Ways to Save on Scuba Gear
Buy, Don’t Rent
If you are an avid scuba diver it makes sense investing in some quality and dependable gear that will last long. It’s much cheaper to purchase dive equipment than to rent it. And this will become more evident the longer you own it. In fact, scuba gear like BCs, regs and fins can last over 10 years provided you take care of it properly.
Buy Items Together
To save money you will have to comparison shop paying special attention to sales. Wait for a suitable moment when the price is the lowest and buy several major items in one big purchase. When you purchase several items together your dive store will be more willing to negotiate a deal and may even add some nice “freebies”.
Opt For a One-Brand Package Deal
The same strategy works when you purchase several items from the same manufacturer. When you buy them together, it’s easier to obtain a discount. Often the manufacturer may offer a total package, for example, reg, octo, BC and dive computer at a very good price. If you come across a good bargain and like the gear in the package, try to negotiate an extra discount and take it.
Look For End of Season Deals
The best time to shop for heavily discounted items is at the end of the season when stores do their best to clear out their inventory for the latest models. If you don’t mind getting previous year’s gear end of season sales is the best time to get the equipment you need at the lowest price possible.
Ask For Free Air
When you buy some major gear, consider asking if you could get, for example, 10 free air fills with your purchase. Currently an air card costs over $50, but filling a tank is not a problem for an established dive store.
Don’t Forget Dealer Prep
Most stores will help you adjust and test a new reg for you, set up a new BC, and give valuable advice on how to program your new dive computer. If you need help make sure you ask for it as sometimes sales persons may be busy and they may just forget to offer their assistance.
Price Not Always Equals Performance
Many equipment tests have proved that the most expensive gear does not always guarantee the best performance. These days there are many budget and mid-range models that deliver performance equal to their over-priced rivals. If we look at the diving gear within a particular brand, in most cases the mid-priced models ensure the same performance as their more costly counterparts, but they just have fewer features. If you don’t need these extra features, there is not point paying for them.
Prefer Fit to Features
When it comes to scuba diving gear such as masks, wetsuits and BCs, a good fit is of primary importance. Gear that fits good will ensure an enjoyable diving experience. And unlike various extra features that add to the cost of the product good fit is typically free.
Shop the Generic Items in Big Box Stores
You may often find such products as dry boxes, bags, first-aid kits and other tools at the lower price at some popular retailers, so instead of purchasing all the stuff you need at the dive store look for items of general use at the big box retailers.
Consider purchasing a box of multisize O-rings you can use to seal camera housings, dive lights and other dive equipment. This will ensure your costly dive equipment will last long. If you stock up on O-rings, you’ll have plenty of spares you can change regularly.
Take Care of Your Gear
After each diving adventure make sure you wash and soak your dive equipment in fresh water, then let it dry out of the sun so it would last longer. It is also important to inspect it regularly for small tears that can be easily fixed. In addition, you should check fasteners regularly and store your gear properly. Hang your wetsuit on fat hangers or fold it neatly. Drysuits should be stored folded in a bag. It is important to keep both wetsuits and drysuits away from light and ozone. Did you know that most regs have a lifetime guarantee if they are serviced on a regular basis? Regular services will help you save lots of money in the long run and will make it perform at its best due to upgrades most manufacturers require.