It’s truly special to find an activity you are passionate about, so why not make it as enjoyable as possible? Beginners getting into the breathtaking world of scuba may not always think it’s necessary to buy their own equipment.
While it’s usually not necessary to own your own gear to start diving and going on dive trips, there are many reasons why having your own gear makes more sense.
Owning your own equipment can make each dive experience more enjoyable. It helps you be more comfortable, build confidence and be more efficient in the water. It also gives you more enthusiasm, which means you will get diving more.
There are many positive reasons to own your own gear. Here are our main reasons:
Comfort and Fit
When buying your own scuba gear, you will take the time to try on different sizes and styles that are most comfortable for your body. Having the most enjoyable diving means finding gear that you don’t even realize you’re wearing.
If you choose to rent, sometimes gear is more limited, which can lead to discomfort. This can be through a leaking mask, a restraining BCD or fins that feel like they will slip off with every kick.
Safety through Familiarity
Owning your own gear means it’s exactly as you left it. This increases safety. You’re familiar with it. You know exactly where your alternate air source is, which pocket your SMB is in, where all your dump valves are on your BCD.
The last thing you want in the event of an emergency is having to think about where these features or certain accessories are on your rental gear versus just using muscle memory.
Long Term Savings
Rental costs can definitely add up. If you do a lot of diving over a period of time, these costs can exceed the amount you would have had to spend to buy your own gear at the start. What’s more, had you had your own, you wouldn’t have had to deal with any of the rental issues that have already been mentioned.
The Right Gear for the Job
Scuba divers are not created equal. We all have our different interests and hobbies when it comes to diving. Certain gear requirements may not be guaranteed if you are renting. For example, you’re a night diving fanatic and the dive torches available don’t produce much light. Maybe you love underwater photography and you need large BCD pockets to store extra camera accessories.
Just because it’s “scuba diving” gear, doesn’t mean it can’t be used for other reasons. Going on a beach holiday? Pack your own mask, snorkel and fins. Use your wetsuit and rash guards to go surfing. Many dive computers also come with a freediving mode, so why not give a course a try?
Though dive computers could have been included in with Safety Through Familiarity, it gets its own section because they are such a critical piece of gear to own and NOT rent.
Dive computers monitor depth, bottom time, no decompression limits and more and have different settings, buttons, menus, functions and algorithms that are important for keeping you safe. Learning to use a new model because you are renting on each diving adventure can be time consuming and frustrating. This is the last thing you should be feeling while getting ready for an epic dive.
No matter if you choose to rent or be a proud owner of some awesome scuba gear, the important thing is that you get wet and continue exploring!
And lastly, as always, dive safe and have fun!
“From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.”
– Jacques Yves Cousteau