When buying scuba diving gear, there are a few things to keep in mind. Purchasing the right gear for your experience level and body type is key, as is figuring out what will fit your budget. There are so many options out there that just thinking about buying scuba diving gear can be intimidating.
So let’s start from the basics.
Is it better to buy or rent scuba gear?
There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. Every dive shop has a wide variety of scuba gear, and you can rent it for the duration of your stay. This is one of the best ways to save money on diving expenses, considering that the price of scuba equipment can easily exceed $1,000.00. Another thing to consider is that you will not be carrying an extra giant bag.
Besides that, if you are not diving frequently, it’s more convenient to rent, so you don’t have to worry about the maintenance and washing up all the gear after your dives.
On the other hand, you never know what will come your way. I’ve been in dive operations where the BCD was disintegrating. So, if you are someone that values comfort and can spare the money, buying your own gear can be a way to have peace of mind. Because you’re familiar with it, you’ll be confident as you use the equipment to its full potential.
In addition, consider the environment you will be diving in, and the equipment you will need to make the dive. Finally, be sure to test all your gear before hitting the water!
Your budget for buying scuba diving gear
When it comes to the price of scuba gear, the sky is the limit. If you have the money to spare for that great new dive computer and the shiny new fins, go ahead and get crazy. Consider the dive computer as your first investment. They’re a big improvement over the traditional diving table and add an extra layer of safety should you know how to operate and use it.
But if you are on a budget, consider purchasing one piece of gear at a time. I usually recommend starting with a mask that will fit your face comfortably and won’t leak. There is nothing worse than diving with a foggy, uncomfortable, and leaking mask. Trust me, I’ve been there.
The second piece would be a suit for hygiene reasons. There are two types of divers, the ones that pee on their wetsuit, and those that lie. Even though the dive shop rinses the suit after each day of diving, there are people who prefer to have their own because of that.
Then continue buying the pieces of gear that you’ll feel will make the biggest difference on your dive.
What type of diving do you plan on doing?
This is a relevant question to ask yourself. Will you be diving mostly in cold or warm waters? If you are planning to dive in the Caribbean, there is no need to buy a semidry wetsuit. Especially if you are hot-natured. A short 2.2 wetsuit will be a great bet. There are divers that use only a rash guard and shorts.
Are you going to dive in places with lots of currents that may drive you apart from your group? A surface marker is mandatory, so the boat can find you. It is also a good idea to have a whistle. Are you curious about night diving? You definitely need a flashlight.
Fit and comfort for scuba gear
When it comes to diving, comfort and fit are key. If you’re not comfortable in your gear, you won’t be able to enjoy your dive. Consider buying first the gears that would make the greater difference to your comfort first, then going to the pieces that won’t make much difference.
An uncomfortable BCD could compromise your trim, making you kick more often to keep your buoyancy right, which will make you consume more air.
Or maybe your fins are too small for your body size and weight and won’t have as much propelling force as needed.
Leaking masks can make a real difference for the worse. The need to purge them regularly can make some new divers nervous, especially when they can’t control their breathing as efficiently yet and some of that water gets in their nostrils.
Prices and quality
It is a given that when you are looking for something, you want the best of both worlds: quality and affordability. However, these two ideals are frequently at odds with one another. In order to find the best price for something, you may have to sacrifice quality or vice versa.
There are many options to choose from, and if you let yourself go, you can easily spend a lot of money on your dive gear. If you find yourself in doubt, look online for reviews and ask your fellow divers. You will frequently find out that the extra feature advertised as a huge differential won’t make that much of a difference and will likely be a waste of money.
Last, but not least, you should evaluate the manufacturer’s reliability.
Peer on the experiences of your colleagues to get a much better hold on the right products. They’re the greatest asset you’ll have for getting hold of the right items.
Warranties and returns of your diving gear
When buying diving gear, it’s important to know the policies on warranties and returns. Diving gear is not exactly cheap, so should any problem occur, you want to be covered and sure that you won’t have to spend more money.
Inform yourself about the store’s policy on warranty and returns. Be sure to read the store’s policy before you buy, so you know what is and is not covered.
If you have any questions about a store’s policies, don’t hesitate to ask the salesperson. They should be able to answer all your questions and help you make an informed purchase.
In conclusion, when buying scuba diving gear, there are many things to consider. The most critical factor is finding the right gear that will fit you and your diving needs. Be sure to do your research and find a reputable dealer to make your purchase. Get fitted for the gear before you buy it to be sure it is perfect for you. With the right gear, you will be able to enjoy diving for years to come.
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