diving, like many recreational activities, is equipment intensive.
Recreational diving has grown from an obscure sport practiced by a small
band of youthful and athletic adventurers into an activity enjoyed by
millions around the world in all kinds of water. Increasingly
sophisticated and reliable equipment, and the training to use it
properly, are largely responsible for that growth.
Whether an item of dive gear
is considered essential or desirable, each was conceived and developed
to satisfy a definite need and perform a specific function. From
regulator to gauges, mask to fins, and buoyancy compensator to wet suit,
recreational scuba equipment is purposeful, interesting to use, and a
big contributor to the overall fascination and attraction of diving.
Acquiring your own dive
equipment is a major factor in the enjoyment of the sport. Sure, you can
rent gear at many dive destinations, but do you really want to rely on
the availability of much-used rental equipment for your personal safety
and enjoyment of diving?
Owning your own dive gear
has many advantages. As a beginning Open Water certification student,
you can speed your learning curve and progress quickly into the
open-water environment by purchasing and using a basic dive equipment
package-regulator and BC in addition to mask, snorkel, and fins.
Learning how to scuba dive involves a lot more than learning how to
breathe through a regulator underwater. You learn the art of buoyancy
control, the subtleties of swimming and streamlining, and a host of
other skills. Acquiring these skills quickly and comfortably has a lot
to do with the equipment you use in training. If the BC is too small,
you will struggle with it, which interferes with your learning. Fit and
comfort are the prime criteria in selecting most items of dive gear, and
in achieving maximum safety and pleasure underwater. The best way to
ensure that your gear fits correctly and comfortable is to wear your
Even if loaner or rental
equipment fits well, it may not be right for you because of particular
features-or lack of them. Features are what distinguish one item of dive
gear from another. When you buy your own gear, you evaluate and choose
the features you need and appreciate. The process is fun, adds greatly
to your knowledge of diving, and ensures that the gear you dive with
does what you want it to, the way you want it to.
You will know how to operate
it properly and care for it responsibly. You will know the condition of
your gear, where it has been, and who has been using it. That
familiarity contributes to the highest level of safety, which in turn
gives you peace of mind.
Other less obvious but still
important benefits accrue from owning dive gear. Buying gear deepens
your relationship with your dive store. That store is your conduit to
diving. It offers training opportunities, arranges trips, keeps you in
contact with other divers, and services and supports your equipment.
Having your own equipment also marks you as a serious, committed diver,
and it encourages you to dive regularly, to stay involved in the sport.
The bottom line on equipment ownership: It's the way to achieve maximum
enjoyment of diving. At Dive Training magazine we believe that part of
the commitment you are making to learn to dive should include acquiring
your own dive gear. It's an excellent investment in yourself and in your
future diving adventures.