An SMB (Surface Marker Buoy) or more commonly used nowadays DSMB (Delayed Surface Marker Buoy or Decompression Buoy) are both a vital part of every divers safety equipment. SMBs can be towed during the dive behind a diver or a group of divers, for example, during diving instructions. DSMBs can be deployed from underwater at different stages of the dive. Both types are for marking divers position in the water, which is especially important when undergoing diving instruction, diving off the boat, diving in rough seas or strong currents. DSMBs are widely used in technical diving for marking and assisting in positioning during decompression. Marker buoys can also be used underwater to mark an important feature or an artefact.
SMBs and DSMBs are generally red or orange while yellow DSMBs are usually used to signal an underwater emergency. Selected buoys feature SOLAS reflective tape for better visibility.
SMBs differ in design. Mike's Dive Store offers open-ended and open-ended self-sealing SMBs. However, most recent DSMBs come with an inflation valve and a pressure relief valve OR sealed, with a built-in air supply and a pressure relief valve.
Diving SMB's are a bit like essential fashion accessories - everyone has to have a different one, and they all think theirs is the best. Hence the reason we stock so many - from the classic AP Valves SMB to the handy Mares All in One Divers Marker through to the new top end Apeks SMB. We would like to think we have a dive reel and an SMB for every taste!
Not to forget that SMB's are probably the most important part of safety gear you will ever buy and are a legal requirement to dive within some countries and territories. Read more about Scuba Diving Surface Safety and Equipment on our Blog.