There are many advantages to owning your own dive equipment. Familiarity with a personal set of scuba gear means greater comfort and a better dive experience. More importantly, it can help you avoid an emergency situation.
From a safety perspective, owning your own gear ensures you know how to manipulate it in an emergency – ditching weights for example. Get to know your gear: practice adjusting it and ask your PADI Instructor for recommendations. By consistently diving with the same equipment you’ll learn how things are “supposed” to feel which will also help you dial in scuba skills such as buoyancy.
If you frequently dive with the same buddy, it’s beneficial for both divers to own their own gear. By knowing your buddy’s equipment, you’ll be better prepared to deal with an unexpected problem. Consider an out of air situation: when seconds matter you’ll want to know whether to go for a yellow second stage, or if your buddy will give you his primary while breathing off a secondary located on his inflator. Another common problem is a readjusting a tank that’s slipped; knowing your buddy’s buckles and releases makes this a lot easier to fix in the water.
An excellent way to learn how to avoid emergencies and familiarize yourself with your buddy’s gear is in the PADI Rescue Diver course. Your instructor will explain how to identify common equipment issues before they turn into dangerous situations, and have you practice the steps to take in emergency scenarios such as removing both your gear and your buddy’s in the water.
Not sure which piece of scuba gear to invest in first?
You probably own your own mask, fins and snorkel. If not, it’s a good idea to get these items first as there isn’t one mask that fits all faces, and who wants to use a snorkel that’s been in someone else’s mouth?
Once you have the basics, it’s time to move on to the big stuff: BCD, dive computer, regulator, etc. In a recent survey on PADI’s Facebook page, PADI Divers ranked which piece of scuba gear was the most valuable investment. The results are below:
Top 5 “Most Valuable” Pieces of Scuba Gear
#2 Dive Computer
#3 Mask and Snorkel
Interestingly, regulator received twice as many votes as dive computer. PADI Divers clearly value owning their own reg!
Once you’ve made the investment in your own gear, take an afternoon to learn its care and feeding in the PADI Equipment Specialist course.