When we take on a sport like SCUBA diving, we soon may find it is not a ‘cheap’ hobby. While this may be true, it does not have to necessarily be an expensive hobby either. For some people, renting gear can be a better choice for what they’re wanting to do in diving – for example: a diver who may only dive 5-10 times in a year, it may not be worth it to purchase a complete set.
However, for a diver who sets a goal of diving 25+ times in a year, purchasing their own gear ay be a more cost effective way to go.
While all rental gear goes through our sanitation process, it is guaranteed that your own personal gear is only used by yourself. After a year like 2020, hygiene and sanitation has became a regular part of our lives.
When you own your personal gear, you’re able to track your service records and go through the steps of properly cleaning and maintaining your gear on time, and in the right conditions. For example: Not everyone is going to rinse out their regulator properly after a salt water dive or after a dirty lake dive. These are steps you will be able to decide on how to protect your gear and prolong its life.
Extreme Sports offers a class two times a year on how to properly maintain your gear all for FREE. Check our calendar for more information.
Professionally fitted gear will suit your needs better. Let’s look at every part of dive gear starting with the mask. While rental gear may work perfectly fine for you once, the next time you rent gear, that perfectly fit mask is already rented out.
Neoprene items ~ these are one of the largest comfort factors when diving. A loose or tight wetsuit can either have you feeling stranded in the cold or strangled in the neck. Purchasing a properly fitted wetsuit, gloves, hooded vests, and more may make your dive experience that much more enjoyable.
When it comes to regulators, selecting a regulator and adding a custom mouthpiece, with a miflex hose, or a swivel to free up jaw tension may be what you’re looking for. Also, regulators with a low work (ease) of breathing are popular choices for divers with comfort related issues during their first few courses.
Don’t forget about those computers! Some computers are small and compact, some have large numbers that are extremely easy to read, and some have digital log-book functions making it easy to keep track of your dives. Having your own computer makes a diver comfortable with where important information is located.
Of course every other piece of equipment must be professionally fitted to your dive style, body shape, height, and interests. This includes BCDs, fins, snorkels, etc.
After diving with your own gear on multiple dives, you’ll understand where everything is located and all of its features. You’ll feel much safer knowing how your gear was treated, and what it’s been through.
As a new diver, you may want to expand your knowledge and having gear that you’re confident with will help you stay focused on your skills. For example: An Open Water certified SCUBA diver who is interested in taking a night diving course may want a BCD with metal D-Rings in a specific location that way they can always find their primary and backup flashlights.
Another example: Knowing where your secondary source of air sits. On some BCD’s the Air-2 modules or Octo clipping points may sit in a higher or lower location. Diving on a system that is consistent will help a diver learn where everything is at all times from muscle memory.
#4 it's cost effective
By obtaining your own personal gear, you won’t have to keep renting gear! For most divers, this is the most important reason. So let’s break it down:
For example, if you rent dive gear for 30 days of diving in total for $75 dollars a day. Your total will come out to $2,250! Wow! At this point, you could have owned your own personal full set of equipment and possibly a tank / weights.
This does not mean you have to dive 30 times in a year. This is just an example of how purchasing your own dive gear can be cost effective if you were to go diving a couple times a day, just six or seven times a year for two years.
A simple rule that we like to use at the store is if you dive more than 10 times a year, you might think about purchasing a regulator, BCD, and computer. If you dive roughly 25-30 times in a year, you might look at purchasing your own tank and weights. Also, if you dive at all, you might look at purchasing your own wetsuit, just because it can pay off extremely quickly.
There are more packages available and the prices range from all the way down to $1,000 up to around $4000 for recreational diving.
You’re able to go diving where you like, when you like. Not all dive charters rent out gear, not all dive shops allow you to take rental gear on trips, and not all dive shops have hundreds of gear sets available for a busy time like memorial weekend.
With personal gear on hand, you’re able to go diving anywhere! Maybe that’s a local quarry, lake, or maybe a coast / traveling.
Also, let’s say your dive buddy calls you on Sunday and says let’s go diving, it’s nice out! Sounds great… oh wait, it’s Sunday, all the local dive shops are closed. Owning your gear will allow you to go when you want. No need to wait until you are off work to run to the dive shop and rent gear… just go!
bonus - #6 the 'drive to dive'
Once you have your own gear, you’ll have that urge to get wet. Diving is extremely healthy for our mental health – it’s just us and the quiet underwater world. Hopping into the water after a stressful week at work can be very peaceful and allow you and your dive buddy to explore what most humans may never get to see.
Air fills are very cheap; in fact, most dive shops make no profit on air. This is their way to get people to dive! If a diver owns their gear, air fills across the US range from $6 to $15 (21%).