Learning to dive is one of the most beautiful adventures of your life. As a new diver, you’ll be inundated with information about the underwater world, how to explore it, and the diving equipment you’ll need to start diving. Although most dive schools rent almost all diving equipment, there are essential items for your diving equipment that we recommend all new divers buy. So you’re always ready for any diving adventure!
What equipment do you need for diving?
What diving equipment you need depends on your dive goals, your experience level, your budget and your personal priorities. A visit to Wanderlust Dive Center or a cup of coffee with Stephan or Linda is the best way to find out what diving equipment you need. You will be equipped with the right equipment for you and are ready to dive into the water. Welcome to the wonderful world of diving!
How much does diving equipment cost?
Diving equipment doesn’t have to be expensive and the most expensive diving equipment isn’t always what you need. There are great diving equipment options for all budgets, so focus on what you can afford, the functionality and fit.
Checklist – Diving equipment for beginners to purchase
- Surface buoy
- Dive bag
- Anti fog gel
A diving mask is one of the most important diving equipment you own. It’s your window into the underwater world, and without it, diving is impossible. We recommend purchasing your own mask to make sure it fits your face perfectly, as nothing is worse than diving with a mask that is constantly flooded with water.
Tip: Try lots of masks to find the right fit for your face and nose shape. Choose one with a flexible nosepiece so you can pinch your nose and clear it easily.
Since you have your snorkel in your mouth on the surface, it’s a very personal part of your diving gear. Purchasing your own snorkel is not only essential to ensure that it sits comfortably, but it is also the most hygienic option.
Tip: Choose a snorkel with a vent valve to make discharging water from your snorkel easier.
Buying a good set of fins is high on our list of must-have diving equipment for new divers. If you want a high-performing pair of fins that sits comfortably, buying instead of renting is the way to go. Often, rental fins are worn out and not as efficient as the ones you can buy for yourself. Having a nice pair of fins helps you move better through the water, reduces fatigue and helps you save air and energy.
Tip: try fins with open heel. They are worn with shoes, they keep your feet warm during cooler dives and protect you from blisters.
Most commonly used fins are fins with an open heel and require the diver to wear shoes. Typically, diving schools don’t rent shoes, so it’s essential to buy your own pair. We recommend a 3-5 mm shoe with a thick but flexible sole.
Tip: by choosing a pair of shoes with good grip, you can keep your balance when shore dives or diving from a boat.
- Surface buoy
More and more dive destinations require divers to wear their own surface marking buoy (SMB) on each dive. Shore divers drag an inflated SMB with them while shore diving to mark their whereabouts so that boaters are aware of their presence. Boat divers inflate their SMB when they come to the surface, to mark where they are while boat diving so the boat can spot and pick them up.
Tip: Successfully cancelling an SMB can be difficult at first. Practice starting your own buoy with an SSI Professional so you can easily do it when you need to.
- Dive bag
Purchasing a dive bag may sound like a given, but you’d be surprised how many new divers show up at the boat with their complete gear under their arms. A nice mesh backpack-like bag is perfect for transporting your diving gear to and from the pool, boat or shore dive site. Since it is mesh, it also dries easily between dives.
Tip : Choose a bag that has both shoulder and backpack straps, so that you can carry the bag on your back and keep your hands free when boarding the boat.
- Anti fog gel
The old woman’s story about using spit to make your mask not fogging can work in no time, but nothing works better than actually cleaning well. Buy a bottle of anti fog gel and store it in your dive bag, so you never leave home without it.
Tip : Gently rub your glasses with toothpaste and rinse them with water before using your mask for the first time. This will prevent fogging your mask on future dives.
Whether you use a digital dive log in the MySSI app or go old-fashioned and keep a paper dive log, logging your dives is an important discipline to start with from your first dive. You will use your dive logbook to track your experience level and show it as proof of number of dives when you are engaged in further education and receiving recognition certificates.
Checklist – What diving equipment should you buy now
You’ve had a number of dives behind you, so you’re probably good and really addicted to diving and start exploring the world’s best diving destinations. Now is the time to invest in your own complete set of diving equipment and say goodbye to ill-fitting rental equipment.
- Dive computer
There’s nothing better than a wetsuit that’s a good fit for you and keeps you warm on every dive, all day long. It prevents you from having to end your dive early because of the cold. Owning your own wetsuit is an investment you won’t regret.
Tip: a 7 mm wetsuit with cap and gloves is a good start for diving in the Netherlands.
- Dive computer
A dive computer is one of the first parts of your diving equipment that new divers buy. Not only is it a great way to celebrate becoming a certified diver, but it’s also an essential part of the equipment that keeps you safe underwater by helping you keep an eye on your depth and bottom time.
Tip: Make sure you choose a dive computer that is easy to use while diving, with a large display for a clear picture.
Owning your own BCD (buoyancy control device) may seem like a luxury at first, but it’s a great investment. The right BCD fits like a glove, so you can easily control your buoyancy, prevent back pain and no longer have to adjust the position of your BCD during your dives. There are different sizes and styles for every body shape and diving preference.
Tip: try different BCDs to find the right fit and check that the lead pockets are sufficient for the weight you are carrying.
Purchasing your first regulator can be quite a quest. If you dive into warm water and travel a lot, you may prefer a lightweight automaton set, while cold water diving requires specialized regulators that can withstand low temperatures. Talk to your SSI instructor about what kind of dives you’re usually going to do, and they’ll help you find the right regulators for your needs and budget.
Tip: Don’t forget to inspect the octopus and the pressure gauge. Then you have the set complete you can dive safely and comfortably.
Diving Equipment – Keep it simple!
Looking for an easy way to understand your diving equipment and know what to buy? The SSI Equipment Techniques program teaches you how to choose, maintain, and store your diving equipment. It’s the best way to get the most out of your gear on every dive and make your investment sustainable.