Scuba Diving Equipment

Equip yourself with the best scuba diving gear

Like most scuba newbies, you probably rented all or most of your equipment from the dive shop while you took while you attended scuba diving school. Now that you're certified, though, you need to decide what gear you'll continue to rent, and what you should purchase right away. Especially if you don't plan on diving frequently, you can continue to rent much of your equipment, but a few basic items – your mask, snorkel, fins and boots – need to be fitted to you, and you're better off making the investment and owning them from the start.

Basic Scuba Equipment

Here's how to find the best scuba equipment for you:

  • Mask: By now, there are many dive mask models, with features ranging from built-in dive computers to the ability to pack flat. When starting out, though, the most important things to look for are a good fit, high quality, and a wide field of vision.
  • Snorkel: You'll always be spending time on the surface when preparing to start a dive, and a snorkel will help you conserve energy and stay comfortable while saving the air in your scuba tank for the dive. Choose a snorkel that fits comfortably in your mouth; if you dive often in rough waters, a snorkel with a purge valve will make it easier to clear water from the tube.
  • Fins: When buying fins, it's important that they fit well. If you'll be wearing boots, try the fins on over the boots. A good fit improves your swimming efficiency and reduces blisters.
  • Boots: Scuba boots help prevent the heel strap on your fins from causing chafing, as well as protecting your feet from sharp or hot surfaces as you enter and exit the water. The protection from blisters that boots offer makes them a good investment. Scuba boots should fit snugly, like shoes.

Deals on Scuba Gear

You depend on your scuba equipment to keep you alive and safe underwater, so choosing your gear is no time to pinch pennies. However, it is possible to find deals on quality equipment. Most shops will offer discount scuba diving equipment of high quality right at the end of the dive season. Look for display models or merchandise from last season that comes from a reliable brand.

Great scuba diving equipment sales can also be found online. When purchasing scuba diving equipment online, it's especially important to select a well-known brand and use a vendor with a good return policy. Scuba diving equipment auctions have also sprung up online.

New or Used Scuba Gear

For those on a budget, it may be a better idea to purchase high-quality used equipment than to end up with cheaply made new gear. If you're buying used scuba diving equipment, it's especially important to be knowledgeable about the reputations of different brands. It's also best to buy from a shop that inspects used equipment before reselling it, to ensure that it's in working order.

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