As a beginner you will have lots of questions about scuba diving equipment. Do I need all the dive kit from the very start? How expensive is it to get all the kit I need? Should I buy second hand gear?
Most BSAC clubs offer ‘try dives’ in a pool or sheltered water and will provide all the equipment. All you need to bring is your bathing suit and perhaps a t-shirt to wear over it. Once you start your training, it’s a good idea to purchase your own basic gear – a mask, fins and snorkel. When you progress to open water and especially in the UK you will require a wetsuit or drysuit. These can be hired from clubs and dive shops, but you may want to purchase your own to ensure a good fit and familiarisation. It is often only when you are qualified that divers obtain their own full set of gear, although some prefer to hire it, especially when travelling overseas.
As with most specialist gear, there can be a huge range in prices, but budget on £100 upwards for a pair of fins, mask and snorkel. Wetsuits for UK diving start from around £150 and drysuits from £500, going up to over £1,000 for a top-end drysuit. To fully equip a diver, expect to pay around £1,500 although if your kit is well-maintained this will be a long-term investment. Buying used gear is an option, but do remember your life may depend on it. Always make sure you know the history of the equipment you are purchasing and budget for servicing which is essential whether buying brand new or second hand regulators and buoyancy compensators (BCDs).
Visit the Basic scuba gear explained page for more information on scuba diving equipment.