Michael W. Graham owns and operates two successful technical businesses in the southeastern United States. In his spare time, he enjoys scuba diving and presents a few recommendations for beginner gear.
All divers, regardless of level, need to purchase a mask, a pair of booties, swim fins, scuba weights and belts, and snorkels. These items must be fitted and purchased before getting into the water for the first training session. A diver can rent every other piece of necessary equipment, including a wet suit. In fact, if you’re just trying out diving, renting a wet suit is probably the best bet. But once you have decided to pursue the sport, at least for a while, owning a suit will make sure you are able to wear one that fits well, lets you move, and keeps you warm.
There are, of course, many other pieces of equipment that a diver will need, and each one serves a particular function. Buoyancy compensators allow divers to control depth; regulators control the air pressure coming out of your tank; gauges keep you informed of your depth, air consumption, and time. And of course, every diver needs a tank. Very few divers own tanks, however; the work involved in keeping them regulated and filled means that they are best as rentals.
In fact, beginners are best served to rent all gear, except of course for the fitted items mentioned above. Under water, your life depends on your gear, and you want to be absolutely sure that it is properly installed and functioning. If you enjoy scuba diving, there is plenty of gear waiting to be purchased when the time is right.