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Equipment Rental vs Equipment Purchase
RAWalker - 11/17/2007 1:30 AM
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Category: Educational
Comments: 2
Many divers face a major decision at the time or shortly after they learn to dive, whether to rent equipment or purchase their own. Each has benefits to the diver and each has safety concerns the following is my thoughts on the question in an attempt to enlighten others facing the decision. You started a new sport/hobby that can tend to be both expensive and hazardous. With proper training and good equipment you can enjoy it with minimum of risk. You local dive shop is the place that many people start their diving adventure and a well staffed shop will probably have or be willing to get any diving equipment that you would want or need and have the experience to help you select appropriate equipment for your diving. In addition to having a selection of equipment to purchase many local shops will rent almost anything they sell so you can try before you buy. This is a great way to try new or different pieces to see if it suits your needs. Many shops also service what they sell and offer their rental equipment for sale at reduced prices but with a warranty. The relationship you have with your local dive shop many be one that you and they maintain for many years to come. They have a vested interest in making you a happy customer and a safe diver. (Repeat business) To this end they service their rental equipment as required and offer their expertise for free. For this reason the problem with rental equipment probably isn’t at home with your local shop. Renting equipment during dive trips abroad may not be the same situation. For one thing while traveling in some parts of the world the equipment available for rental may not be of the caliber available at home. Also it may not be serviced as regularly as it should be. The reasons for this can vary but it comes down to economics. A dive shop may do most or all of their business with tourists and not develop a relationship with their customers. If this is the case then their rental gear may not get sold and to maximize the return on the rental it needs to be used many more times before it is discarded. Consider this type of business model in a remote vacation location in a third world country and your chances to be renting an outdated, overworked and under maintained set of gear has increased greatly. So why purchase your own gear? You will become accustomed to your own gear. You be assured of equipment that is set up and adjusted to your needs. You’ll be aware of it maintenance requirements. Your gear will not be abused by strangers on a regular basis. If you dive regularly you end up saving money that you would have spent on rentals. With lessened worries about the condition of your equipment, better fit and familiarity you should be a more relaxed diver with better buoyancy control and probably consume air more slowly and possibly extend your dives. Because of all the factors your own gear is in most cases if well equipped and maintained, safer to dive with.


RAWalker - 11/18/2007 7:53 PM
I agree that all divers should have their own gear since it is life support equipment. But not everyone that dives should be called a diver. Consider that many people try diving without becoming divers. Also consider there are people who become certified, only to dive infrequently. Thinking of these people as divers may be a stretch. Finally there are divers who may not be able to travel with their gear. (for whatever reason) These divers may be at higher risk because of the frequency of diving on rental gear. As for trying equipment to see what suits a diver. It is hard to ask someone who is just learning to dive or only dives a few times each year to try different equipment. They may just not have the opportunity. So what can be done about it? My thought is a requirement during try different packages and that regional dive shops should togther hold scuba shows that would allow divers to meet with factory reps. with free onsite trials. This would also attract new divers.
DalelynnSims - 11/17/2007 7:59 AM
Great article. I would only add one thing. As I have said prior dive equipment is as unique as the individual that is using it. Ther are many types and styles of just about every article of equipment. The purchase of dive equipment is something that you should not take lightly and rush into. Many have done this just to find that they out grow or find something better as time goes on.

I always advise my students to try a variety of equipment that they may be intrested in, talk to different people that already use these types before laying down the hard earned dollars to purchase. Some LDS will allow you to apply the rental cost toward the purchase if you decide to get the item of your choice from them.

With the right equipment and proper care you are set for a lifetime of awesome adventures discovering the wonders of the underwater world.