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Top 10: When to Buy Dive Equipment

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As a new diver, navigating the gear-purchasing journey can be overwhelming. To help you get started, we’re breaking down the essential equipment you should have for every dive and the optimal times to invest in each item.

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Dive Mask

Your dive mask is a no-brainer as your first investment. It’s the piece of equipment that directly touches your face, making comfort and fit crucial. A well-chosen mask can last throughout your diving career unless you need prescription lenses or upgrade to a more advanced mask. Ensure your mask fits well to avoid discomfort and water leaks. It’s common for divers to purchase a mask either before or during their first course.

The new units ‘are powerful, simple, reliable, and the most-compact dive computers

Fins

Rental fins are serviceable, but owning a pair offers a better fit and performance. Most rental fins have basic rubber straps, whereas personal fins can be customized for comfort and efficiency. Divers typically invest in fins after their first course, making them a great way to personalize your gear.

1

Dive Knife

A dive knife is an essential safety device. Modern dive knives are compact and designed to cut through fishing lines or webbing. Start with a small knife that you can easily mount or carry. As you gain experience, you’ll appreciate having a reliable cutting tool during dives.

2

Dive Computer

This is your first significant investment in scuba gear. A personal dive computer ensures you’re familiar with its functions, enhancing safety and convenience. While it’s uncommon for new divers to have their own computer, it becomes a worthwhile investment after your initial certification.

3

Wetsuit

The type of wetsuit you need depends on your diving locations. Owning a wetsuit is preferable to rentals, which may not fit as well and have been used by many others. Consider a 3mm shorty for warm waters, a 5mm full suit for temperate regions, or a drysuit for cold waters. Purchase based on your diving frequency and locations.

4

Regulators

Regulators are vital for breathing underwater and a great investment once you’re committed to diving. They require regular servicing, so consider this when buying. Divers usually own their regulators by the time they take a rescue course.

5

BCD (Buoyancy Control Device)

A BCD is essential for controlling your buoyancy. While rental BCDs are adequate, owning one that fits perfectly enhances comfort and safety. Most divers purchase their BCD around the time they start diving more seriously, often after their rescue course.

6

Dive Torch

A dive torch is indispensable for exploring dark areas or night dives. It’s also useful as a rescue signal and communication tool. While not always necessary, having your own reliable torch is advantageous.

7

Lead Weights

Lead weights are necessary for buoyancy control but aren’t typically purchased early on. If you’re a travelling diver, you can rely on rental weights. However, if you frequently dive locally, owning your weights becomes practical.

8

Dive Cylinder

Owning a dive cylinder is more relevant for divers who dive at home frequently. It’s a convenience investment, saving time and rental fees. However, maintenance and potential damage costs should be considered. Most divers prioritize this purchase based on their diving habits.

9

Bonus: dSMB and Reel

A delayed surface marker buoy (dSMB) and reel are crucial for safety and are usually purchased after your initial courses. They’re important but often follow the other essential gear investments.

If you have different opinions on gear investment order or regret any purchases, share your thoughts in the comments below. For new dive gear, visit Scuba.com.

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Picture of Mark Newman
Mark Newman
A former SCUBA Dive Instructor, I learnt to dive in the UK and taught both here and abroad. After that I spent a lot of time working with dive equipment from all of the major brands. From the Arctic Circle to the Tropics and Apnea to Closed Circuit, most of my professional life has been spent in the scuba diving industry.
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