Color under water: what's most visible?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Olivia Chillia, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Olivia Chillia

    Olivia Chillia Angel Fish

    Will color choice for gear affect how visible I am under water (during the day at recreational depths)?

    I want my buddy to be able to find the Octopus quickly and easily, among other things.

    I also want to be easy for my buddy to identify in a group (and vice versa). On our last dive, I had to look closely at the other divers' suits for the company markings to find which ones were NOT my buddy. :shakehead

    If color has little or no bearing here, I'm just going to use "pretty" for a tie breaker when deciding on gear.
  2. nolatom

    nolatom Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Orleans
    day-glo light green, it doesn't wash out its color at depth as much as the other colors.

    Octupuses (Octopi?) are typically yellow, which is okay too.
  3. Meng_Tze

    Meng_Tze Homo Bonae Voluntatis ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: 246 Bubbleless Cove
    If you are looking to identify your buddy, go with markings along the lengt and on the head . Along side a long stipe/patern, different colour arms etc. The head you could think of in terms of strap colour/markings or markings/colour of hood. Bottom line is make it unique, there are many colour/similar patern suits out there.....patern would make more sense than colour.

    If coulour is to determine backup reg, that may not be the best option, base backup on location. In a stressful situation, if you know where it is, it is going to make a bigger difference than what colour it is... IMO
  4. bperrybap

    bperrybap Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dallas, Tx
    Colors do vary in visibility and actually change with depth.
    Red varies the most. I have red on my wetsuit and at about 35 ft
    the red turns a nice magenta, at 60 its a very dark purple and by
    80 its dark grey almost black.

    To me, yellow seems to be the most visible and doesn't
    seem to change colors with depth.

    It really dosn't take much to be uniquely identifiable.

    When I was in Roatan, some people wore brightly colored
    doo rags and that made it quite easy to identify them.

    You can have a mask with a colored frame, or a set of colored fins.

    Fins are very obvious - One DM I had, used dayglow green
    fins which looked yellow under water. It made him very easy
    to spot even from quite a distance with some limited visibility.

    Another option is to use a brightly colored flap strap on your
    mask. They are cheap ~$5-10. and you can change them
    out easily.

    --- bill
  5. erparamedic

    erparamedic Vampire Dork

    I believe color can make a huge difference.

    My primary reg is wrapped in pink (Pink=primary... easy for me and my buddies to remember), the ocopus has a yellow housing, with a flurescent green hose wrap. Easily locatable in the emergent need to share air.

    As far as gear goes, I find pink is very visible in low viz situations. I just bought a new wetsuit and mask, and neither was available in pink, so I chose blue. I'm also now wearing my husband black/blue BCD (he has another one now). But, I have a pink flap strap on the mask, still have my pink snork, and my pink fins. Gonna keep those. I figure at least I'll be easy to ID at the head and feet.... and the color wrapped reg hoses add a little color too. (Had a very nice compliment about the reg hose wrapping a few days ago :)

    Edit: I should also say, my dives tend to be shallow. I like to stay less than 50 ft. in the ocean, and at home I dive quarries. The quarries I frequent are less than 30 ft deep. The pink shows up well in the bad viz in the quarries.
  6. Guba

    Guba Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Central Texas
    Water is a good absorber of energy, and that includes light. The deeper you go, the greater the light absorption, so you "lose" colors starting at one end of the spectrum and working toward the other end. Reds are the first to go, which means they will progress toward black as you go deeper. Orange is next, and then yellow, and so forth. Luckily, at recreational depths yellow will still be yellow, but it will have altered its hue somewhat. However, I agree with a previous's better to know WHERE the octo is than what color it is. That's why certifying agencies tend to try to standardize placement in their training.
    As for recognizing your partners and being recognized, I have my name printed in big letters on my tank. Renting tanks? So make a "banner" that slips around your tank. It could be as simple as an elastic strap or buckle. Other than that, do what another poster said and look for characteristic configurations of gear, mask straps, wetsuit pattern, etc...
    One favorite method I see more and more is a person's name or other identifier written on the bottoms of fins with special paints. Sure, it makes it easy to pick yours out of the pile on the boat, but it can also be used to "brand" you during a dive. One divemaster in Cozumel had printed on his fins, "FOLLOW ME". Cute.
  7. Damselfish

    Damselfish Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northeast US
    Even if you consider octo position more important than color, having color in addition doesn't hurt anything. The color doesn't stop you or your buddy from knowing where it is and it could just as well be a random diver that needs it. (Yes I know they are at least as likely to grab your primary but you just never know what they might do, and if they spot a bright yellow octo maybe they'd go for it.

    The neon colors keep their color better at depth in general.
  8. spankey

    spankey Divemaster

    as far as being recognized, I suggest you write your name on the underneath of your fins in white paint. This works well and most DM's here in SA do it.
  9. Olivia Chillia

    Olivia Chillia Angel Fish

    :D Thanks for the tips, all! :D

    I like to have the octo clipped in front of my waist. Well, that's where the clips are on the rentals I've used. I think I might choose a higher location for the octo when I get my own BCD. I wasn't thinking of depending on color alone to help a buddy find it in an emergency, but I thought it would be a useful additional cue. When you've got a person in a stressed state, all the extra cues you can get are good.

    Do you think it would be too much to put a flashing locator on it?

    I like the idea of painting the fins and having a tank banner. For some reason it is only in the last five years that I really started to get in touch with my girly side.

    What kind of paint is good for fins?
  10. mfalco

    mfalco Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Mashpee, MA (USA)
    The most visible thing I have ever seen underwater is the yellow tanks most dive shops use as rental tanks.

    Diving in merky ocean water you can see them when you can't see the diver they are attached to
  11. Taxgeek

    Taxgeek Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West LA
    I second yellow tank and neon yellow fins. Ya tend to get made fun of for having neon fins, however! :) Depending on what type of fins you wear, however, watch out as different colors have different characteristics. Neon yellow twin jets are very floppy!

    One thing I have done is bring a white bandana and make my instabuddy tie it around his/her ankle - I agree it is difficult to tell all the black suited divers apart.
  12. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
    I have four phosphorescent bands on my snorkel tip and on the bottom of each fin blade.
  13. JodiBB

    JodiBB Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Sunny So. Cal!!
    I've used a white tank for night diving. My buddy said of our entire group, it was blatantly obvious who I was compared to everyone else....
  14. Olivia Chillia

    Olivia Chillia Angel Fish

    :huh: Why? Color is pretty.
  15. AmyJ

    AmyJ Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Dayton Ohio
    what are these and where do you get them???
  16. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    As far as wetsuit colors go, be cautious IMHO. My last three wetsuits with blue fabric (three different brands) all deteriorated quickly on the blue parts whereas the black is still very solid. I can't say anything about the green, yellow or other fabrics.

    I recommend using markings or colors on your fins or BCD that will readily identify you. I have "DR. BILL" written across the back upper surface of my BCD (followed by the words "If you can read this, you're diving too close.")
  17. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
    Tape that glows in the dark. I got it at a hardware store, but here's a potential source.
  18. roakey

    roakey Old, not bold diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Colorado Springs, CO
    I applaud you for trying to think through how to assist your buddy in getting the air he or she may need in an emergency situation. However, here's a suggestion that might assist you in coming to the real "endgame" of how to handle an OOA situation without going through intermediate solutions that rely on colors, flashing lights, position of the octo, etc.

    You see, your OOA practice in class was most probably done either kneeling or hanging vertically in the water, the most unlikely position for you, as a diver, to be in (which is horizontal). When horizontal, not only is a chest-mounted octo basically out of sight, underneath you, but even if your buddy sees it, it’s difficult to reach on their own.

    There’s a much better solution an OOA situations that has been discussed many times on this board, here’s a post on it:

  19. brutus_scuba

    brutus_scuba Single Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Bremerton, WA
    This is completely off topic but I really like the scull and crossbones in the dive flag mfalco that's what one the cooler pics I've seen on here.

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