After finishing open water certification and after first dives in chosen destinations many diving amateurs start considering investing in own scuba gear.
So, what would be the staring point when you are taking such decision?
That is much easier when you were able to try different sets from different manufacturers before. That is usually possible when you go for holidays and rent equipment from authorized and professional dive centers. In such places you can get any advise and support. And honestly speaking, that could be the best approach. Very often diving centers have own shop with equipment and it makes all decision process less complicated.
What if you didn’t try many scuba gears before and have no idea what could be the best? The only thing you know is that you want to buy own set, which will work wherever you go for diving.
Probably you are doing what most of people do: researching gear, wandering through local dive shop, trying things on, looking at price tags and you still wonder which scuba gear to buy first?
Anyway, the first investment should go for most personal items.
Let’s start from wetsuit. The reasons are two – hygiene and comfort. You simply need to feel good in that “water cloth”. Obviously there is quite easy to rent a proper one in any dive center you visit in future, however when it comes to hygiene it is not so easy to find a wetsuit nobody’s bladder was emptied into before you wear it 😉
Sometimes, when you plan scuba dive in tropics you may not need wetsuits as waters are warm enough and you can survive without one for some time. But it is still worth considering to avoid scratches from corals or unpleasant small jellyfish bites.
The second piece is a good mask. That is simply item which gives you possibility to look around under water. It also serves as an equalizer when you hit deep water. People have different faces contour and every face requires a different fit and shape. The ideal mask fits snugly but comfortably, and seals completely. If not, water getting into your mask will make you unable to see, what you want to see while scuba diving.
Third important personal item would be regulator. Again – that is a must and every diving center provides you with good quality one. There is nothing better than trying as many different regulators as you can while renting gear, get a feel for what you like and then decide to buy or not. You may skip that purchase of course, but this is something you will keep in your mouth each time you dive so it is almost like a toothbrush.
And then you may start considering more items like BCD, dive computer, fins and other nice-to-have gadgets.