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Scuba cert and gear cost

Old 03-22-2019, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Thefishes540 View Post
Wife, two kids and I are considering getting scuba certified this summer. Does anyone have a rough idea of the cost for four certifications and gear would be. Thanks
As many others have said, hold off on buying all your own gear until you're sure you're going to want to continue to dive.


Make sure you get masks that fit you. Nothing will put you off of diving faster than a leaky mask, or one that doesn't seal right, fit right. It all starts with the mask.

If you wear glasses, get prescription lenses. I can't impress on this enough. The whole reason you're going diving is to see things. Yes, they're expensive - but worth every penny IMHO.

The rest of the gear you can rent until you make your decision whether diving is something you want to do. You can always continue to snorkel if you don't dive, so the good mask and prescription lenses still apply.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:11 AM
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Yeah, most people mentioned the right things so far.

Don't buy BC, regulator or computer at first. Don't waste money on Nitrox until after advanced. It's practically useless with out open water advanced cert (unless you break the 60' rule).
I did a week of diving in bonaire (22 dives) then decided I was done with rental gear.

Purchased full scuba pro set to get free parts for life, got hydro pro back inflate BC with safe second air source, G2 comptuer with integrated air, 560/Mk21 regulator, 3 mil full wet suit for 3100 from a local shop. That is about as high end as you'd need to go before doing tech diving / proffesional diving I think.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by tcpip95 View Post
As many others have said, hold off on buying all your own gear until you're sure you're going to want to continue to dive.


Make sure you get masks that fit you. Nothing will put you off of diving faster than a leaky mask, or one that doesn't seal right, fit right. It all starts with the mask.

If you wear glasses, get prescription lenses. I can't impress on this enough. The whole reason you're going diving is to see things. Yes, they're expensive - but worth every penny IMHO.

The rest of the gear you can rent until you make your decision whether diving is something you want to do. You can always continue to snorkel if you don't dive, so the good mask and prescription lenses still apply.
I actually went and got contact lenses specifically for diving. I only use them diving and skiing really, things where you need a mask/goggles.
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:33 PM
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I’ve worn my contacts for about 45 years of diving (no, not the same pair ). Never lost one.
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Old 03-22-2019, 03:46 PM
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For everything about $2k a piece
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Old 03-22-2019, 04:32 PM
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I've been very interested in getting scuba certified. I have found private lessons are about $200-$250 more vs group lessons and I am leaning towards that option. Any reasons not to go private outside of cost?
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Old 03-22-2019, 04:52 PM
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When it comes to dive gear, MANY times “most expensive” does not mean the best or necessary. Don’t let anyone convince you that you need a $2000 regulator made of titanium or a BC that costs $1500.
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:48 PM
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Not sure on dive shops in your area but sounds like some pretty sound advice above. I can’t reiterate enough, take the family to the dive shop and shop for masks until they fit, and fit properly. A sound dive shop will help in this endeavor. A leaky or ill fitting mask makes a lot of people uncomfortable in the water, and you need to be as comfortable as possible esp while being new. I’d ask about booties and fins, until you figure out what you prefer about any mediocre set will do. Weights, weight belt, BC, and regulator should be provided with lessons. As a Divemaster I wouldn’t let new students use integrated weights initially, learning to ditch a weight belt is an important technique and if the student owned an integrated BC we would move into it before our open water dives. How much are you going to dive? Too many people buy gear, get certified, then use the gear1-2 times per year, and usually the gear needs checking out before use after sitting so rental would make more sense in long run, not to mention with wife and kids that is a lot of gear to pack (space wise).
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Tampacruiser View Post
I've been very interested in getting scuba certified. I have found private lessons are about $200-$250 more vs group lessons and I am leaning towards that option. Any reasons not to go private outside of cost?
Private lessons allow the instructor to work at your pace, and spend time where you need it, so there are lots of benefits.

I got lucky when my daughters were taking lessons. Both ended up doing the majority of their class as private lessons, but finished (or in the case of my youngest, will finish) in a group. Didn’t plan it, just worked out that way. That allowed them time to work on their skills at their own pace. No pressure to move faster or slower.

But, it might be worthwhile to do the checkout dives in a group. Most dives will probably not be with an instructor, so getting some exposure to what inexperienced divers do, and how to recognize them is a good skill. In the case of my oldest daughter, one of the other students accidentally knocked her regulator out of her mouth while underwater. That caused it to go into freeflow, and get just out of reach. She handled the unplanned regulator retrieval like a champ. When she didn’t find it right away, she grabbed her alternate, cleared and continued breathing.
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by fishinmaniac View Post
Snorkel...honestly you'll probably never use a snorkel in a diving situation but its a requirement...cheaper here is better IMO. !
I will respectfully disagree here. I always wear one, and have on MANY occasions been glad I had it on - if I come up far from the boat, or they are picking up another diver, or I'm low on air, it helps out a lot. When I first enter the water I have it in my mouth instead of my regulator so I'm not wasting my air while getting my camera, gun, and position set, or waiting on another diver to get ready.
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by tcpip95 View Post
As many others have said, hold off on buying all your own gear until you're sure you're going to want to continue to dive.


Make sure you get masks that fit you. Nothing will put you off of diving faster than a leaky mask, or one that doesn't seal right, fit right. It all starts with the mask.

If you wear glasses, get prescription lenses. I can't impress on this enough. The whole reason you're going diving is to see things. Yes, they're expensive - but worth every penny IMHO.

The rest of the gear you can rent until you make your decision whether diving is something you want to do. You can always continue to snorkel if you don't dive, so the good mask and prescription lenses still apply.
Great advice. I use only Rx lenses, and have tried 5 different brands of mask - best fit for me and my wife are the Tusa Liberator II masks - last a LONG time, attractively priced, and fit great.
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Old 03-26-2019, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by grey2112 View Post
I will respectfully disagree here. I always wear one, and have on MANY occasions been glad I had it on - if I come up far from the boat, or they are picking up another diver, or I'm low on air, it helps out a lot. When I first enter the water I have it in my mouth instead of my regulator so I'm not wasting my air while getting my camera, gun, and position set, or waiting on another diver to get ready.
COMPLETELY AGREE with this! I use my snorkel on EVERY dive. I conserve gas as best I can; I always come out with ~500 PSI, and I’m usually out of air before my wife, so the snorkel gives me time while my wife is entering the water, checking her gear, getting camera ready, etc.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CurrentSea1 View Post
As PattyWagon says so well above, initial purchase should typically be mask, fins, snorkel and if suitable with your fins, booties. When my sons did it, the cert included use of their weights and belt. The store did not use integrated weight type BC's. I learned using them as part of SAR for State Police, so have always been partial to them. I like less clutter, and to me, the weight belt is just one more thing to deal with.

There are pros and cons to each, that's why I recommend renting for the first year. It's sort of a Ford or Chevy thing.
Definitely invest in a mask and snorkle, Fins can usually be rented but its the 3rd piece of gear everyone scuba certified should own. Those are your base gear needs and once you are certified the rest should be acquired just to become proficient and comfortable in your own gear. I tried out different BCDs for about a year before I got my own. Definitely write down styles you like and hate while renting gear as it will help with your purchasing ideas. Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:59 AM
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Hello, like other posters here, diving consumes a good part of my time, only recreational now, no more teaching or divemastering, I could not tell you cert prices as they vary from dive centre to dive centre. I would most certainly get own mask, snorkel and wetsuit and boots, nothing irks you more than having these items that are ill fitting, as for fins I would probably wait until after doing the advanced open water course, there are many types and some require less effort for more output than others, good types are Technisub, spoon type, Scuabpro Jet fins and probably the best are Cressi and the Mares avanta quatrros, look for easy fit buckles. After the advanced course I would do the nitrox course and then I would get fins and a watch, Casio make some cheap and awesome water resistant (200m plus rating) watches as do Citizen, Sekonda and Tauchmeister. The other items are more personal, BCs come in so many kinds, better fit for smaller frames, formed for women etc. I personal like the back flotation type to keep the chest area clear, I also prefer integrated weights to take the strain off my lower back (herniated discs), look how easy they are to put on and off. You´ll need diving knives too, one caveat, buy a wetsuit with a knife pocket and a thigh pocket, its so much easier to reach your knife at your thigh than your ankle or get a knife that fits to the BC or a hose, the thigh pocket is perfect for a backup mask, nothing is more of a nuisance than a broken mask strap, especially during a dive, like another poster here I also have a full face mask, an AGA Divator, positive pressure, there is a speciality course on full face masks, once tried IMHO you´ll never go back, if you buy a BC with integrated weights, check for trim weight pockets and the maximum you can fit, with practice you gradually need less and less weight, I would high recommend Scubapro for regs, Poseidon and Mares, if they still make them I also really like the US divers Cone series, all metal construction, bit heavy so get a form fit mouthpiece to take the strain off your jaw, Zeagle, Scubapro, Buddy and Technisub are all excellent BCs, if you fancy something prepped for more adventurous diving in the future, OMS modular are very good, get a wetsuit with reinforced knees too, have a look around at the instructors and other qualified divers and see what they use, as for computers, I like Suunto, integrated into my gauges pack, other things like torches are dependent on the kind of diving, I have an umbilical type that the battery pack straps to my tank, personal choice, one thing I would recommend, after buying your kit, try it with a Divemaster or instructor in a confined water dive, just to get completely comfortable with it, be warned diving is addictive. Hope all this helps.
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:30 PM
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I bought my BCD used for $150, I haven't used it in years. Definitely try to find everything but the mask and snorkel second hand if possible, my stuff collects dust.
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Old 03-30-2019, 08:16 PM
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Anyone tried the predator full face mask? Looks like my next investment....
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:10 AM
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Any reasons not to go private outside of cost?
The only reaso to do private lessons would be either you have issues with learning or mastering the task or if you schedule don't fit the schools schedule.
I run private and group classes, private classes are faster if student have no issues, group classes can be more fun because of the group but will take longer.

I actually went and got contact lenses specifically for diving. I only use them diving and skiing really, things where you need a mask/goggles.
I’ve worn my contacts for about 45 years of diving (no, not the same pair ). Never lost one.
Absolutely true, i use One-Days so just in case i loose one the $$$ lost are neglectable, hoever i loose one a year in 300-500 dives

COMPLETELY AGREE with this! I use my snorkel on EVERY dive. I conserve gas as best I can; I always come out with ~500 PSI, and I’m usually out of air before my wife, so the snorkel gives me time while my wife is entering the water, checking her gear, getting camera ready, etc.
I mostly disgree with this, i never used a snorkel except when i am teachin and i never had the feeling in 5000+ dives that i need one,
but i am a excellent swimmer and i/we do only boat dives, mostly drift dives.
On boat dives there is no need for a snorkel, once in the water just inflate your BCD to float with the head well above the water and you can breath thru your mouth,
to breath more freely you may hang your mask around the neck till you are ready to descend.
Moored under high current and/or chop conditions a snorkel can become handy for some people.
For shore dives with long surface swims where you have to face the destination a snorkel is required to save air breathing thru the snorkel and not air from the tank.

Thank you!!! What equipment would you purchase at first and what would you rent?
I would suggst that you buy nothing for a while till you gained some experience in diving and are shure that iyou will continue, except one of you have particular needs
Particular needs are:
  • non "standard" body and face shape, pinching, squeezing or too big wetsuits are uncomfortable, hard to don and look silly.
    a leaking and/or fogging mask ruin a dive and there are several types who fit a face better than others
  • Very big persons should consider suspender type weight belts to carry the 20lbs+ weightbelt safely, normal weightbelts may/will slip off when on depth
  • office workers with deicate skin should either get boots and fins or buy neoprene socks to avoid nasty blisters who will ruin a dive holiday
    neoprene socks are a great option for warm water diving as they are light and small to carry but will protect your feet from blisters by full foot fins
    the same socks worn inside a booty will avoid that you get infected by nasty bacteria or fungus as booties tend to stay always humid inside as they dry slow
  • before you buy any dive ear, try it before extensively to make sure it will fit your needs., body, kick style, face shape, etc
    You may rent it for a week when you go in dive holidays and test it durinmg some dives
  • If the dive shop requires that you have to buy your own gear, then either go somewhere else or buy the cheapest one, 90% you will buy something other sooner or later
  • Dive computers are cheap today (consudering the price 10 years ago) and IF YOU UNDERSTAND IT i will be a small but most important part of your personal safety
  • For a beginner with unknown dive future i would recommend
    a) nothing if you don't have problems with blisters, leaking masks and incorrect size for wetsuits
    b) own mask, own wetsuit and/or own wetsuit if you have issues with them when renting it
    c) add a dive computer and ONE FOR EACH ONE OF YOU and have the correct training how to use them
    I experience on a daily base that 80% of my clients have fancy 1000$+ computers but no idea how they work and what the computer is communicating them and this is fatal!
  • Add a BCD if you have back problems and the weight belt provoke you back pain, only a few dive operations rent weight integrated BCD's
  • If you have problems with mouthpiece is rubbing inside your mouth and hurting, then a hot water moldable or soft silicone mouthpiece can solve this
  • A important thing to carry is to buy a SMB and maybe a mirror to have always with you, they are small and leight to carry in your luggage.
    If you should drift away from the boat/shore a inflated SMB (Surface Marker Buoy) and a mirror will increase the possibility that some see/find you considerably!
  • Big Rambo style dive knives on the lower leg are mostly useless and old fashioned, a EMT shear is smaller and will cut lines using only one hand.
    Knifes are mainly for opening things and provide lever, but as beginner you should NOT DO THAT!
I suggest to just do the course and then go diving, enjoy, gain experience, become a better diver, borrow equipment from friends or rent it to understand the difference and feel what is best for you!
This will save you a lot of $$$ and give you the oportunity to try different types of dive equipment before you buy it and avoid to buy the wrong stuff

if you do more than 50' dives a year, then it will become financially and comfort/safety related better to buy your own full set of scuba gear, with less than 50 it's nonsense exceot the particular needs above

Chris
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