Buying your SCUBA gear is an investment in your comfort, enjoyment and safety when exploring the underwater universe. Water World takes pride in ensuring that our rental gear is properly serviced and maintained, at least as often as the manufacturers recommend. Not all shops go this far in maintaining their rental gear.
When to Buy
Each diver is different, financial capability, commitment to the sport and comfort in purchasing gear. Most instructors have a pretty rigid recommendation of what items to purchase and in what order. For most, that list begins with the dive computer, followed by regulator and finally BC.
Dive computers have made perhaps the single largest impact on SCUBA diving. Allowing extended bottom time and potentially increased safety, these devices have become available to the masses, now starting at under $300. Dive tables assume that you drop directly to your maximum depth and stay there until you return directly to the surface. Dive computers allow you to gain 'credit' for time spent above your maximum depth and can easily double your allowed bottom time depending on the dive site.
Regulators are often second on a recommended list to purchase because they are perhaps the single most important piece of equipment. Many shops, charter operators are resorts are diligent about maintaining their gear in accordance with or above manufacturer's recommendations, but since regulators are life support equipment many divers wish to purchase their own. Not only does this provide an additional level of assurance and peace of mind that the gear has been properly serviced and taken care of, rental regulators are usually the cheapest, most durable regulators a shop can by; many divers find the additional features and ease of breathing well worth the cost.
Last on many instructor's list is the BC. While a BC brings everything together and can provide a more consistent and predictable experience, most divers find that this is one of the less critical (though often one of the most appealing) purchases. There are several types of BC's on the market and each has their own benefits and drawbacks. Often renting different types of BC's can help a diver decide what they do and don't like before making their purchase.
Where to Buy?
Water World, the premier east coast dive shop, carries the area’s widest selection of quality SCUBA gear and accessories. Our well informed and experienced staff will help get you into the right gear at the best prices. Please call or come the store to discuss your equipment needs. Below are a few links to our favorite vendors.