Should I buy my own dive gear? Is hiring dive gear as convenient as I think? What part’s of my kit should I be considering at different levels? What if I plan to dive locally and or travel?
Lot’s of new and even experienced divers can get distracted and confused about what dive gear is best rented or owned. Either for local diving or while traveling, what is a good idea to take with you and what should be rented? As a reputable Dive Store and Diver Training Centre, the truth is, we want you to purchase the right gear at the right times and at the best convenience for both your current diving and in the future. The better set up for diving you are, the more likely we are doing what we set out to do.. So.
Mask, Snorkel, Fins and Boots.. Gloves?
Certainly at any stage, a Mask, Snorkel, Fin’s and even Dive Boot’s and Glove’s and are a must have. Even if you’re Snorkeling or just giving scuba diving a go, chances are you’ll enjoy it much more with a quality piece of dive gear that’s hand picked to suit you.
Wetsuit’s and Drysuits
Another piece of Dive Kit you should consider early on is a Wetsuit. These come in a variety of styles and thicknesses. A good fitting Wetsuit with the features you need will add a considerable amount of comfort to your Snorkeling, Free-diving and SCUBA diving. A Wetsuit has a better price tag than some of the items in the previous paragraph so it does help if you’ve had a little experience or know that you want to continue, at least Snorkeling. Taking up SCUBA diving? Then getting your own exposure protection is a must.
A Wet Suit or in temperate water like Wellington, you might consider a Drysuit for winter diving. These are able to be adjusted by the amount of thermal undergarments to keep you warm in almost any climate. You can purchase a Drysuit to learn to dive in and take the Drysuit Diver Specialty at the same time. At any stage once certified is suitable. Don’t forget though, on a hot summers day that a Wetsuit never goe’s a miss either, you might find yourself putting together a wardrobe of diving attire!
Camera’s, Bags and Gadgets
You’ll need a good dive bag for your dive gear. There are bag’s available made from Mesh to keep your smaller dive kit items together like Masks etc. Right through to gear bag’s for full Spearfishing or Scuba kit, Weight bag’s are handy for dive weights and travel bags when planning overseas trips. When should you get an underwater Camera? Once you’re comfortable doing the activity then an Underwater Camera is a priceless accessory. Capture those experiences to share for a lifetime and snap photo’s of your favourite marine life as you go. Torches are helpful for SCUBA divers especially, once certified these are a great addition to your kit for peering into crevices, Night Diving, Wreck Diving and much more..
Safety item’s like a dive knife are required for certified divers as with safety sausages and SMB’s (Surface Marker Buoys) for SCUBA diving are an important item to carry also. We have a custom SMB Specialty Course where you can learn how to operate these from under the water too. Surface signaling devices like a whistle or a DiveAlert are a must as well.
You’re a certified Diver, should you get your own set of SCUBA gear? During your Open Water Diver course you’ll learn what’s needed to get you started and become certified to SCUBA dive with a buddy. Learning what work’s for you take’s experience and likely if you plan to dive for many year’s you’ll end up replacing things and upgrading too. Some divers hire the SCUBA gear initially until they are better set up for and convinced it’s something they want to do regularly.
If you’re looking at continuing through to PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, PADI Rescue Diver and Specialty Diving courses etc. then having your own SCUBA gear becomes like your Mask, Snorkel, Fins etc. Getting your own SCUBA Kit will give you greater confidence and comfort in the water. This also allows you the freedom and convenience to go diving when it suits you, not just when the dive shop is open.
Some essential items for your SCUBA kit include:
- A hard wearing, comfortable BCD, preferably Weight Integrated.
- Regulator’s; 1st Stage, Primary, Alternate Air Source and a Gauge or Computer. (Dive Computer’s like a wrist option are advisable early on and are sometimes even purchased before a SCUBA Kit. This is particularly true if you’re doing deep and/or multiple dives a day).
- Dive Safety Knife in case of entanglement or a pesky onlooker (of the fishy kind).
- Signalling Devices; Both surface and some underwater options are available.
- An SMB or Safety Sausage are important.
- Don’t forget a dive bag too.
Dive Tanks.. To buy or to rent?
If you’re going to be diving regularly in your “home patch”, then you might want to look at purchasing your own dive tanks. As with your SCUBA gear, the convenience is somewhat second to none, plus you can choose from Steel, Aluminium and the size to suit your diving. For the occasional dive or when it come’s to dive travel, often renting is a better option.
Going Sidemount or Technical Diving?
You will need a Modular BCD System like our Atlantis and Dive Rite Transpac options and different Regulator configurations too. At these levels our range of options can be configured to suit all divers and situations. Talk to us in store for the right gear for you. Certainly the availability of hire equipment at this level will be very minimal or non-existent so your own Sidemount and Technical Diving gear is almost a given.
Getting gear with each dive course is an excellent idea, you’ll not only be more comfortable but you’ll learn how to use it correctly. If you’re confident in your abilities, just want to try stuff on your own or know what you are after then any stage is fine. The right answer is different for everybody. Talk with and source your gear from a reputable dive stores. At NZ Sea Adventures we offer as much or as little advice and training as is needed with any dive gear or courses.