When it comes to buying your own scuba diving gear it can be difficult to know when you should buy and what you should buy. Here are some guidelines as well as pros, cons and suggestions for both new divers and experienced divers to help you navigate your way around the dive store!
Is it necessary for me to buy scuba diving gear?
Usually, it is not necessary to own any of your own scuba gear to start diving or to go on diving trips. However, in some remote areas and on liveaboards (which have limited space for storing gear) you may be required to have at least your own basics – mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit.
So why buy scuba diving gear if I can rent?
There are numerous positives to owning your own gear, here are the main ones:
Comfort and Fit: When you buy your own gear you’ll take some time trying on different sizes and styles to get the item that is most comfortable for you. This is important – a badly fitting rental BCD or leaking mask can really take away from your diving enjoyment.
Safety through Familiarity: When you have your own gear you get familiar with it, you know exactly where everything is which increases safety – your SMB is in the same pocket as it always is; you know where your alternate air source is and it’s easy to locate other accessories.
Long Term Saving: Depending on where you are diving equipment rental prices can vary considerably. If you are doing a lot of diving then over a period time you can make a considerable saving to the point where, in some cases, your gear can pay for itself.
The right item for the job: Some divers have certain gear requirements which may not be guaranteed if you are renting. For example, an underwater photographer may need large BCD pockets to store interchangeable wet lenses.
Multi-purpose: Not all scuba diving gear is only for scuba diving. If you have your own mask, snorkel and fins you can pack them for any beach holiday; wetsuits and rash vests can be used for other water sports and many dive computers also include free-diving modes.
Dive Computers: Each dive computer has different settings, buttons, menu, functions and algorithms. Trying to figure out a different model of rental computer each time you dive can sometimes be time consuming and frustrating. Having your own computer means you will get to know how it works and many computers record your dives and will link up to your laptop so you can transfer your logged dives instantly.