Equipment is a huge part of getting your scuba diving certification. Many people ask if you need to purchase this equipment or if you can rent it. The truth is: You can do both! More than likely, your dive instructor will suggest that your purchase, at the very least, your own “personal equipment”. This will include your own mask, fins, snorkel, and boots. If you aren’t familiar with these terms, take a look at the picture below.
Remeber to never refer to the fins as “flippers” or the mask as “goggles”. The main reason you should want your own personal gear for scuba diving certification is for comfort. Although the mask and snorkel is somewhat universal, everyone’s face is shaped differently. It is important to choose a mask that creates a good suction on your face when you inhale. Over the years, I have found one that fits the majority of people who try it on. Check out this scuba diving mask here.
You can also opt for a personal gear “set”. Check that out here.
The boots are usually made from a forgiving material called neoprene and come in standard american shoe sizes. The fins usually come in small, medium, and large. Some companies have extreme sizes, if needed. One thing to remember is that the fins are not supposed to fit sung like a tennis shoe. It is okay for them to be a little loose.
When it comes to the rest of the equipment needed for scuba diving certification, most people will rent this gear until they know they want to continue. The main reason for this is price. Although you can find a system for a couple hundred dollars, when you consider that this is your life support 60 feet underwater, most people tend to want the best gear they can afford. We are talking about the air delivery system, or SCUBA unit. Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Below is a picture of the gear:
The last things that are almost ALWAYS rented are the air tanks and your weights. Unless you have access to a dive site in your backyard, most people usually have to travel to dive. Because the task of traveling with a SCUBA diving tank is unrealistic, dive centers around the world offer tanks and weights when you choose to dive with them. Surprisingly, once you have all your gear on and jump in the water, you will more than likely be positively buoyant (meaning you will float). In order for you to descend underwater, you will require additional weight. You will learn about this in your certification class. But, like the tanks, unless you are diving in your backyard, you will always rent the weight at your scuba diving destination. If you are interested in one of these sets, check them out here.
Here is a quick recap of all the equipment. It is labeled so you can know which piece is which.
Here is a nice video that explains necessary SCUBA gear that is needed for certification diving.
Of course, it is completely up to you on whether or not you decide to rent or buy. Hope this helps! Comment below with questions or suggestions.