To buy or not to buy – if you have decided to join the scuba diving world, this is probably a question you have been asking yourself. Unfortunately, there is no one answer – it all depends on your choices and circumstances.
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of buying your own scuba gear, although it is pretty hard to pin down the exact costs, here are some thoughts on how to approach this internal battle (if we may call it that).
Rental diving equipment can easily cost between $30 and $70 per day. Although this may not appear to be much at first, the cost quickly adds up after a few dives, and even more so if you are on vacation with multiple days of back-to-back diving.
If you enjoy scuba diving and are a regular diver, buying and maintaining your own set of equipment will actually save you money.
Aside from saving money by not renting, if you own your equipment, you can always resell it to recoup costs if you ever want to update.
When you rent scuba diving equipment from a dive shop, it is generally unisex and from a basic brand, which means it may or may not suit you properly. The benefit of having your own is that you can take your time and try on as many various brands and styles as you like to find the perfect fit.
Once you’ve found your comfort level with the renting diving gear, it will give you the confidence to enjoy the dive and spend more time doing other things like taking photos, videos or simply taking in the beautiful colors and underwater world around you.
Not all scuba diving gear is meant only for scuba diving. You can bring your own mask, snorkel, and fins to any beach vacation; wetsuits and rash vests can be used for various water activities, and many dive computers feature free-diving modes.
Just because you are renting a dive kit does not mean that the gear has been thoroughly sanitized post use by the previous diver. It is not uncommon for a diver to spit into their mask, vomit through their regulator due to sickness, or pee in their wetsuit. While shops may rinse the diving gear in freshwater basins, it requires more than freshwater to clear these unmentionables’ bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Having your own equipment is far more sanitary, don’t you think?
Most of the time, rented scuba diving equipment is quite basic, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it does the job and you can usually dive very securely with it. But this is again about what it means for you.
For example, dive computers are available in dive shops, and you may be unfamiliar with that brand’s display, alarms, and functions. Having your own dive computer allows you to take your time learning how it works and what the various alarm noises mean, making your dive less stressful and giving you more time to enjoy it.
You might even want to go all out and buy a transmitter that allows the tank pressure to be read directly from your dive computer, eliminating the need to constantly reach for and glance at your SPG.
You don’t have to buy a whole set of scuba diving equipment right away if you’re looking to buy your first set of equipment. Starting with the necessities is an excellent approach to begin investing in scuba diving equipment without breaking the bank. If you decide to buy your own diving equipment, it is critical that you get the best guidance available. Make sure you speak with a professional instructor rather than a salesperson who may not fully understand your requirements.
So, what does all of this mean? If you are an avid diver who does around 50 dives per year and intends to dive for many years, it is generally worthwhile to invest in your own set of equipment. There are a lot of other considerations that must be kept in mind as well. Last but not least, weight – diving gear is substantial and can easily consume your entire baggage allowance if you fly frequently, potentially resulting in pricey excess baggage charges, so this is another thing to consider. In the end, it all boils down to personal preference.