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Diver_Down - 2/16/2010 12:27 PM
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Category: Educational
Comments: 6
Yesterday, Robert, Del Rio Dive Club president, and I met in person for the first time for a dive. I was fortunate to share my 50th dive with him and after successfully completing the dive we had a good conversation. We talked about diving and the conversation turned to the direct relationship between owning equipment and how often you dive.

There are many "certified" divers out there who don’t dive more often, because they don’t own their own equipment. They probably would dive more if they had their own, but think they can’t afford it. I own most of the gear I dive with, but I didn’t start out that way. The following is a brief story of how I came about obtaining my equipment and my first 50 dives.

In July 2008 I received my OW certification while assisting with a summer youth camp held by Paladin Community Services and at the time I didn’t own a single piece of equipment. The gear I used for my OW course consisted of pieces issued by my employer and gear loaned by other divers. Our instructor, Charlie, stressed to all of us the importance of buying our own gear. He stated we would dive more if we had our own equipment. He wasn’t trying to sell us anything, only keep us diving and I took his advice to heart.

After completing the class I was able to continue using all the gear, but had to return the mask and snorkle. A fellow counselor suggested Leisure Pro so I got on line and ordered a mask and snorkel to complete my euipment needs. Guess what happened, I started diving. I dove a few times and enjoyed it, but soon the weather turned cold and my exposure suit wasn’t suitable for cold water.

Charlie and I stayed in contact and I continued bugging him about diving, but we just couldn’t find a day warm enough. One day he said "okay, let’s buy some cold water gear and we’ll go diving." We got online and began searching for cold water gear. We found Leisure Pro offered a 7/5mm package at a great price and we both bought a package. Guess what happended next, we started diving more. We began diving late in December when the water was 50 (f), but we were equipped to do it.

January came along and I purchased two sets of used gear from a man who was no longer diving. The equipment was good quality, good condition, and at a great price. I had all of the equipment serviced and was ready for more diving. Our schedules matched well, so we were able to dive at least once per month, and most times once per week. The point is I was diving more often because I had the equipment. My skills were advancing and I loved it.

By now our income tax return had come and I had a small list of items I wanted to add to my equipment. So, back to Leisure Pro for lights, compass, "The Wheel" RDP, and other knick-knacks; slowly adding gear over time. I now have a complete set of equipment to use, most of which is mine. Most of the equipment I use was not purchased new, but I maintain it in good condition and it serves me well. Over time I will upgrade my equipment, but now I am using the same strategy to obtain equipment for my ten year old son in preparing him for his Jr. OW class.

Scuba diving, like most sports, can be participated with a small investment or an extravagent amount of funds. Don’t stop diving because you think you need to purchase a high brand, color coordinated set after your OW course. With guidance and research, you will find you can supply yourself with quality equipment over time. Even if you are buying used gear one piece at a time and upgrading later, do it. Don’t choose to wait until you can afford the top of the line before you buy equipment. Shop around, research, and buy what will let you dive safely until you’re in a position to upgrade.

You will enjoy your vacations more if you practice your skills regularly before you leave for vacation; and you practice more when you have all the equipment necessary to dive safely. Remember, having a "C" card means you can dive, but diving makes you a diver.



jnowak100 - 3/28/2010 9:08 PM
It is definitely better to own your own gear, because, you know how it works. It will likely be in better shape then rental gear, and your wet suit will likely fit you better. Dive shops are not renting top of the line gear, they cant afford to. You will also dive more often because you want to amortize the cost, and you’ve got the stuff. If you don’t want to spend a fortune just starting out, buy used gear at your local dive club. Some online vendors also market used or discontinued gear or even look on EBAY. and certainly talk to experienced divers to find out what they like, where they put the money. As you gain experience, you will find your style and be better able to decide what to buy when you trade up. hey for most guys, their first car was a clunker, same holds here
BigBry - 3/26/2010 4:03 PM

I’d like to add something for those people who have a ’C’ card and are waiting at the fringes for the exact reasons you stated above. Active participation in diving groups can have a tremendous affect on how often you dive. I borrow equipment sometimes from friends who have multiples of things. I have some cheaper back-up equipment incase things do not work out the way we hoped, but you do not have to put yourself in the poor house to get some bottom time in. Asking around is always a great way to get some additional gear. This week I am looking at buying a used reg set for river diving from someone who does not use it anymore. I did not even know he had it until a buddy of mine mentioned that he had one he was willing to part with for a reasonable price. I will have to take in to have it serviced, but I will save myself hundreds of dollars. It is like a lot of sports, sometimes knowing people is more useful than knowing where to buy stuff.
RAWalker - 2/21/2010 2:01 AM
One of the best reasons to buy your own gear is so you know the condition of the gear you are using. My first dive out of my OW cert class was a Cruise ship vacation dive in Aruba and at 42’ the inflator assembly came away from the corrigated hose. Not fun for a newly certified diver. My dive was aborted safely and another BC was available for my second dive of the day but upon returning home I immediately started researching and collecting my equipment.
DiveBuddyChgo - 2/20/2010 7:34 AM
I like your thought of buying used equip.. Esp. when the new diver doesn’t really know what they actually need for the type of diving that is being done.. Scuba as a sport isn’t actually that expensive compared to other sports it all fits into the same cost and expense.. If ya hooked on diving all the time then cost isn’t going to matter anyways.. If ya dive just vacations then rent at the resort and also save on airline baggage charges.. I here it so many times that diving is so expensive but at the same time I am driving a 13 year old car and they of course are complaining about no money driving a new car.. Go figure.. I’d rather dive then have a new car anyday... Mike
adambayam - 2/16/2010 2:59 PM

Hi Phillip,

Thanks for the love.

No one ever said diving is cheap. If you are smart and resourceful you can get a long way. LP allows for a simple, affordable one-stop shop for everything your (diving) heart can desire. Don’t forget we have used equipment as well!

Leisure Pro appreciates your business.

Happy diving!

Adam - adamw [ at ]
blackwood - 2/16/2010 2:27 PM
I tend to agree. To many people, the hassle of renting gear prevents them from diving as much as they may otherwise. This is particularly true in areas where weather often pops up at the last minute to preclude diving (the thought being: I have to pay 100 bucks for all this stuff and I may not get to use it).

Dive gear is a never-ending capital investment (I have 11 cylinders, two backplates, two wings, 5 regulators, a scooter, etc., and as much as I like to think otherwise, I’m likely not done), but it is well worth it when it facilitates diving regularly.