Okay, you have completed your Open Water Diver Course and you love diving. But what do you need to buy first? What is the first piece of equipment a scuba diver should buy?
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My First Scuba Equipment: A Scuba Mask and Snorkel
I was 12 years old when i started diving, so money was a big issue for me. Because of that, I didn’t get all of my scuba gear at once. My dad had forced me to do an introduction dive, and from there i never stopped diving. The first scuba equipment I got was a scuba mask and a snorkel. I hear you thinking… why? On a vacation you can always snorkel, so even when you’re not diving it’s handy to have a dive mask and a snorkel for snorkeling. The second reason why a scuba mask is really important is that every face is different. An ill-fitting scuba mask is terrible and can ruin your dive. Every time you stick your head underwater, you will have water in the mask. Because of this, you won’t be relaxed underwater, and you’ll just be busy blowing water out of your mask. When buying a scuba mask and a snorkel, a really nice add-on is your own diving shoes and scuba fins. I’m not a fan of full-foot diving fins and a lot of dive centers and resorts are renting those out. If you use full-foot diving fins they need to fit really well, otherwise you will get sore feet or you can’t fin properly. Right now I use the Aqua Lung Reveal X2 scuba mask and the Tusa Hyflex Switch Fins.
My advice: First buy a Dive mask and a Snorkel!
The Second Addition to Your Scuba Equipment: A Dive Computer
A dive computer is almost the most important scuba gear out there! It assures you that your are diving safely. More and more dive centers and resorts a starting to rent out dive computers, but most don’t. A dive computer will tell you how long you can dive until you enter your decompression limits. Also, when you are a Open Water Diver, your depth limit is 18 meters, and when you have a dive computer you can set an alarm when you are exceeding that 18 meters. When you start diving the ascent is always difficult, and most of the time you will be ascending too quickly. If you have a dive computer on your wrist, it will sound an alarm when you’re exceeding the ascension speed. If you have seen our top 3 beginner dive computer of 2018, you might have noticed that we put the Suunto Zoop Novo on the first spot. But from now on, we have a new number one and it’s the Deepblu COSMIQ+. Check it our Deepblu COSMIQ+ review on 50ft Below. Look for one at the Deepblu Shop or find a dealer near you.
So for your own safety get a Dive Computer second!
A Third Piece of Equipment to Keep You Warm: A Wetsuit
Underwater, you get cold 20-times faster than on the surface. When you don’t have a wetsuit that fits well, you get cold really fast. A good-fitting wetsuit will assure you have a warm and comfortable dive. I’m a skinny guy and I’m relatively tall, so renting a suit is always a nightmare. I never get a fitting wetsuit, so I always bring my own suit when I’m diving abroad. What is an exposure suit? When you have a wetsuit, which is fitting correctly, then it will hold the water inside of the suit. You’ll heat up the water with your own body temperature and the water in the wetsuit will keep you warm during your dive. If you have an exposure suit which isn’t fitting correctly the water will refresh every now a then. The water isn’t heating up, so you will get cold. Right now i’m using the Bare Reactive 7mm as my main wetsuit. Are you diving regularly in cold water? Then you definitely need a 5mm shorty for over your wetsuit, a cap, and gloves. But it is also wise to look at a drysuit, maybe not when you just start diving, but after you do 30 dives or more.
Get warm and get a good fitting wetsuit!
And now what?
You’ve got your starter dive kit and now you can look at a BCD, a regulator and all kind of accessories. Let us know what you bought first!