Are you a recently qualified scuba diver and looking to buy dive equipment for the first time? If so there are a few things you should know before you just buy any old thing from anywhere.
Remember the dive equipment you buy will be responsible for keeping you alive underwater so buying second hand gear may not be the best idea unless you are sure it has been maintained and serviced regularly and is in good working order.
Buying or Renting SCUBA dive Equipment?
In most locations around the world you can start your scuba career with as little as a swimsuit as most dive schools will be happy to rent out their dive equipment to the people who dive with them.
This can be great if you are new to scuba diving but once you have got a feel for the sport and plan to participate in it in a regular basis, renting can become expensive and this is where buying becomes a better option.
We would advise all first time scuba divers to at least own their own mask. These can be purchased both online and in dive shops although it is always recommended to try on the mask before purchase to make sure it fits the size of your face.
The best way to check this is to place the mask over your eyes and nose (without the strap) and breathe in. If the mask stays on your face, it is a good fit. A snorkel and fins are also good pieces of SCUBA dive equipment to buy if you are new to the sport as not only will they fit you correctly (unlike rented gear) but they are core items of equipment, and easy to transport!
Other Essential SCUBA Items and Accessories
Aside from your mask, snorkel and fins you will also need a wetsuit that is suited to the climate you will be diving in – a dry suit for cold waters, a full length wetsuits for warmer waters and a shortie wetsuit for tropical climates. Which you ultimately choose will depend on how much you feel the cold.
A BCD is also recommended if you are going to be diving regularly as is a regulator set. Although these can be rented, the brands often differ. Having your own will help you feel assured that you know how to use it.
Other option extras include a dive watch (highly recommended if you will be doing more than one dive a day), a torch and a writing slate. You may also want to look into rescue equipment such as a marker buoy, a mask for giving CPR and a dive knife.
What isn’t Essential Dive Equipment?
Your dive tank and weights are the only pieces of SCUBA dive equipment that are not essential. Whilst you can buy these can be very hard to maintain and you will need to know what you are doing.
Most dive schools will include these in the price of the dive too so you will not incur any extra costs for the rental.
When buying your scuba dive equipment from a shop or online store make sure that it fits you properly and that if it isn’t brand new, that it has been serviced and maintained well. You should also focus on what the equipment offers rather than on the way it looks or what color it is. T
he last thing you want is something to break when you are underwater. Buying scuba diving equipment for the first time doesn’t need to break the bank, just buy the essentials first and then increase what you own over time. Have fun!
When did you buy your SCUBA Equipment for the first time?
Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.