Okay, let’s get this out of the way first and foremost. Scuba diving is not exactly a cheap sport. But will the expenses be worth it? Certainly!
Here’s what you need to know, costs related to scuba diving gear can come in two different ways: renting your equipment or just buying it.
Knowing when you need to buy and when you need to rent, now that’s how you can cut the overall costs of scuba diving gear and make the expenses more manageable.
There is one main reason that can justify buying your scuba diving equipment over renting them and that is if you are a regular diver.
Especially if you live close to a favorite dive location and probably tend to dive several times a week or month, it would make logical sense to purchase your own gear.
After all, if you dive so very often renting scuba gear will become rather expensive than buying them in the long run.
On the other hand, if you would like to continue experiencing the thrill of viewing shipwrecks, beautiful fish species and the unexplainable feeling of being plunged deep into Mother Nature – you will do best with your own gear.
Your gear relieves you of the trouble of constantly having to worry about where you will hire your equipment from every time you are thinking of diving or whether or not you will find stuff that will fit you.
Instead, since you’ll have your own equipment; whenever the scuba diving mood sets in, you’ll simply be gearing up and going to explore the endless beauty of the underwater world.
In other words, acquiring your own scuba gear gives you more control over your diving escapades. Who wouldn’t want that?
Even situations where buying scuba diving gear is a sensible option, the costs of the full set of equipment you need can still be overwhelming because you may need to spend up to $2000; which is not exactly pocket change right?
What you want to do to make it a little easier for yourself is to buy the equipment one piece at a time until you finally have everything you need.
It’s recommended that you begin with the most fundamental stuff which includes the mask, fins, snorkel and exposure suits. These are essential because you will need them for class.
Then once you have been certified, you can move to buying the other important pieces left like the BCD (costs from $300 to $750), regulator (costs from $220 to $1600) and the dive computer (costs from $350 to $1250)
The purpose of the scuba mask is to allow air in front of your eyes so that the air space created can focus your eyes
Also, the nose pocket on the mask helps in equalizing air pressure in the mask the deeper you go. Masks for scuba diving come in a wide range of styles and your job is to find your perfect fit.
More importantly, you have to identify a mask that will be watertight.
There are several little tricks you can use to do so. For instance, while looking forward place the mask on your face and don’t use the strap. Then inhale through your nose gently.
Does the mask seem to seal quickly on your face? If yes, you’ve got a possible keeper.
You may also want to place a snorkel or regulator mouthpiece in your mouth and see if the mask still feels comfortable and check if there are any gaps. If it doesn’t feel comfy and there appear to be some gaps, that is clearly not the mask for you.
Clear masks allow more light in and prove to be often an ideal choice for beginners. All in all, make sure you only spend your money on a mask that fits you right.
A scuba mask can cost you anywhere from $30 to $160 depending on the brand and style of the particular mask you go for.
There is a reason fish have fins in the place of legs. It’s simple; legs can’t move you faster through water but fins can.
So if you are going to take a trip into the fish world, you might as well get yourself the best fins first. Water is over 700 times denser than air.
Fins, therefore, help one to use maximum power from the large muscles on your legs for efficient water movement and thrust.
To find the best scuba fins for you, look for a right balance between comfort and efficiency. Fins that sort of pinch your toes won’t keep you comfortable while scuba diving and may end up tainting your experience.
So make sure your legs feel comfortable with the fins on and that the straps are easy to use.
Several factors contribute to the efficiency of scuba fins: design, size and stiffness. Divers with stronger legs can have an easier time using massive and stiffer fins.
But divers with smaller legs should consider going for flexible and smaller fins. Expect to spend anywhere from $60 to $200 on fins.
When you are floating face-down deep in the sea, the snorkel is the curved tube that makes it possible for you to breathe comfortably.
The snorkel conserves air in the tank when you’re on the surface of the water.
A good criterion to use to determine the best snorkel to buy is checking whether it breathes dry and easy.
Needless to say, a snorkel that makes it harder for you to breathe will cause a lot of unnecessary discomfort while under water.
Additionally, find a snorkel that feels right in your mouth and is easy to operate such that it can be easily attached to your mask. A scuba snorkel can cost from $20 to $70.
An exposure suit is necessary to insulate a diver from water’s cooling effect, which is capable of robbing your body of heat about 20 times faster than air.
Remember that the thickness or particular type of exposure suit that you’ll need will depend a lot on dive conditions.
The perfect exposure suit for you should fit you tightly without preventing ease of breathing or movement.
Suits that are too loose are not right for you because the gaps created around the neck, legs or arms can allow the circulation of water is making the suit unable to prevent body heat loss.
Wetsuits prices range from $75 to $600 while dry suits can require you to shell from $600 to $2900.
Buying vs. Renting Scuba Gear
Ultimately you will have to decide whether you want to buy or rent your scuba gear.
If you only plan to be diving during vacations, let’s say 2-3 times a year; renting will be the most economical alternative.
Looking at the topic from a cost perspective, it is only advisable for regular divers to buy scuba diving gear.
One of the best things about buying your own gear is that you can take the time you need to find equipment that fit you right.
To get the most out of scuba diving and enjoy memorable dives, you need to be entirely comfortable with your scuba gear.
Any discomfort might ruin it all for you. And that is why some divers would rather deal with the pinch of buying their own gear over renting it.
Nonetheless, now that you know the costs involved in buying one; you can sit down and crunch the numbers so that you can eventually decide which of the two options will work for you.