Diving is a popular recreational activity that is also practiced professionally. As Singapore consists of many picturesque dive spots, thousands of tourists visit Singapore every now and then to go scuba diving during vacations. Diving is a sport that requires a lot of safety gear and other supportive equipment. However, unless you are a professional diver who dives quite frequently, purchasing your own kit of dive gear can be pointless. If you are just a recreational diver, investing a large sum of money in buying diving equipment can be a waste, and if you are a tourist, traveling everywhere carrying your own package of dive gear can be inconvenient. Considering these problems, many dive shops offer divers the option of renting dive gear at reasonable rates. Read on to find out what you need to pay attention to when selecting dive gear for rental, and whether it is safe to rent them or not.
Should You Buy or Rent Scuba Gear?
When they first begin, all divers wonder whether it is better to buy or rent diving gear. This is a brilliant question because it takes into account convenience, comfort, safety, and use case in addition to the cost. There is no right or wrong strategy; some scuba divers acquire all of their equipment as soon as they learn to dive, while others never buy a single piece.
It makes sense for any scuba diver to get an ABC set, which includes fins, a scuba mask, and a snorkel. A dive computer is optional but recommended. Purchasing an ABC set is a wise decision because it will guarantee that you have a well-fitting, comfortable mask that won’t fog up or leak excessively. If you are searching under a tight budget, you can always seek assistance from any dive shop personnel to choose a low or middle-range mask that fits it. Contrarily, dive computers are typically the most expensive rental while also taking up the least amount of room in your suitcase. They are the ideal option for a follow-up buy because of this.
However, buying your own scuba gear does not make sense under certain circumstances. Therefore, before you make your decision, find answers to the following questions to determine whether you need to buy or get diving equipment for rental.
1. How Often Do You Dive?
The decision of whether to buy or rent scuba gear depends on how often you dive. It is advisable to rent your scuba gear if you dive sporadically or no more than 10 times each year. Instead of buying, maintaining, and packing your scuba equipment before every trip, just rent it from the nearby dive shop to save time and money. Having an ABC set is still a wise decision because you may use it for snorkeling. Purchasing your own scuba gear, or at least some of it, makes sense if you dive between 10 and 25 times a year or intend to go on a full diving trip. In this situation, you may purchase an ABC set and a dive computer without a doubt.
Purchasing your own wetsuit and maybe a BCD is advised if you intend to go on at least two distinct dive excursions annually, or approximately 25–50 dives overall. There are many excellent starting BCDs available that are affordable. At this stage, a regulator is probably unnecessary because the expense of annual maintenance will very certainly exceed the cost of monthly rent. Investing in a complete set of scuba dive gear is the best course of action if you dive frequently (more than 50 times per year). This includes an exposure suit, BCD, ABC set, and regulator. To avoid having to rent tanks and weights from a nearby dive shop each time you go diving with pals, it may make sense if you dive locally to purchase your own tanks and weights.
2. Where Do You Dive?
Equipment for warm-water scuba diving is both less expensive and easier to rent than that for cold-water diving. For instance, finding a drysuit can be challenging to find because not all diving shops rent them out. Purchasing your own scuba gear is therefore the best method to guarantee that you actually have well-fitting equipment if you prefer diving in freshwater lakes or quarries.
3. What Type of Diving Do You Practice?
For liveaboard safaris and recreational reef diving in warm water, renting scuba equipment is practical. It is recommended to purchase your scuba equipment when you enter more challenging diving environments, such as wrecks, cold water, or high-altitude diving. You’ll not only be more at ease wearing it, but it will also guarantee that you know how to utilize it, increasing diving safety. Owning your diving equipment is necessary and frequently required before beginning your dive training if you want to take the next step and become a professional or technical diver. In this situation, you would also require a sophisticated dive computer with several breathing gas and altitude modes.
4. What Is Your Budget?
Purchasing scuba equipment can be very expensive, especially if you want high-quality equipment. However, while a full-fledged coldwater setup with a coldwater certified regulator and a drysuit is quite expensive, a scuba mask or thin 3mm wetsuit will be quite reasonable. Nevertheless, consider saving your money and renting the equipment if you know you will have to buy extremely cheaply priced items under a tight budget until you can afford a higher-quality model.
Is It Safe to Get Dive Gear for Rental?
The common answer to the question of whether it is safe to get dive gear for a rental is yes. However, if you research deeper, you may find at least one accident in the history of every dive centre. Nonetheless, the vast majority of dive shops have good safety records and a rigorous dedication to safety. This also applies to the gear that customers can hire from them. When it comes to renting scuba gear, what matters the most is the comfort of the diver. In that situation, if you ever feel unsafe or sketchy about the diving equipment that is up for rental, it is highly advised to follow your instinct and head to another dive shop.
All diving equipment needs to be periodically maintained to ensure the safety of the divers. Dive shops arrange annual maintenance and inspections for their low season when they can remove equipment from the rental stock without any negative commercial impact. Additionally, as rental gear is most frequently used, any minute issue that occurs is always discovered and addressed right away. As a result, dive gear is rarely kept in a bag or garage for weeks or months at a time between dives. The item will be quarantined if it cannot be mended because of the lack of a qualified technician or because its components must be ordered from elsewhere.
The fact that dive shops cannot afford to regularly replace their rental stock is another important factor to take into account. To maximize their usable life, they require proper maintenance and regular servicing. Additionally, when using rental gear, you always receive a double inspection: first, the divemaster or instructor inspecting the kit, and then you, the trained diver. If you ever happen to detect a defect with the dive gear you rented, let the dive crew member know, and they will quickly fix it or replace it.
How to Rent Scuba Gear Correctly?
To find your dive gear for rental with safety and reliability, you need to follow a set of steps as follows.
1. Compare shops around.
Walking into the first dive shop you see and getting your scuba diving equipment for a rental is not the wisest thing to do as a certified diver. To have better options, you should always compare the dive shops in your vicinity before selecting one. When you are there, make sure you know how to verify the safety of your rental dive equipment. Try to shop at a place where you may get to test the equipment in a pool. Know what to look for and ask the correct questions from the employees. If you have access to a pool, try out the equipment before deciding to hire it. Before performing a test in open water and discovering a problem, it is preferable to do it on dry land.
2. Ask questions.
The staff of your dive shop is always bound to clear all your doubts regarding the dive gear that is put up for rental. To ensure your safety and to receive the right value for your money, ask the following questions from the shop assistants.
- How often does the equipment get serviced?
- Is stored equipment regularly tested?
- Is it possible to see the service records and test certification?
3. Check the equipment yourself.
Examine the equipment on your own as well. If you require assistance, store employees may demonstrate how to verify the safety of your rental diving equipment. Use your eyes to look for noticeable defects in the main components such as:
- Seams and seals of wetsuits.
- The fit of the wetsuits.
- The fit of the weights.
- The seals on the air hose.
4. Do an underwater check.
The most effective method to ensure the safety and the condition of the rented scuba gear is doing an underwater check. If they have a pool, get in and make sure the equipment works as it should. Inform the personnel of any issues you encounter and select a different option. During the underwater check, you may pay attention to the workability of the regulator, the maneuverability of the suit, and the buoyancy level of the diving weights.
What to Pay Attention to When Renting Diving Equipment?
When renting scuba diving gear from a dive shop, you can avoid accidents simply by paying attention to several factors. If you get your gear for rental, it is a must to check its condition before making your choice. You may seek support from the dive centre assistants to do your checks if you are not an expert. Here are a few factors that many divers often forget to check, yet crucial when renting scuba diving equipment.
- Does the BCD hold air well?
- Are the seams and seals of the rented wetsuits in good condition?
- Do all dump valves serve the purpose?
- Is the buckle of the weight belt in good condition?
- Is your rented diving gear the perfect fit for your build?
If you are not so confident about the equipment even after inspection, you may immediately swap them or walk into another dive shop.
What Could Go Wrong If You Rent Low-Quality Dive Gear?
Renting low-quality dive gear is utterly risky at all times without a doubt. If you only think about the cost and ignore all other factors, you may tend to go for the cheapest dive gear rental that you can find. However, the lower the rental is, the bigger the risk you put your life in. Renting dive gear that is damaged or not well-maintained can cause accidents during the dive in many ways. Here are some:
- Damaged weight belts can break off during the dive, causing dangerous ascents.
- Torn wetsuits highly affect your buoyancy level and body temperature when diving.
- A rusty air hose could break in open water, putting your life at risk
- A faulty regulator could cut off your air supply while diving.
The key to minimizing these risks is renting your dive gear from a top-notch dive shop like Waikiki Dive Centre.
Get Your Dive Gear on Rental from the Best
Why put your life at risk when you can get your diving gear for rental from the best dive centre in Singapore? Visit Waikiki Dive Centre: the most reliable place to rent top-notch dive gear in Singapore. At Waikiki Dive Centre, you only get highly maintained, regularly serviced, top-quality dive gear, and you are always assured to face no accidents caused by the failure of diving equipment. Visit Waikiki Dive Centre’s official website or the flagship store to get all your dive gear for rental at the most affordable rates under one roof!