How to Buy Scuba Gear

How to Buy Scuba Gear
Once you have completed your scuba certification, it's time to head out and dive. Deciding what equipment to buy and what you should rent will depend on where you will be diving, the amount and type of diving you will be doing, and your budget. Scuba gear is a major investment, and it will last a long time when properly maintained. You also are trusting your life to your equipment, so selection is very important.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Mask Snorkel Fins Neoprene boots and gloves Regulator and octopus (safe second stage) Gauges--depth, air pressure and timer (dive console) Buoyancy control device Neoprene wet suit, optional
  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Fins
  • Neoprene boots and gloves
  • Regulator and octopus (safe second stage)
  • Gauges--depth, air pressure and timer (dive console)
  • Buoyancy control device
  • Neoprene wet suit, optional
Step 1
Evaluate what you will need. Most dive classes require you to have your own equipment for the course. Personal equipment consists of mask, snorkel, fins, gloves and boots. Beyond these basics, decide what you want to purchase and what you will rent. Air tanks are heavy and large, so unless you live close to the water these are probably best rented.
Step 2
A regulator and octopus are essential pieces of equipment that most divers prefer to purchase. If you are comfortable with the regulator you used in class that can be a good direction to go. Or try renting a few regulators and see which ones feel best to you. Some breathe easier than others, some flow more regularly in all positions. Higher end regulators will have controls that allow you to adjust the flow of air. This is not a piece of equipment you want to buy used.
Step 3
Select a dive console that you can read and understand. Consoles also may include a compass and water temperature gauge. A console that swivels is much easier to access in all conditions. Compare different consoles and options. Many times a console and regulator system can be purchased as a set.
Step 4
Choose a buoyancy control device that fits well. BCDs come with many options. Some include an integrated weight system, which eliminates the need for a standard weight belt. Two basic styles are vest and back inflate, with each having different attributes. Rent a few different types and choose the style you are most comfortable with.
Step 5
Look at where you will be diving when choosing whether to purchase a wetsuit. Different water temperatures call for different thicknesses. Renting wetsuits is a good option to purchasing. They can be bulky and are fairly expensive.
Step 6
Check with your local dive shop for package deals. If it is where you have been certified, you will be familiar with their equipment and service. There also are sites online that have good selections and pricing. Purchase what you need to get started, and add on to your gear as you progress with your diving.

Tips & Warnings

 
Dive shops often are able to service the gear they sell.
 
Never attempt scuba diving without being certified. Beware of used equipment that has not been inspected and serviced at a shop.
 
Never attempt scuba diving without being certified.
 
Beware of used equipment that has not been inspected and serviced at a shop.

Article Written By Andy McVeigh

Andy McVeigh lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys paddling, biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, scuba diving and photography. McVeigh is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and is currently working on his MBA.

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