December 22, 2021 10 min read

Looking at all of the beautiful pictures and videos scuba divers make encouraged you to try scuba diving yourself. And you are at the beginning of your adventure. Now, the question is, what do you need to proceed with this amazing sport? First, of course, is a licensed scuba diving instructor, who will teach you the safe way to enjoy diving. The second is proper scuba diving equipment. You have to know that diving is a gear intensive activity. Let’s see what dive gear you need for a successful dive. 

A Complete Scuba Diving Equipment Checklist: What You Need For a Dive

Once you decide to start scuba diving, there are some rules to be followed in order to have a safe underwater trip. First of all, to be properly equipped for this adventure. When starting scuba diving, you can always rent all the necessary equipment. But if you are willing to make this regular or long-term thing, it is always better to have your own equipment that will best suit your body and your needs. 

Before purchasing any equipment, you need to be informed of all the things you need to have, different types of scuba gear, and what type of scuba gear is best for you. For all of that, we will give you, but it is recommended to consult with your scuba diving instructor. 

The first thing you have to consider before buying scuba gear is what type of water will you dive in. There is a difference between scuba gear for warm or tropical water, and for cold water. Also, you have to consider depth gauge, weather conditions, whether there will be night dives or not, etc.

After that, you have to decide on your budget for your own diving kit. It is not cheap to own scuba gear, however, it does come in a large price range. It depends on the quality of scuba gear, your needs, and whether or not you are purchasing just basic equipment or life support equipment too. 

What Kinds Of Diving Equipment Are There?

There is a basic division of scuba diving equipment: basic equipment and life support equipment. To start, you will only need basic equipment, and once you become more experienced and get your C-card, you will be able to purchase life support equipment.

scuba diving equipment list

Basic equipment implies a diving mask, dive snorkel, dive suit, scuba fins, and scuba boots. Those are all necessary things you will need for diving, and you will need them for beginners course as well as when you become more experienced. 

Life support equipment implies a buoyancy compensator jacket, weight belt, scuba regulators, scuba tanks, and dive computers. These things are not necessary when you learning how to dive, but if you want to pursue a more serious as a diver, you will need to buy all of this, once you get your C-level card. 

But what to look for in every of this scuba gear is a little bit complex. Let’s find out how to find every piece from the scuba diving equipment list, that will be best for you. 

Dive Mask 

A dive mask is the first, most essential piece of scuba gear you will need when going diving. A scuba mask is there to protect your eyes, clear your vision, and protect your nose when you are underwater. 

The air space in front of your eyes will give you the ability to have a more clear vision, and focus better. And nose pocket will help you equalize air pressure as you go deeper and deeper. When looking for a good diving mask, you have to look for one that fits you correctly. It is important that there are not any gaps where water can go inside your mask. High-quality masks are usually made of materials such as tempered glass and silicone. 

Dive Snorkel

scuba diving gear list

This one is simple. You are looking for a long tube that will help you breathe when you are floating on the surface face down. Most scuba divers use snorkels to preserve oxygen in their scuba tank when they are on water surfaces. 

Dive snorkel is not that expensive piece of scuba gear, and it really does not have to be of premium quality, so even if you are a beginner it is best to have your own piece of scuba gear, because of a hygienist. 

Dive Suits

Besides the scuba maks, this is a must-have piece of scuba gear when scuba diving. Dive suits help for the maintenance of body temperature. There are two types of dive suits: wetsuits and drysuits. Which one to use, depends on the type of water you are diving in. If scuba diving in warm water you can choose a wetsuit, but if it is cold water, it is best to use a drysuit. 

Wetsuits are usually made of neoprene rubber. This material locks a layer of water alongside the body and keeps it warm. Drysuits will, as the name says, keep you completely dry. They work as incubators to keep you warm. 

As our body can lose temperature up to 25 times faster when in water, one of the crucial things is to find the perfect fit for your dive suit. When looking for a suit, you have to look for a perfect fit and comfort. There should not be gaps, but you should be able to breathe normally. 

Scuba Gloves

As dive suits, scuba gloves will help you protect your arms from losing temperature, but also they will prevent skin injuries. They are made of the same materials as wetsuits, and they work the same way, trapping a thin layer of water to keep your arms warm. 

Scuba Fins

what equipment will i need to learn to scuba dive

As we know, fish does not have legs or toes, they have fins. So, if we want to experience the underwater world, we should think like a fish, which means, get some dive fins. Dive fins will help you move faster and smoother when diving. There are two kinds of fins full foot fins and open heel fins.

Full foot fins can be used only in warm water since you do not have proper thermal isolation. They can not be adjusted, so you have to find the perfect fit. But you will not need scuba boots.

Open heel fins can be used in warm water as well as in cold water. They are great because you can adjust them, so more than one person can use them, and even children who are not finished with growing can use them for a longer time. But when you decide to have open heel fins, you will need scuba boots too. 

Buoyancy Compensator (BC) Jacket

More experienced divers will need life support equipment. First on the list is the buoyancy control device (BCD). This is the most complex piece of scuba gear. BC jacket keeps you from sinking in, but also from floating on the surface, depending on what you need. It helps you carry your scuba tank, and helps you achieve neutral buoyancy underwater.

When looking for a buoyancy control device, you have to find one that fits you correctly, to be able to manage it easily when underwater. 

Weight Belt

Next on the scuba diving equipment list is the weight belt. They are needed to ensure you will stay underwater. Because gases in your tank and your body give you tend to float on the surface, weight belts give you neutral buoyancy and help you scuba diving. 

Scuba Regulator

This piece of scuba equipment is here to adjust the pressure of gases that come from scuba tanks, so you can normally breathe in. Also, they can deliver gas to your BCD. 

When purchasing a scuba regulator, always look for high performance, but also comfort. Most scuba regulators on the market these days have high performance, and it is hard to make a mistake there. So, since this is the part you will put in your mouth, you will want it to be comfortable. 

Depth Gauge

scuba gear & diving equipment

A depth gauges also called a submersible pressure gauge will show a scuba diver’s current and maximum depth he has reached. There is also a compass, which will show a scuba diver where to go. 

A submersible pressure gauge also can show how much gas a scuba diver has in his tank.  This can come very handy because that way you always know how much time you have left and if you have to go back or not. 

Scuba Tank

A Scuba tank is there to store a huge amount of high-pressure air that will allow you to breathe underwater. It is commonly made from steel or aluminum. There are a lot of styles and sizes of diving cylinders, but usually, maximum pressure is around 2000 to 3500 psi. How much air will tank store, depends on tank size, and tank pressure.

You can choose to buy your own diving cylinder. But if scuba diving is not your regular activity, it is much cheaper to rent one when going scuba diving. 

Dive Computers

With a dive computer, you get a better optimization of your underwater trip. The dive computer shows the duration and length of your trip, the maximum depth reached,  calculates the time you have been underwater, and how much longer you can stay safe while scuba diving.  Some dive computers can even show how much gas is left in your dive cylinder. 

Since the rent of this scuba diving gear cost a lot, it is often much more cost-effective to buy your own dive computer. 

Underwater Lights and Diving Camera

Great piece of dive gear, especially for wreck diving, cave diving, night diving, etc. Dive light will help you see better, and also will help other drivers see you. A diving camera will capture all the great moments and things you will see on your journey. 

Where To Buy Scuba Diving Equipment

Scuba gear cost depends on your budget and expectations. When buying scuba diving gear, there are a lot of options on where to buy it. The best option is to go to the specialized store, where you can get a professional opinion, help, and guarantee for the diving gear you are purchasing.

scuba diving equipment essentials

The second option is internet shopping. This is especially good for the scuba diver who is a little more experienced, since they do not need help, and can find some really great prices. 

The last option is to buy from a private party. Now, even if this can be really cheap, and great for the budget, this can be really risky. You do not have any guarantee for the scuba diving gear you purchase. Scuba masks might not fit you correctly or can have gaps, dive computer might not measure correctly, etc. 

Final Thoughts

When deciding you want to try scuba dive, there is a lot of dive equipment you will have to purchase.  Dive gear can be separated into two categories basic dive equipment and safety gear. 

You have to pay special attention when choosing drive gear such as dive masks, wetsuits, and BDC because your life can be may be compromised. But with things like a regulator, dive light, and dive camera you can hardly make mistakes. 

If you are going to dive friquently, make sure you know what gear you need, based on whether it will be cold water diving or warm water diving, dive locations, ambient pressure, whether or not you will dive frequently.

Scuba Gear FAQ

What dive gear should I buy first?

It largely depends on what your goals are. For some local diving, a standard mask and snorkel is a good start. If you go on a lot of dives, a pair of booties will help keep your feet a bit more comfortable. I’d recommend a vest for your BC so you won’t have to hold it all the time. 

When you get more serious about diving, get a wetsuit. Inflated or deflated depends on the water temp and the dive. It’s good to have a dive knife for cutting lines, a flashlight for going into dark areas, a slate for communicating with your dive buddy.

What is scuba diving without equipment?

Usually, scuba diving refers to diving activities using an air compressor. However, this kind of diving is not considered to be diving; it is actually considered to be snorkeling. Only the use of self-contained underwater breathing equipment (SCUBA) can be considered scuba diving.

What is the most important rule in diving?

The most basic rule in diving is to know what you’re diving in. There are a variety of factors to take into account when looking at a dive site, so divers must be aware of what areas are dangerous and what areas are safe. Regardless if you’re a pro or a beginner, you should always pay close attention to your surroundings when driving.

What is the most common injury in scuba diving?

diving equipment for beginners

There are many injuries in scuba diving, but the most common is usually diving accidents. It is because when people dive in, they need to swim in the water, in which there is the water pressure in the water, so when you suddenly come up, there is pressure in the human body, so when this suddenly happens, the eardrum will react to it, so people will feel dizzy and ears ringing. 

It is because when you suddenly come up, the pressure suddenly drops, so the eardrum suddenly shrinks up, so the pressure suddenly drops, then the collapsed eardrum suddenly expands, then it makes people feel dizzy and ears ringing.

Is it illegal to scuba dive without certification?

Yes, if done without a buddy, it is illegal to scuba dive without certification. Scuba dive without certification can bring on extreme fines and penalties, it is good to be safe, even in your home waters off your shore.

Is diving an expensive hobby?

Diving is not an expensive hobby. I don’t recommend using your savings to fund your diving interest. There are other ways to make the investments necessary to dive. Be sure to seek out grants, loans, and scholarships to cover the costs of your certification.

You can also look for part-time job opportunities that give you the opportunity to dive. Look for diving jobs on online listings. This will allow you to complete your dive certification to support your career, or just to increase your knowledge about diving for pleasure.

How much does a full set of dive kit cost?

The most basic components of gear you need are a mask, which can be bought for about 100€, fins for about 80€, and a snorkel for about 25–35€ depending on the material. If you were to put 3 components in a package it would be hard to find a deal below 300€.

At what depth will water crush you?

Specifically, depends on the individual and also the shape of the body, the weight, and the buoyancy of the body.

When the diving body is in water, it has four states: the human body is immersed directly into the water; the human body is floating face up; the human body is drowning; the human body is dead and washed ashore.

The flotation and sinking and death and drowning and resuscitation of the body do not correlate with the weight and wear of the clothing and personal items of the diving body, but rather depend on characteristics such as residual air in the lungs and larynx, overheating, etc.

Author - Olivia Poglianich
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the surf, watersports and outdoor adventure space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.

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