nearly every long time diver has broken a mask or fin strap as they are gearing up. Failure of these items, while unlikely to be life threatening, may mean the dive is over before it began; being proactive about inspecting and replacing them before they fail can actually pay for itself. In addition to a variety of replacement mouthpieces, we also have fins with nearly indestructible spring straps and neoprene mask straps that put an end to these 'show stoppers'.