Tag Archives: dive training

Rent or Buy: The question of when to purchase your own Scuba Equipment

Scuba Package

When you enrolled in your scuba course, I’m sure there was talk about the benefits of purchasing your own equipment for the course. Dive stores survive off of gear sales, not certification fees. And because of this reality, most stores do and will push for divers to own their own gear, above the standard snorkeling package. This has two sides to it. First of all, safety is number one in dive training. Having your own equipment and learning in that equipment makes you very familiar with all its features and benefits. It most likely will fit you better than borrowing or renting. This in turn increases your confidence in the water and makes for a more enjoyable diving experience. On the other hand, if you don’t buy gear right away, don’t  borrow equipment from a friend, your friend will assume any liability if lending it to you, but rather, rent from the store you are taking your training with. The store staff will fit you with whats most appropriate regarding fit and comfort. The gear they rent should be properly serviced and provide for a good experience to complete your training. Just remember, every time you want to go diving, you will be renting unfamiliar equipment. In a way, that’s not a bad thing. It will give you an opportunity to try different equipment before you buy. So, to answer your question, you don’t need to purchase hard goods right away. Just rent the best you can for the time being. When renting, ask the dive center if they have different rental gear with different features you can try. But DO, and I repeat, DO…, save or finance to get your own gear. Owning your own gear will save you plenty of money in rental costs and reduce anxiety from using unfamiliar equipment.
NOTE of CAUTION: Watch out buying life support equipment on auction sites. You never know how its been used or serviced and if parts are still available to service the item prior to diving. I have known many a new diver that have purchased on auction sites, only to discover parts are no longer available for servicing or the item was recalled due to safety issues.  When the time comes you can afford your own gear, remember you want service, so I recommend to purchase from a place you can get service, returns and exchanges, Your local Diving Center. Good luck .


So you want to learn to scuba dive, where do you begin…?


Learning to scuba dive has never been easier to master and enjoy than it is today. Training techniques, equipment innovations and a plethora of diving destinations around the world await those with an appetite for exploration and new experiences.

Scuba instruction consists of basically three simple components:


2.Pool or Confined water sessions

3.Open Water  Completion

The first segment, Academics, can be completed at a local diving center in a regularly scheduled class, taught privately or as an on-line E-Learning program such as PADI offers. This is where you gain the knowledge of basic scuba equipment, safe scuba diving practices, different diving environments, fresh water and marine life, simple diving physics and physiology and so forth. After each academic session their is usually a small knowledge review and then a final written exam at the completion of the academic portion.

The second segment, Pool/Confined Water Sessions, will have to be completed with a professional scuba instructor at a local facility or a diving resort. This segment is where you begin to learn the skills of scuba diving  in a pool or confined water setting , under the direct supervision of a diving instructor.

The third segment, Open Water Completion, is where you get to do what you came for, exploring the underwater world. Here is where your instructor will take you to a local diving site and have you demonstrate in real openwater conditions, the skills you learned in your pool/confined water sessions. Most agencies require a minimum of 4 open water training completion dives to gain your Open Water Scuba Certification.

Your Open Water Completion dives can be done as a “Referral” at a participating Diving Resort basically anywhere in the world! Ask your scuba instructor about a referral if you are planning a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean, the South Pacific, the Mediterranean,, the Red Sea, the Sulu Sea, the Philippines….gosh, there is just to many places to mention and I know your already thinking of yourself in an exotic local exploring this new exotic world!

So what are you waiting for….JUMP IN……..

To begin your new underwater adventure, I would suggest looking for a Scuba Diving Center locally. You would be surprised how many diving centers there are close by. Get their phone number and call the center, better yet, pay a visit and speak with a staff instructor about the many options available to learn to scuba dive.

Most diving centers now offer evening, weekend and private instruction. Most centers will do everything possible to accommodate the needs of prospective divers busy work schedules.

So, you looked in your local yellow pages, looked on-line and discovered their isn’t a local facility within 100 miles of you…..OMG…!

Whatever you do, don’t hold your breath…, pardon the pun fellow divers, as I stated above, there are many ways to make your underwater dreams happen.

Many of the major scuba certification agencies, in the USA at least, offer an on-line e-learning course to begin your adventure. The on-line e-learning program that I suggest and offered as a suggestion to students of mine is at http://www.padi.com. Just log into their site, and on their first landing page you will see the on-line courses that PADI offers. You can also explore the site and get really excited about scuba diving. So, log in and get wet today!

Happy Bubbles to your new adventure, and always dive with a friend (that way you have someone to back up your fish stories).

Here are links to the most common certification agencies that are recognized worldwide:





First Underwater Adventure from Gary Jines on Vimeo.

Diving in beautiful Monterey Bay
Diving in beautiful Monterey Bay