Diving equipment occupies most of a professional diver’s attention, as it is linked to the details of their diving career.
Therefore, many divers, after trying the diving sport, strive to acquire their personal equipment and invest their money in purchasing that equipment to avoid renting it every time they want to dive.
There are two main reasons why a diver buys their equipment:
1. The type of equipment rented from the diving store
The equipment offered for rent in most diving centers around the world is mostly worn out with limited capabilities. For example, diving centers rarely offer for rent balanced regulators, BCD with buoyancy control or other modern technologies that help the divers secure an advanced level of comfort and luxury. So, divers seek to buy their personal equipment.
2. Harmony between the Equipment and the Diver
We learned in the first diving course (open water diver) a basic rule that says that the best diving equipment is the most suitable for you. This means that the equipment has to meet your needs, size, and physical structure of the diver is always the best. For example, fins come in different types and designs. Some divers need fins that give stronger propulsion, and some prefer flexible fins that do not cause pressure on the leg muscles, in addition to many combinations between different diving equipment that may not be available for rent in diving centers, so the diver turns to buy their personal equipment.
Also, harmony with the equipment and technology available in different devices is just like driving a car. Now you are used to driving your car. You know the standard needed by the gas pedal and you can easily estimate the distances and the dimensions of your own vehicle. Imagine if you borrowed a friend’s car, you will not be comfortable driving it. If it is your own vehicle that you are accustomed to, you will need to set everything and assign some time to get used to driving it. Diving equipment is just the same. The floating device requires a specific model and a pumping system you are used to, air release techniques you know and fins, a regulator, a mask, a breathing tube, and many details that you will be comfortable if you are used to, instead of trying something new every time.
These are the main reasons why divers buy their personal equipment, but how do I purchase the appropriate equipment?
Purchasing your diving equipment needs a lot of attention. You only buy your equipment once, so make sure that you will not have to replace it by choosing the correct gear. Know that you do not have to buy all the equipment at once. You can purchase your personal one at a time, but the most important thing is that you choose correctly. Here we guide divers to the right way and time to buy that equipment.
In order, sorted by priority:
The mask is the most important piece of equipment. A diving student is advised to buy it immediately after registering for the course. Why?
The mask used by the diver must fit the face perfectly in terms of size, lens type, rubber size, and type of silicon used. The mask does not need an underwater test. The appropriate mask can be known by trying it out at diving equipment store in the way explained in the diving course video (put the mask on your face without using the straps and fastening tape, inhale through your nose and hold your breath. The mask should then shrink properly on the face without wrinkles in the silicon. If you can still inhale, this means that the mask is large and you need a smaller size). After purchase, follow the method of getting rid of the wax layer on the internal lenses to reduce fogging and use one of the methods that prevent fogging before every dive.
A wetsuit helps you float, gives you warmth underwater, and protects the body from shocks during diving if it touches seabed, rocks or corals. Avoid using a used suit. You do not know who was using it before you. Buy your own suit for health protection.
You can learn about the appropriate quality of fins after performing flexible exercises in confined waters during diving training. In the meantime, you will test your ability to fin and your correct requirements. Try to know what type of fins is best and consult your coach. The right fins should not cause pressure on the leg. You should also consider that the fins you buy should fit your weight and body nature.
4. Dive Computer
You learned in the open water diver course how to plan for diving to know how much time is allowed for the depth you want to reach, determine the surface rest time, and also to determine your maximum depth. A dive computer provides you with these necessary calculations, notifies you of the water temperature, and alerts you when you exceed ascending or descending speed. A dive computer also notifies you of safety stops or pressure relief stops.
A dive computer is an important factor of direct effect by alerting the diver about safety and security standards.
5. Buoyancy Control Device (BCD)
During training, you will test this device five times in confined water and at least four times at sea. You will learn the importance of this device and how it works. You will inevitably need to develop your buoyancy skill. Buying this device will greatly facilitate this task for you. After completing the training dives, hurry to purchase your diving suit. And when you purchase, make sure that the device cloth is of high strength and make sure that there are metal rings to hang accessories and pockets. We recommend that the buoyance control device has built-in weights. In case you want to continue diving and want to access professional courses, you should know the lifting capacity that your float control device provides. However, if you are a traveler who wants to travel and experience diving in different regions of the world, say you plan to travel more than twice a year, you must choose a lightweight type so as not to cause you inconvenience when you place it in the luggage.
Regulators are available in the markets in two systems by many companies (see the Regulators page in the Diving Information section for more details). After purchasing all of the aforementioned equipment, all you are lacking now is the regulator. Make sure your regulator is balanced and that the mouthpiece fits the size of the diver’s mouth in terms of weight and size. This means that if the diver is a child, for example, avoid choosing a regulator with a heavy air source that will require the diver to bite the mouthpiece strongly, which would cause the diver a headache after diving. There are other details about these regulators, such as the techniques to exhale air into the environment. Some modern regulators exhale from the side of the breathing source so that bubbles do not obstruct the diver’s view.
7. Equipment Bag
Depending on your equipment size and weight, choose a large bag that can accommodate everything in order to preserve the equipment from damage and loss. Choose a bag with pockets for fins, enough space for a BCD and a regulator lined pockets to keep the mask and breathing tube and additional pockets for accessories. Remember that the equipment will be heavy, so choose a bag with wheels so that you would be able to drag it and relieve yourself from carrying it.
Buy your equipment professionally and avoid having to replace it due to the wrong choice so that you would not waste your money. Choose a good brand even if it costs more. Remember you are buying it for yourself, your entertainment, and, most importantly, your safety underwater. Avoid buying essential equipment online. Try to buy the important things from around your area or the country in which you live in order to benefit from the warranty. These equipment and devices are not cheap and you may need the warranty. You must test, touch, and try the equipment in the store before you buy it. It can be available online for a cheaper price, but there are important factors other than the price. In this case, you can purchase accessories online, but it is not recommended for essential equipment. If a diver wanted to purchase online because of the lack of a specific brand or local agent, the serial number of the product must be requested and the manufacturer must be contacted to make sure that it is an original product. This process will need some time to contact the manufacturer, which will undoubtedly respond, but it is a very important step. Never miss these details. After the purchase, take good care of the equipment, clean it constantly, and make sure to do the recommended annual checks.