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The costs of scuba diving equipment can easily run over $1,000 dollars. Although renting is always an option, for a diver that is developing a long term interest in this sport, purchasing is worth your while, not just in money but also in the quality of your scuba equipment.
Without going into the pros and cons of renting vs buying the scuba diving equipment, let's talk about the various types of scuba equipment that you should consider buying and how much you should budget for spending on them.
Mask: a mask can range from $20 to $150.00 dollars. A mask has relatively little travel inconvenience compared to other scuba equipment so packing it in a suitcase and walking around in it will not be a big challenge.
Snorkel: They should not run you more than $50.00, and the lower end will be around $17.00
Fins: Although they are not as easy to pack as a pair of snorkels, they range from $30 to $150.00 and are more affordable than many other scuba diving equipment.
Regulator: They range from $150 - $500, sometimes even more and are at the higher end of the price range than other scuba equipment.
Exposure suits: They vary according to type (ie wetsuit vs drysuit). Check here for types and prices.
BC: Typically from $150 to $500.00 and like regulators, are also at the high end of the price range than other scuba diving equipment.
Weights: $1.70 a pound.
Tanks: Between $100 to $400.
Remember, the last two are heavier to carry around than the others. We recommend buying tanks and weights last, and the others before as they are less expensive, and easier to pack and travel with.
The maintenance for scuba equipment is astonishingly the same. Although there is specific preventative care that is required for only for dive suits, tanks, or BCs, there are some things you can do to all your scuba gear that will insure a long life for them.
After every dive, make sure to give your all of your scuba gear a good rinse with fresh water.
After rinsing the scuba diving gear, allow it to dry, but not in direct sunlight. Most of the scuba equipment that you carry is made of neoprene rubber, which can be broken down when exposed to direct sunlight. Extra care should be taken between dives, when they are most vulnerable to the sun, especially in tropical climates
Whether you have a wet or a dry suit, neoprene exposure suits should be hung on a non-wire hanger to dry. Wire hangers can cause unnecessary creases.
All your scuba diving equipment should be stored in a cool, yet dry place.
Separate your neoprene related equipment from your other scuba gear, especially if they are damp. Over time, they can stick together and tear when pulled apart.
After you return from your dive trip, make sure to unpack as soon as possible to prevent any compression or flattening of the scuba equipment that you paid good money for.