To look at, diving gloves are not, on the surface, the biggest or most important piece of diving gear. However, they have always been something of a bone of contention within the diving community. Great debates exist between them and trust us, we’ve looked at this from both sides and know too well how heated people can get over wearing gloves while diving.
So, should you wear them or not? Before you decide on the best gloves for scuba diving, you need to understand some of the very good reasons why people think you should wear gloves and also why people don’t think gloves should be worn.
3 Reasons Why You Should Wear Diving Gloves
In life, why do we wear any type of gloves? For protection. Well, that’s also the reason why many wear diving gloves while underwater. Scuba Diving gloves provide three distinct kinds of protection; Protection against the cold, protection against stings and bites and protection against sharp and abrasive objects.
Aside from anywhere where there is an actual restriction in place for wearing this type of scuba accessory, it is more down to personal preference to wearing scuba diving gloves.
In the following post, we’ll go into more detail on each of these reasons why you should wear dive gloves and also look at a YouTube discussion on the different dive gloves available for each environment.
1. Protection Against the Cold
As you will probably know if you’ve been diving before, even when you are in waters with a relatively moderate temperature, it can be uncomfortable with unprotected hands, particularly on longer dives.
When you are diving in waters with much colder temperatures, therefore the experience can be even worse. Having a good pair of diving gloves on provides your hands with protection against those cooler temperatures.
2. Protection Against Stings and Bites
Another reason why people wear gloves is for safety from fish, creatures, reefs other animals that call the deep blues of this world their home.
Although a pair of diving gloves, no matter how thick and tough they are, are unlikely to protect you against the ferocious bite of something much bigger, they could provide a suitable barrier against accidental stings and bites from much smaller creatures, such as jellyfish, rays or in the case of the picture above, lionfish stings.
3. Protection Against Sharp and Abrasive Objects
Similarly, to the above, there are a lot of dangerous elements underwater, like the coral reefs, the razor-sharp edges of ladders that diving gloves provide protection against.
It’s worth pointing out that diving gloves may not protect you against everything, but the prospect of cutting and slicing your hands to pieces is surely less attractive than coming away with a minor scratch or scrape.
Especially as wounds underwater, as well as being painful and frustration, can develop infections very quickly and become bigger problems in the long run.
Why Do Some Say You Shouldn’t Wear Them?
Some people say you should wear them while diving and some others don’t think they are necessary, even suggesting that it could be damaging the fragile ecosystem in many diving locations by wearing them. They are even banned completely in some areas.
So, why then, given how small and seemingly insignificant, as well as obviously providing a protective barrier for your hands, do many believe you shouldn’t wear diving gloves? Why, for instance, are they banned at certain locations?
The basic reason for the ban and calls against wearing diving gloves is simply because coral reefs are endangered. What’s that got to do with diving gloves?
Well, one of the main threats to coral reefs is forgetful or just plain irresponsible divers who end accidentally/deliberately touch or even break parts of those beautiful reefs while diving.
Now, banning is quite a simple and effective way of preventing this damage. The thought is that because divers would have unprotected hands, they’d be less likely to touch things indiscriminately while swimming around reefs.
Which also means they would be more likely to master diving techniques like controlling their buoyancy without needing to balance themselves by holding parts of the reef.
So, it really is up to you whether you wear diving gloves or not. You should think about the environment you are diving in, consider the temperature, and check if there are any bans currently in place.
The last thing you want to do is to get psyched up for a dive, only to be caught out and face penalties or even just needlessly packing diving gloves when you must just leave them in your bag for the entire trip.