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Impact of Covid-19 on Rental Gear, If Any

Discussion in 'Diving Into New Gear' started by KathyV, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,312
    3,503
    When we were new divers it was not uncommon to encounter rental gear that was old, beat-up, and poorly maintained and most divers endeavored to buy their own gear as soon as they could afford it.

    In more recent years I sometimes see newer divers that prefer to rent gear and have no intention of buying their own stuff.

    They say that buying, maintaining, and upgrading gear and paying air baggage fee,s makes purchasing gear an expensive and unattractive option; and that paying rental fees for gear is easier and the overall costs are comparable. I don't know if that is true but if so, then it seems to be a reasonable argument.

    Personally, I am more comfortable in my own gear but everybody is entitled to their opinion; but now that the world has experienced a pandemic I wonder if some folks will begin to feel differently about using gear that has been worn and handled by many other people.

    When the shops reopen I am sure that all dive operators will be under even greater scrutiny in regards to gear maintenance, disinfection, the cleanliness of rinse tanks, etc., but I wonder if new divers will start preferring to buy and maintain their own gear, rather than depending so much on rental gear?

    Oh well, just something to think about as I sit at home and shelter in place!
     
  2. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    8,915
    7,497
    I've run into an amazing number of divers on various FB groups who don't even own their own mask and have no intention of buying one. All tropical vacation divers, who seem to maybe dive 1-2 days on a trip, but don't take trips for the sole purpose of diving. All training done at vacation destination.

    There were even fair amounts of DM candidates who hadn't even owned a mask until they were getting ready for DM training. Dang, I can't even get my brain around that.
     
    eleniel and KathyV like this.
  3. DBPacific

    DBPacific ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NorCal, USA
    517
    613
    That's insane to me. My first gear purchases were done during my OW and were my own mask and boots (mostly cause the sand kept tickling my feet so badly I was falling for most of my beach exits).

    If you only intend to dive a handful of times a year (or less), not buying full kit makes sense, but most people I know at least invest in their own mask, fins, and wetsuit if the water isn't warm enough to withstand constant flushing. All the dive ops I've used have used soaps to rinse gear in, and those owning their own kit are even bigger sticklers for it. New paranoia/consciousness over gear use and cleanliness will probably depend on how much people are concerned with the virus surviving water. To my knowledge it can't survive very long in saltwater, but new findings about COVID are coming out almost every day. I wouldn't be surprised if people at least bought and kept their own mouthpieces to switch out on regs. Out of air drills may get some nervousness for a while.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  4. formernuke

    formernuke ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: New England
    2,976
    2,691
    I had to get mask, fins, snorkel, and boots for my OW class
     
    StevenRN, KathyV and JBFG like this.
  5. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    8,915
    7,497
    Did you train locally or in the tropics?
     
  6. formernuke

    formernuke ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: New England
    2,976
    2,691
    Locally I used to think it was industry standard, guess I was wrong.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  7. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    8,915
    7,497
    Buying mask, snorkel, fins, booties, and maybe wetsuit seem to be standard if you get trained locally. If you do everything on vacation, not even buying a mask seems to be fairly common. Took me quite a while to get my brain around it, myself.
     
    eleniel and KathyV like this.
  8. DBPacific

    DBPacific ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NorCal, USA
    517
    613
    Yeah, I was trained OW->Rescue when I was studying abroad for half a year (tropics). I got the minimal mask, snorkel, fins, booties, and a basic computer because I knew I'd be in the area for long enough to do quite a bit of diving and snorkeling but also wanted to make sure I could fit everything back in my suitcase when I went home. If a vacation is quite short then no big purchases make sense. I still can't imagine having at least my mask, booties, and computer. The only thing I don't have still from my OW two years ago is my snorkel. Lost it on my last dive this past fall.

    Most local, especially cold water spots, require you buy more kit at the start from what I've seen. I guess ops used to high influx of tourists/travellers may see that requirement as a detriment to business, or they don't need the extra income?
     
    KathyV likes this.
  9. saxman242

    saxman242 Contributor

    1,170
    833
    I'm on the facebook pages for a handful of different resorts I've been to before that offer diving but aren't diver focused (Sandals/Beaches). I've noticed a lot more people there posting questions asking about what gear to get because they don't want to use rental gear anymore due to covid fears.
     
    eleniel, KathyV and Marie13 like this.
  10. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    8,915
    7,497
    Interesting.

    I wonder if people will buy their own masks, snorkels, regs, but will rent a BC, fins, wetsuit.
     
    KathyV likes this.

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