Purchasing Scuba Diving Equipment
As is the case with all scuba related equipment, what you choose to buy is entirely determined by the type of diving you anticipate doing in the future. Because of the longevity of dive gear, it's important that you plan for the future so that you don't buy something that isn't going to suit your needs down the road.
Dive gear is generally sorted into two categories: Personal Equipment and Major Equipment
Personal Equipment: This equipment is often referred to as your "snorkeling gear", meaning this is the gear you need whether you're scuba diving or snorkeling. It generally consists of; Mask, Snorkel, Fins, and can also include Booties, Gloves, Surface Marker Buoy, Slate, and a mesh bag to carry it all in.
Major Equipment: This equipment is required in order to scuba dive; Regulator, Buoyancy Compensator Device (BCD), Dive Computer/Gauges, Wetsuit, Lead Weights, Tanks, and a separate mesh bag.
For both categories, obtaining proper fit is crucial in order to ensure that the gear doesn't cause chaffing, blisters, etc.
Personal Equipment is usually purchased before the start of a diving course, so we'll focus more on Major Equipment.
Most new divers are not experienced enough to make educated decisions regarding Major Equipment. It takes a lot of time and experimentation for divers to find out which gear works for them and which doesn't. Just because one person prefers a particular regulator or computer doesn't mean the next person will. This is why it is crucial for every diver to try the dive gear they intend to buy BEFORE they buy it.
At ADI, we encourage every diver to hop in our heated pool with the gear they are interested in to ensure it is exactly what they want. Furthermore, we have an expansive rental line that allows customers to take different models and brands on dives out in the ocean.
We also have rental programs designed to give you up to a year of free rentals to allow you to narrow down exactly what you want, all the while saving some money to be applied to that eventual purchase.
ADI can't stress enough how important it is for you, the diver, to have actual experience in the water with the gear you are looking to buy. We're happy to give you that opportunity before you buy it!