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What is the first item of scuba diving equipment I should buy?

What scuba diving equipment should I get?

Buying your first scuba diving equipment is both exciting and somewhat daunting.

If you have a budget the size of a small country then it is time to go mad and buy everything in the shop but for most of us, a little more discretion and direction is required.
 
Every new scuba diver has to wrestle with this question once they have been bitten by the scuba diving bug:

What should be my first purchase when it comes to scuba diving equipment?
 
All Dive Bunnies know they need dive equipment. Every Dive Bunny knows they want dive equipment.
 
But where do you begin when it comes to purchasing scuba diving equipment?
 
We asked a select group of Dive Bunnies for their opinions and largely got nowhere fast... although we all enjoyed the wine. 
 
We then did what all great journalists do… got lazy and asked Master Bunny Phil what he thought.
 
In true Phil style… he went on a bit.
 
Phil said:
 
“First of all please don’t ever buy any equipment that you are not trained to use and are not  familiar and comfortable with. Generally speaking, equipment doesn’t fail, people do.
 
Beyond that a dive mask would have to be my number one pick. Get a really good mask that you love. Don’t be afraid to ask the dive centre if one of their guys or girls has the model you’re interested in so you can take it for a dive or two.
 
Commission on selling dive equipment is a big part of the dive crew's income so they’ll gladly lend you dive equipment provided they get the sale.  [Ed: COVID-19 permitting!]
 
“My last mask was almost £60 but that was back in 2011 so has thus far cost me less than £7.00 per year and is still going strong. I’d expect to get at least another 5 years out of it”.
 
Thanks Phil - the accountant shining through strong and true there!
 
But what about the rest of us for whom depreciation is less of an issue? Real money, or value for money with dive equipment is what counts:
 
Phil continued:
 
“I’d still go with buying a really good dive mask first but next on my list would be fins and then a computer, probably followed by your first BCD.”
 
Bizarrely this didn't depart hugely from the myriad of replies that we received from the Dive Bunnies that  we asked. If we take a less than scientific approach, buying a dive mask came out top with fins and computer, a very close joint second. 
 
For girl Bunnies wetsuit came next whilst for boy bunnies it was BCD (presumably because it looks like a stab vest and is all army?)
 
Although less than scientific in our approach, the consensus appears to be dive mask, fins or computer and then wetsuit or BCD. 
 
What we would say is that non of this matters if you forget it all whilst packing so have a look at our scuba diving packing list
 
Also remember that purchasing any equipment is only the first step, you need to keep it correctly serviced.