An easy-to-use, nitrox-capable dive computer for recreational divers
Long before space travel, the ocean was the first hostile environment that we humans ventured into. As far back as the late 17th century, we strapped on helmets and headed under the ocean. This unprecedented exploration however would not have been possible without the equipment that allowed us to breathe underwater and keep us safe. It’s equipment like the Suunto Zoop Novo that makes diving the fun, exciting and safe sport that it is.
The Suunto Zoop Novo dive computer is a perfect example of a dive watch that will enhance your time underwater and make your whole diving experience safer, and more enjoyable. The Zoop Novo has a simple and user-friendly interface with well laid out indicators and measurements. The large screen displays bold figures, allowing the details to be read easily at a quick glance, which is perfect for if you want to pay close attention to the underwater world around you, rather than having to focus closely on the details of your computer. The navigation of the watch is simple and easy, again allowing for efficiency, letting you concentrate on your dive, rather than the screen on your wrist. The simple interface and easy navigation makes the computer perfect for an entry level diver, and the more advanced features allow you to progress as a diver without needing to upgrade computers.
The watch has four different modes, as well as an ‘off’ mode. The first is air mode. This is the default setting for a normal dive with normal air. Within this mode, as well as the rest, there is a range of settings included that you can adjust to enhance your dive: personal/altitude adjustment, depth alarm, dive time alarm, sample rate and deep stop rate. These are optional features that can be turned on or off depending on your preference.
The second mode is nitrox mode. This allows the computer to incorporate its algorithm into the enriched air mixture that you’re breathing. Here, you can enter in the oxygen percentage in the settings anywhere from 21% to 50%, and partial pressures from 17.4 psi 23.2 psi will be displayed. Once the settings from your enriched air have been entered, the computer will calculate your maximum operating depth.
In gauge mode, the third mode, the watch will display only depth and time, whereas the fourth mode is free mode, which is a unique feature that many dive watches do not possess. This mode is perfect for both snorkelling and freediving, as it will display information on your dive without penalising you for ascending too quickly and it will not record decompression information.
Another unique feature of the watch is the ability to make adjustments to your personal situation. This feature makes your dives safer by reducing the likelihood of being susceptible to Decompression sickness. If you were either in a location that would increase this likelihood, for example a high altitude location, this could be recorded into the computer and the calculations would be adjusted accordingly and it would tell you the safest length and depth of your dive. Similarly, if you were in a certain physical state that also could increase the likelihood of decompression sickness, for example: fatigue, dehydration, over exertion or a lack of physical fitness – this too could be recorded in the computer and the calculations would be altered. This is a fantastic and unique feature that brings a whole new dimension to diving safety.
The Zoop will automatically record your dive history, including every last detail. The capacity of the watch is roughly 140 hours, so it will certainly take a while to fill up the memory. If storage on the watch isn’t quite enough for more frequent divers, the Zoop is PC compatible, and you can upload your dive history onto a PC or Mac with the USB kit.
With the help of the Suunto Zoop Novo, safety stops and deep stops have become easy. For any dive below 10 meters, the watch will immediately display safety stop information, which will either include an optional stop or a mandatory stop. The recommended safety stop should be for 3 minutes at a depth anywhere between 3-6 meters. But instead of having to hold onto the anchor line to make sure you’re at the right depth, having the Zoop tell you will make it much easier. If activated, a deep stop will be displayed on the screen for any dive below 20 meters, which makes for good diving practice. The recommended safety stop should be for 3 minutes at a depth anywhere between 3-6 meters. But instead of having to hold onto the anchor line to make sure you’re at the right depth, having the Zoop tell you will make it much easier. If activated, a deep stop will be displayed on the screen for any dive below 20 meters, which makes for good diving practice.
Although one of the draws of this dive watch is its simplicity, it is however lacking a few advanced features that would allow it to be perfect for dive instructors as well as beginners. The watch does not have the option for air integration. This means that it does not have a feature that allows you to measure the amount of air you have left in your tank. Instead, this will need to be done through an additional external pressure gauge, in order to monitor your supply. This feature is more prominent in higher range dive computers, which increases the ease and efficiency of dives.
Overall, the Suunto Zoop Novo dive watch is a fantastic watch that can serve the purposes of a range of different levels of divers from beginner to advanced. It has a number of unique and useful features that aren’t present in many other dive computers out there – including its free diving mode and the option to make personal and altitudinal adjustments. It’s a modern and innovative dive computer, but at the same time it is easy to learn how to use and it won’t take long to get your head around it. Although the simplicity of the watch sacrifices a few advanced features, it is nonetheless still a viable option for a diverse range of divers, so if you’re in the market for your first dive computer or you’re simply looking around for an update, I highly recommend it.
The Suunto Zoop Novo is available in all Suunto authorised dealers in the UAE & GCC for only 1,100 AED.
For more info you can visit www.suunto.com
Words By: Jake Lyle