Some Newbie Thoughts on Gear

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

Like you, I purchased all my gear as a new diver. I signed up for my OW at the end of Feb., 2020. Then the world fell apart and all pools closed. By the time I started my confined water in Aug of that year, I had purchased, everything, I needed to dive. The owner of my LDS once told a buddy of mine, who worked where the dive boat stayed; " ... in all his years as an instructor, "I" was the 1st student to start diving with everything ". I used the required gear lists from both the PADI Self Reliant course and the SDI Solo course, to decide on my required gear, so I have redundant everything. 11 months after my OW, I did the SDI Solo.
When I was deciding on what to buy; the buy once, cry once theory of scuba gear purchasing applied. Some of the gear was used, and what was used, was premium top of the line gear. Scubapro Hydros and Hollis DCX LX200 regs, 2 HP Fabers, 13cu Catalina pony, Zoop Novo were all purchased used. MK25Evo and G260 new, as well as a Peregrine and a custom Trilam Tech Dry from Bare, and most of the required accessories were all purchased new. Hollis Bat 1 yellow tip fins and of course, when I looked at the wall of masks, my eyes automatically were drawn to the Atomic Venom Frameless. Fit perf, but the most $ one on the wall, still fits perfect. 14 months into diving, and the only real dif in my gear is that I now pack a 30cu pony; I am off shortly for my 231st dive
Don't worry what other people think about your decisions. Unless of course a majority is saying it's a really really bad idea, then at least check ;-)

Good write up. You'll figure out that you'll change stuff from time to time as you progress and/or your focus and requirements change (as you've already noticed with the BCD to BP/W change). It's a journey but a pleasant one.

Another vote to at least understand minimum gas procedures (gas reserve you might need to get to the surface while gas sharing), it's not rocket science, but my save your ass one day.


I never rented! Or I got as gifts or stuff lended to me (I started as a kid), or I bought after working my ass off doing vacation jobs. As an adult this didn't change, only the (diving) toys became more expensive.
A bunch of folks on the forum got pretty bent at the thought of a newbie buying gear. There seemed to be an undercurrent of thought that I needed to suffer through a bunch of sub-par rental gear before I should buy my own gear.

Sounds like you already did use a bunch of rental gear, all throughout your class and and pool sessions and your open water dives to check out not to mention one trip..

Arguments could be made that having your own gear could save you and that you know the gear and don't have to figure out where things are

Good for you for getting your own gear early, I did and I don't regret it 32 years later! enjoy the gear,

me personally I can't stand back inflate BCs And I finally got my hands on a jacket style for this next trip in 2 weeks!
May I ask how much extra money you spent figuring out the details of what worked for you? (Total money spent - cost of final config - money made from selling used gear.) Buying 18 masks at an average of $75 each equals $1350, which is well outside of most people's mask budget.
Not if it is spread over 50 years :).

Although the Rogue is a good BCD, I prefer the bp/w set up. It is a bit less restrictive. Wife isn’t interested in BP/W at all. She loves her Zena.

The one issue with the BP/W rig is that I wasn’t sure where to stow my reel and DSMB. I got a Zeagle pocket that fits nicely on the waist belt and have solved that issue.
As analytically inclined toward informing decisions as I try to be, there comes a time with individuality, 'different strokes for different folks,' or 'to each his own' rules the day.

I, too, missed the BCD pockets on moving to BP/W. I got a Dive Right thigh pocket.
For recreational diving, I put my DSMB on the rear crotch strap D-ring. The only pockets I have are small ones for lead (two on the waist belt and two on the upper tank band).
I'm yet another who bought everything when I was getting certified and never rented anything. Well I did wait until in Florida (first dives post OW) to get a wetsuit and first rented one, but wound up buying it at the end of the day. I will also say I bought most stuff used. The wetsuit lasted maybe 12 years and I still use the used reg I bought in 2005. Of course, I thoroughly rinse it all after every dive day.
Not if it is spread over 50 years :).

Fair enough. :)

I didn't make it clear in my original post, but my question was directed to the OP. Being a newly certified diver and having the budget to purchase 18 masks right off the bat probably puts him in rare air. I'm not criticizing his approach, but I'd guess it's not an approach that would work for 90+% of newly certified divers.

And... I am a little curious what the actual cost was for him and how much of his mask budget he was able to recover. We all know diving isn't cheap, yet that approach seems like it'd be more expensive than many others.
Good write up!

However in response to this:
A bunch of folks on the forum got pretty bent at the thought of a newbie buying gear. There seemed to be an undercurrent of thought that I needed to suffer through a bunch of sub-par rental gear before I should buy my own gear.
I would say that most weren't "bent" or thinking you should "suffer through" rental gear.... More of warnings that many start this sport, and relatively few stick with it. The idea of "limit your investment until you are sure" and rentals being a less expensive way to try different things. I stick by that as something to consider... but not as a hard and fast rule. If you are certain that this will be an ongoing hobby (as you are), then buying gear sooner than later absolutely makes sense!



Top Bottom