Like many own-versus-rent decisions, the choice you make about your scuba diving equipment depends on several factors unique to you. Renting for sure has its place, particularly for new or novice divers dipping their toes in the water, or for the occasional underwater adventurer that dives very infrequently. For those divers that are committed to lifelong scuba adventures and that diver regularly, there are four good arguments for investing in y our own scuba diving equipment.
But, for those divers that are committed to lifelong scuba adventures and that dive regularly, there are four good arguments for investing in your own scuba diving equipment.
- It’s much safer to dive with equipment you’re familiar with. Plus, you know exactly where everything is and how it works. Having familiarity and a comfort level with your own scuba diving equipment is a big advantage. Knowing exactly how your gear works does contribute to safety. That’s because there’s a natural learning curve for any new piece of gear, especially the more complex scuba diving equipment, such as a diving computer. It’s like renting a car every time you drive versus using your own car. When you’re in your own car you could close your eyes, and you’d still know exactly where everything is at – windshield wipers, lights, turn signals. With rental cars, you might have a general idea but will essentially be learning where everything is at each time you step into a vehicle. So, the more you dive with your own gear, the more adept you are at using it, which is not usually the case when you rent.
- Along those same lines, you can be confident in your own gear with the latest technology and safety features. If you’ve done your homework when buying scuba diving equipment, you’ve likely chosen the latest gear with the most advanced technology and safety features. When you rent, however, it’s possible that any given piece of gear may be several years old and may not include the latest safety features.
- You know for sure that your scuba diving equipment has been maintained, serviced appropriately, and is in good working order. This is another area where renting leaves you with some unknown variables. Of course, you assume that any diving gear you rent is in top shape – all the manufacturer specs are met, gear has been properly cleaned and maintained. But there’s no substitute for absolute certainty, especially with equipment as critical to your safety as diving gear.
- The cost of renting over about three years is roughly equivalent to owning. Although scuba gear is not cheap, renting fees will take their financial toll over the years, especially if you dive frequently. And the more you dive with your own gear, the faster your return on investment (ROI).
Yes, renting does have its place in the scuba universe. It’s a great option if you’re just getting into it and are unsure about diving long-term or regularly. However, if you’re serious about diving, anticipate going on many adventures, and want to have the safest and most comfortable underwater experience as possible, there’s simply no substitute for owning scuba diving equipment.