My first diving equipment – Where to start?

26.01.2017 by ricardo
scuba diving equipment

You would like to begin diving or do a diving certificate? Of course you can rent the equipment from your diving school for the first dives. But as soon as you taste blood and want to go diving more often, it makes sense to get your own diving equipment: After all you want a comfortable and safely fitting equipment, don’t you? With the appropriate diving equipment, even as a beginner, you will be able to glide through water almost like a fish… But what actually belongs to the basic equipment for a diver?

The following elements belong to the basics of good diving equipment – classified by decreasing importance:

  • ABC-equipment (so diving mask, fins and snorkel)
  • Diving suit with accessories such as hood and sock liners
  • Diving computer
  • Buoyancy jacket and weight belts if necessary
  • Regulator
  • Additional accessories (e.g. lamp, compass, diving knife)
  • Transport box or bag

The absolute basics of diving equipment for beginners: ABC-Equipment

The most important acquisition for you as a beginner is the so-called ABC-equipment. This includes the diving goggles, the snorkel and the fins. All three accessories should fit you perfectly. Because who enjoys diving with aching feet or not having a clear view under water?

The diving goggles or diving mask differ from swimming goggles because they also cover the nose. This is important so that pressure compensation can take place reliably while diving.  In this respect, your goggles should fit really well and no water should seep through. You can simply test whether that is the case: Put your goggles on and breathe through your nose, so that the mask is firmly pressed onto your face. When you let go of it, it should hold on its own for a few seconds.  Then the diving mask fits perfectly!

In the case of the snorkel, it is important that the mouth piece is loose and that you can breathe well through it.

As far as the fins are concerned, there is a sheer unmanageable selection of the most different variants, among others some with fixed or adjustable foot part, ribbed or with flow-through openings, or made of different materials. Here you should let yourself be thoroughly advised and do a trial dive with them if possible. Many shops offer this service.

An important tip: You should not necessarily rely on a pre-assorted set of ABC-equipment, even if this is often offered as the most economical option.  The top priority is that every single piece fits you well and that is not usually the case with sets.

Which diving equipment for beginners is additionally recommendable?

If you already have your ABC-equipment, the next thing which is worth acquiring is your own diving computer as well as a diving suit of neoprene.

You should purchase your own diving computer, in order to be familiar with it. With rental equipment, the operation mode can vary widely, which is why beginners in particular often have problems handling it. Moreover, a rental computer can be quite expensive.  If you purchase a new diving computer, as a beginner you should particularly make sure that it is user-friendly. The most expensive model is not necessarily the best one.

The diving suit is important, so that you do not cool down in water. Your own suit is worth it, if you are frequently on the road. A perfect fit is the be-all and end-all, so that you can move freely under water. Here as well, shops often offer the possibility to try out the suit once before purchasing it.  Depending on which bodies of water you will dive in, the acquisition of suitable sock liners, a hood, gloves or the like is worthwhile.

All other pieces of equipment can be purchased little by little, if you frequently go diving.  Thus you will quickly go from diving equipment for beginners to diving equipment for advanced divers.

What does diving equipment for beginners cost?

For the basic equipment mentioned, you should calculate between 1,000 and 2,000 euros.  By doing so, you can still save a little when you buy part of the equipment second-hand or abroad. You will notice though: It is quickly worthwhile to have your own equipment to dive, because rental equipment often does not fit you as well as your own equipment, which is exactly tailored to your own needs.

However, you should keep in mind that transporting your own equipment to the desired diving location can also be quite expensive. As a rule of thumb, transporting your sport luggage on the plane costs from 50 euros upwards. For this reason, it is recommendable to enquire about the transport costs in advance (e.g. with your airline) and to speak to your local diving guide ahead of time, to see which equipment is available and how high the rental costs are. Then as a beginner you can make the best decision regarding which option suits you the most.