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Purchasing your own diving gear can be a daunting task, especially when you are new to diving. With so many variables out there, it is difficult to know where to start. Our team of dive experts can help with giving you recommendations based on your individual needs.
Dive gear is an investment
Yes, buying a complete set of diving equipment can add up in cost, but it is important to keep this in perspective. Just like golf, skiing, and similar equipment-oriented activities, after the initial investment in your own equipment, the costs of the activity are quite reasonable. Unlike golf and skiing however, scuba equipment is your life support under water and should be prioritized in such a way to give you peace of mind. With your own gear, you won’t have to pay rental costs when you go diving and the cost of the equipment will quickly pay off.
Dive gear is individual
Perhaps you have had an experience where a mask you rented leaked constantly, or the fins you used made your feet sore. When you get fitted properly for a mask and fins you can consistently enjoy reliable performance – your mask won’t leak, your fins won’t hurt, and you will get far more pleasure out of your experience.
Your scuba equipment will become an extension of you under water, and the familiarity you have with your own gear will make you more at ease underwater allowing you to focus on the incredible things around you instead of your gear. Simply put, your equipment is very personalized, and it is important to get exactly the right fit for your body and your diving needs.
This means that trying equipment on before buying it is of utmost importance. The core components (exposure suit, fins, mask, boots, BCD’s regulators etc.) need to be purchased with careful consideration and fitting. At Dive World we make this a fun and educational experience offering personal insight into the advantages and disadvantages of the full spectrum of products available on the market, all the while being able to answer any of the questions you may have.
There is no best brand all around
This is not to say that there aren’t brands that are better than others, but rather to say that there isn’t one brand that does every aspect the best. All of the top brands in diving make high quality equipment across a full range of prices however all of these manufacturers have their specialty. Some manufacturers are known for making the best wetsuits, while others are famous for their regulators. You might notice that experienced divers rarely have one brand across the board for all their equipment. At Dive World we carry all of the major brands and have a wealth of knowledge to help you dial in on the best brand for each and every item in your complete dive set. We are also always willing to special order something for you if that is what you need!
Side by side comparison is the best thing!
When buying equipment from Dive World, we offer you the opportunity to test-dive your purchase at our pool. We want to facilitate the environment for you to make informed choices to maximize your diving experience.
The temptation is always there to save money and buy someone’s used equipment off the internet. If you do, it is important to keep in mind the aforementioned points. The gear you are buying was selected for the original owner, their preferences, fit and diving habits. Does this meet your needs?
If you do decide to buy used equipment we highly recommend you bring it in to be inspected by a dive professional to make sure it is still safe to dive. If you are considering buying used dive equipment and want to get our advice on the gear you are buying, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to tell you if the gear is current, the costs of bringing it to dive worthy standards, and the comparable costs of getting similar new gear. We are here to help and take pride in being a source of information to help you make informed choices.
Warranties are essential
An often overlooked aspect of purchasing dive gear is that of the warranty. It is important to keep your gear in excellent working condition and the best way to do that is to ensure that whatever gear you buy comes with a manufacturer warranty and that you are covered in the country in which you live and service your equipment. If you have any questions on warranties, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to let you know if the products you are considering will still have valid warranties. All products sold by Dive World are by major brands and come with full manufacturer warranties and some items are even eligible for in-house warranties.
Turn to the experts
There are lots of sources of information on selecting your dive gear. Dive magazines usually have equipment reviews, which can be really useful but you should bear in mind that in some cases they have paid to be there. At Dive World we do our own field testing of new gear and provide detailed reviews to help you get a sense for how a product performs. Since we sell all of the gear that we test you can take comfort in knowing that we don’t have a bias towards one brand over another. One of the best ways to get a sense of what gear to buy is to look around and see what other experienced divers are using.
Recommended starting points
When getting into diving your first investment should be a set of mask, fins and snorkel. The mask is one of the most important pieces of equipment because it is your portal into the underwater world. Take the time to try on different models and select a mask that will be a perfect fit for your face to eliminate water leaking in. Having your own snorkel is a matter of hygiene; you don’t want to share saliva with strangers after all. Finally, getting your own set of fins will give you the freedom to go snorkeling or diving at your own leisure without the potential for an uncomfortable fit.
The second investment should be a proper wetsuit ideal for the diving environment that you will need it for. A proper fitting dive suit will give you maximum comfort while diving, without the inconvenience of getting fitted over and over when you are renting. Exposure suits do more than just keep you warm however – they also protect your body from scrapes, cuts and stings from marine organisms. You might notice that experienced divers always wear full exposure suits and it is for good reason.
The third investment requires a bit of consideration. If you are a diver who will do most of your diving while traveling, then getting a dive computer next is probably the best way to go. Dive computers are as common in diving as cell phones are in day-to-day life and they are a convenient and extremely useful piece of equipment that we recommend investing in as early on as possible. Dive World carries a full range of dive computers and our dive professionals will be more than happy to walk you through all of the features.
If however you are planning on doing most of your dives locally here in Canada we recommend investing in a regulator as early as possible. This is because diving in cold water requires regulators rated for cold water and these are typically higher end models seldom found as rental options.
After this initial consideration you will likely have many more questions which is why we make ourselves available to take you through the entire selection process to assure you make a decision that will best suit your needs. When shopping at Dive World you’ll know you’ve found a good dive center because we ask questions instead of propose packages.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when buying your own scuba diving gear. Always remember that ultimately you are the one who will be diving with it, and that this will be your life support system. Take the time you need to make the right choice and remember we are here to help.