Buying scuba diving gear is expensive and just like when making any other sizeable investment, it’s important to take several factors into account before parting with your cash.

Read our top 10 tips and considerations before you buy your scuba diving gear.

1. When buying a diving computer, consider getting one that is compatible with Nitrox as they are also compatible with traditional air. If you get Nitrox certified at a later date you won’t need to replace your computer.

2. One feature that is best to have in a diving computer is an alarm. Alarms will alert you when your air is running low or you’re ascending too fast. Most diving computers have visible alarms, though it’s also a good idea to get one that has an audible alarm. This way you don’t have to keep checking the monitor.

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3. A good fitting mask is extremely important. It must have a strong seal and must stay in place. A silicone seal is able to withstand exposure to salt and sun. A poorly fitting mask will spoil your dives as you will constantly be clearing it.

4. Snorkels must have flexible joints at the bottom that permits them to adjust to the contours of individual faces. A purge valve will enable the easy removal of water if it is required.

5. The first gear you’re likely to buy is a own mask, fins, snorkel and booties, because these are personal items.

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6. Before buying scuba diving gear, make sure to read up on literature for diving equipment. Look for the pros and cons for each brand before making a decision.

7. An important item to have is a good dive watch. This could be a backup in the event that some gauges fail during a dive.

8. Buy equipment from an authorized dealer for that manufacturer. Purchase from a shop that is also an authorized repair facility for that gear to make sure that warranties and service agreements will be honored.

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9. Buy scuba diving gear only from a reputable dive shop. Try on, touch and feel the diving equipment. Ask questions of the store personnel. Find out if your gear selections are correct.

10. Consider weight and needs. If you plan to dive at home, weight will be less of a consideration; however, if you plan to dive on holidays you might want to consider travel options which weigh less and are easier to pack.

Most importantly, be ready or take advice from those with more experience than you. And don’t scrimp. Buy what you need because buying cheap usually costs more money later on. If you can’t afford the item you want, don’t settle for a cheaper option, wait until you have saved enough to buy your first choice.

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This blog was originally written by Jackie Hutchings and published on the Diviac Magazine.

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