I’ve written a lot about how to buy scuba gear, but that assumes that you’ve already made the decision to buy. If you are still struggling with that decision, then lets talk about that for the moment.
Here is a quick test.
- If you can afford the gear you need
- If you think you will dive enough to make it a worthwhile investment
- If you don’t like relying on gear you do know control and know the maintenance and condition BEFORE you get under water
If you can answer two of those three questions yes, the my answer to you is yes, go buy your own gear.
Let’s unpack those questions though and discuss them a little.
Can you afford the gear you need?
The first question you have to answer is “Can you afford the gear you need?” Notice I didn’t say “want”? When we bought our first set of gear, I wanted the best of the best. The lovely and talented Kathy reminded me however that we couldn’t afford the best of the best. We had to buy two sets of gear, not one. (Buying me a really great set of gear and letting her use rental was out of the question…I asked.) But we could afford two sets of good, moderately priced gear.
Exceptional dive centers will actually loan you rental gear if you are staying current with your payments. This way you can continue to dive even if you don’t yet have your gear.
Will dive enough to make it a worthwhile investment?
If, like me, you live in South Florida and you plan on diving at least twice a quarter, owning your own gear makes sense. That’s not quite once a month. This is strictly a financial calculation. It costs money to rent gear. If you rent enough gear, you can simply pay for your own instead.
Are you ok using rental gear?
The final factor you need to take into consideration, and I list this one last on purpose, is, are you ok with rental gear. Some divers don’t have a problem with rental gear. These days, it’s standard operating procedure to bring your own mouthpiece for your regulator, but everything else is some elses. While I personally know how well the rental gear is maintained at the diver center I work with, not all dive centers are as rigorous. This is especially important when you travel outside of the country and rent gear at a resort. You literally never know what you are getting.
With my own gear I know exactly how it has been maintained, what it has been through and if there is anything wrong, exactly who to blame. (myself)
So there you have it.
If you answer 2 out of 3 of these questions yes, get to your local dive center and start looking at gear.
I look forward to seeing you on a boat soon!
Until next time,
Cal “Uncle Cal” Evans