Best Scuba Gear for Beginners

Best Scuba Gear for Beginners of 2022 (The Only List You Need)

Are you a new diver looking for the best scuba diving gear? Congratulations on your new adventure!

Diving can be an amazing experience, and with the right scuba gear, it can be fun and safe too. Just like new drivers don’t need Ferraris, new scuba divers don’t need expensive gear with all the bells and whistles. Scuba diving equipment can be of great quality, yet affordable and perfect for beginner divers.

In this post, we’ll share some of our favorite dive gear for beginner divers. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re looking to upgrade your dive equipment, read on for some great recommendations!

🀿 When Should I Buy My Own Scuba Gear?

When it comes to diving, you’re not really supposed to spend a lot of money on scuba diving gear until you know that you’re going to stick with recreational diving.

But at some point, most scuba divers find themselves wanting their own set of dive gear, whether it’s for the convenience of having your own gear or the cost savings from renting.

So when should you make the investment and buy your own gear? Let’s take a look!

When You Are Intending To Dive A Lot

The scuba gear cost soon pays itself back if you are a new diver looking to dive frequently in the coming months. Most dive centers offer scuba diving gear packages but this can get into the hundreds a year, especially if you are intending to go scuba diving more than 20 times.

Rental equipment costs can really start to add up, so check your scuba package to find out how much gear rental is costing, and your calculations to figure out how long your own equipment will start to pay for itself.

When You Want To Feel Good In Your Scuba Diving Gear

Although most dive centers maintain their scuba gear impeccably, nothing beats having your own. Scuba gear rental equipment may not be as well-maintained as yours or feel as comfortable.

In addition, some like having the convenience of knowing exactly how to use each piece of equipment prior to every dive without having to learn their way around someone else’s diving masks, dive computers, or scuba fins.

Many divers also want to use their own regulators or alternate air source for hygienic reasons. There really is no substitute for a reliable first stage and primary regulator that fits perfectly and feels great when you breathe out of it.

It all boils down to budget and personal preference.

🎽 What Gear Should New Divers Buy?

So if you’ve decided that a trip to the dive store is upcoming, there’s no need to buy everything in one go. For simplicity’s sake, let’s break it down into a few groups:

The Basics

  • The highly-personalized, first set of gear of mask, fins, wetsuit. This is the most basic scuba gear you’ll need for every dive and its addition to your life will make scuba diving way more enjoyable.

The Dive Computer

  • Then, you can consider a big-ticket purchase – the dive computer. Choosing a dive computer is crucial to advancing as a scuba diver.

The Mechanical

  • Next, you can consider a Buoyancy Compensator Device (BCD) and a regulator set that consists of a first stage, second stage, octopus, alternate second stage, and an SPG. We’re not going to lie, this is the more expensive stuff and you should definitely do way more research for these pieces of scuba gear.
Regulator on buoyancy control device

Accessorize!

  • Finally, add the accessories! Be careful how much you add, some gear is unnecessary and will only add to weight and drag. Some essential accessories include a surface marker buoy (SMB), a whistle, knife, weight belt, neoprene mask strap, and alternate air source clip or holder.

Intimidating huh? We know, we have all been beginner divers before. That’s why we try to help all our readers and students navigate the confusing world of new divers and take the guesswork out!

After extensive research (and heated debates!), here are our top picks for scuba diving equipment for the beginner diver.

πŸ₯‡ Best Scuba Gear for Beginners

ProductDetails 
Cressi F1
Cressi F1

Materials: Tempered glass, liquid silicone
Mask Strap: 16 to 20 in.
Versions: Clear silicone, black silicone
Aqua Lung Impulse 3
Aqua Lung Impulse 3

Style: Semi-dry
Tube: Contoured
Mouthpiece: Comfo-bite
Upper Feature: One way annular valve
Mares Avanti Super-Channel Open Heel Fin
Mares Avanti Super-Channel Open Heel Fin

Materials: Tecralene, thermoplastic rubber
Blade Type: Non-vented
Blade Length: 14.6 in.
Fin Style: Open heel (0.9kg)
AquaLung Pro HD
AquaLung Pro HD

Style: Weight-integrated jacket
Inflator: Powerline
Weight Capacity: 9 to 13.5kg (releasable), 4.54kg (non-releasable)
Valves: 1 Cable activated pull, 2 over-pressure relief
Aqua Lung Calypso Regulator
Aqua Lung Calypso Regulato

Materials: Chrome plated brass, techno-polymer, polyurethane, silicone
Technology: Non-balanced flow, downstream demand valve
Nitrox Compatibility: Up to 40% O2
Aqua Lung Calypso/Titan Octopus
Aqua Lung Calypso/Titan Octopus

Materials: ABS, polycarbonate, polyurethane, silicone
Technology: Downstream demand valve
Adjustable 2’nd Stage: Venturi dive, pre-dive knob
Housing: Polycarbonate
Cressi Leonardo Computer Console
Cressi Leonardo Computer Console

Operating Modes: Air, Nitrox, Gauge
Memory Capacity: 70 hours (60 dives)
Depth Display: 0 to 120m
Altitude Adjustable: 3,700m max
Cressi Leonardo Wrist Computer
Cressi Leonardo Wrist Computer

Operating Modes: Air, Nitrox, Gauge
Memory Capacity: 70 hours (60 dives)
Depth Display: 0 to 120m
Altitude Adjustable: 3,700m max
Cressi Morea 3mm Men’s
Cressi Morea 3mm Men’s

Materials: Nylon II, I neoprene
Seams: Glued, sewn
Closure: Back zipper w/ pull tab leash
Thickness: 3mm
Cressi Morea 3mm Women’s
Cressi Morea 3mm Women’s

Materials: Nylon II, I neoprene
Seams: Glued, sewn
Closure: Back zipper w/ pull tab leash
Thickness: 3mm

⭐ Beginner Scuba Diving Gear Reviewed 2022

Mask: Cressi F1

Cressi Frameless F1 Mask

Our Rating

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MaterialsTempered glass, liquid silicone
Mask StrapAdjustable from 16 to 20 in.
VersionsClear silicone, black silicone
Warranty 2 years, limited
Price$

The Cressi F1 is a silicone diving mask that is lightweight, comfortable, and comes in two sizes, small and large.

The small size fits up to 22 cm, while the large size fits up to 24 cm. Our dive team tested multiple masks and most of us fit!

The mask also features an adjustable mask strap which can be adjusted from 16 to 20 inches. The Cressi F1 also comes with an individual lens case that can be used as a storage container for your lenses.

Mask Cressi F1 is an ideal dive mask that you can use when you are looking for the best quality mask without compromising on comfort or performance.

Key Features

  • Two mask sizes: small and large to suit most face shapes
  • Soft grade silicone: for comfortable wear
  • Low volume: for easy clearing

Best for: beginners looking for a super affordable mask and cannot fit standard sizes

πŸ‘ Pros

  • It provides maximum protection from the effects of water pressure
  • It has been designed with comfort in mind
  • Lightweight and can be worn all day long without any discomfort.
  • Wide point of vision

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • Even two sizes won’t fit all face shapes
  • Keeps fogging if it doesn’t fit

Snorkel: Aqua Lung Impulse 3

Aqua Lung Impulse 3 Flex Snorkel Silver

Our Rating

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StyleSemi-dry
TubeContoured
MouthpieceComfo-bite
Upper FeatureOne way annular valve
Warranty 2 years, limited
Price$

Aqua Lung Impulse 3 is an innovative, game-changing product that changes the way we breathe underwater. It does this by combining the best features of scuba gear and a snorkel.

The Impulse 3 is an upgrade from the 2, and a part of the popular “Impulse’ snorkel line which has been in production by Aqua Lung since 1989.

As with its predecessors, the Impulse 3 features a patented design, upper valve, Comfo-Bite mouthpiece, and a two-drain system.

Big waves? No problem! We tested this snorkel in high waves and found that the annular valve drains out the lower valve.

In the event you need to clear the snorkel, it takes an easy puff. Mouthpieces can even be removed and used on regulators.

Key Features

  • Two-valve system: directs the water out of the way before it even reaches the mouthpiece.
  • Smooth breathing: uninterrupted inhale and exhale through the snorkel
  • Mouthpiece drain: even if the valve doesn’t seal properly, the water will drain out of the mouthpiece
  • Reservoir below the bottom breather: helps to ensure suctioned-out water is not inhaled as you clear it.
  • Optional smaller-sized comfort bite: available for customers that like a smaller size snorkel
  • The flex-switch: allows the lower unit to be detached from the snorkel

πŸ‘ Pros

  • Comfo-bite eliminates jaw fatigue
  • Easy breathing
  • Valves prevent water coming in
  • Easy clearing

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • Mask clip design proved to be inconvenient for some users
  • Snorkel size is too big for some

Fins: Mares Avanti Super-Channel Open Heel Fin

Mares Avanti Super-Channel Open Heel Fin

Our Rating

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MaterialsTecralene, thermoplastic rubber
Blade TypeNon-vented
Blade Length14.6 in.
Fin StyleOpen heel (0.9kg)
Warranty 2 years, limited
Price$$

Mares Avanti Super-channel is one of the best open heel fins that are designed for natural finning with superior propulsion and stability. Whether snorkeling or diving, we found that these fins offered one-size-fits-all comfort.

The fin also has an adjustable strap that can be tightened to ensure a better fit, making it easier to wear over swimsuits or wetsuits.

Key Features

  • Three channel “Super-Channel” blade: for superior propulsion
  • Anatomical foot pocket: fits most dive booties
  • Non vented blade: prevents loss of energy
  • Bungee fin straps: easy putting on and taking off
  • Tecralene and thermoplastic rubber: durability

Best for: Divers that want durable, open heel fins

πŸ‘ Pros

  • The Super-channel heel offers a wide range of motion for the foot and prevents any overpronation or supination
  • Provides lightweight support by keeping the foot in place without any pressure points
  • The super-channel heel also provides an excellent fit since there are no seams

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • Heel might be too rigid
  • Finning takes a lot of energy for some

BCD: AquaLung Pro HD

AquaLung Pro HD

Our Rating

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StyleWeight-integrated jacket
InflatorPowerline
Weight CapacityReleasable: 20 to 30 lbs (9 to 13.5kg)
Non-releasable: 10 lbs (4.54kg)
Valves1 Cable activated pull shoulder dump
2 Over-pressure relief/dump valves
Warranty5 years, limited
Price$$$

Want to achieve neutral buoyancy? That’s a breeze with this revolutionary new product that is made from a proprietary material that provides unmatched buoyancy, durability, and comfort. This product has been designed for professional divers yet at an affordable, “beginner diver” price.

Aqua Lung Pro HD is the first self-righting buoyancy control device to offer the advantages of an inflatable BCD with the performance of a rigid BCD with integrated weights. We use this regularly with students and they love it!

Key Features

  • SureLock II Mechanical Weight Release System: provides a safe, single-pull release.
  • Traction pad: to reduce tank slippage
  • Technologically advanced ResisteK material: resists fading and abrasion
  • The low profile flat valves: reduce drag when moving through the water
  • Fixed pockets on the tank band: increases weight capacity and helps provide proper trim in the water

Best for: Divers looking for a comfortable, durable buoyancy control device that will last many dives

πŸ‘ Pros

  • Durable and built to last for new divers
  • Integrated weight system, you won’t need a weight belt!
  • Built-in weight pockets for easy storage of weights

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • Shorter warranty period
  • Integrated weight system might not be for everyone

Regulator: Aqua Lung Calypso Regulator

Aqua Lung Calypso Regulator

Our Rating

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MaterialsFirst stage: Chrome plated brass
Second stage: Techno-polymer, polyurethane, silicone
Technology1st Stage: Non-balanced flow-by Piston
2nd Stage: Downstream demand valve
Nitrox Compatibility Up to 40% O2
Warranty Lifetime, limited
Price$$$

The Aqua Lung Calypso Regulator is one of the most popular regulators on the market. It is a high-performance regulator that provides a comfortable and efficient breathing experience. Even at depth, we found that it breathes easy.

The Calypso regulator has been designed to provide a high level of performance and comfort, which makes it an excellent choice for recreational divers as well as technical divers who often work in challenging conditions.

Key Features

  • Compact and lightweight: for the traveling diver
  • Easy breathing: even at depth
  • Great for dive centers: plenty of reliable rental gear for beginner divers
  • Nitrox ready: offer choices for gas blends

Best for: Traveling divers looking for a lightweight regulator

πŸ‘ Pros

  • Lightweight and compact design for easy carrying
  • Comes with an affordable price tag

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • Difficult to adjust the pressure settings on the regulator
  • Cannot be used in technical diving

Octopus: Aqua Lung Calypso/Titan Octopus

Aqua Lung Calypso/Titan Octopus

Our Rating

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MaterialsABS, polycarbonate, polyurethane, silicone
2nd Stage TechnologyDownstream demand valve
Adjustable 2’nd StageVenturi dive, Pre-dive knob
Housing Polycarbonate
Warranty5 years, limited
Price$$

The Titan Octopus was designed with the needs of recreational divers in mind. It has a compact design that makes it easy to transport and store.

The Titan Octopus also features an ergonomic grip for easy handling and a low-profile design that allows for easier entry into the water.

In addition, we found breathing at depth was a breeze with this alternate.

Key Features

  • Reliable Downstream Demand Valve
  • In-Line Venturi Knob
  • Silicone Mouthpiece for comfort
  • Polycarbonate Housing for durability
  • Easy Purge Front Cover

Best for: Divers that want a reliable, durable octopus

πŸ‘ Pros

  •  Ergonomic knob prevents unwanted free flow
  • Easy-to-read pressure gauge

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • Only ships to the US
  • Prolonged use might result in jaw fatigue

Alternate option: Aqua Lung Titan Regulator Bundle with Calypso/Titan Octopus Combo

Aqua Lung Titan Regulator Bundle with Calypso-Titan Octopus Combo

Buy the Calypso regulator with the matching Octopus for an affordable bundle. Plus, you’ll get to service them together, saving you heaps of time and money!


SPG + Dive Computer: Cressi Leonardo Computer Console

Cressi Leonardo Computer Console

Our Rating

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Operating ModesAir, Nitrox and Gauge
Memory Capacity70 hours (60 dives)
Depth Display0 to 120m
Altitude Adjustable3,700m max
Warranty 2 years, limited
Price$$

The Cressi Leonardo computer console is the best scuba diving all-in-one console in a simple, functional design.

The single button interface makes it easy to toggle between air, nitrox and gauge modes. The Leonardo has a large, high-def LCD screen for easy reading.

Like most dive computers, the console is equipped with a submersible gauge with a luminescent dial that has readout from 0 to 5,000 psi to show you how much air you have.

Our student divers had no problems using this dive computer and some of our instructors love it as well.

Key Features

  • Complete instrument console
  • Computer & Pressure Gauge
  • Single Button Interface
  • Air, Nitrox & Gauge console

Best for: Divers looking for air pressure gauge and computer all-in-one

πŸ‘ Pros

  • Bluetooth technology and a diver log app
  • Deep stop
  • Nitrox mode
  • 3-gauge computer can switch up to three gases from an underwater layout.
  • Backlight makes it easier for it to be read in the dark

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • Cressi algorithm can be conservative
  • Bulky and might not suit divers that want a compact dive computer

Wrist Computer: Cressi Leonardo Wrist Computer

Cressi Leonardo Wrist Computer

Our Rating

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Operating ModesAir, Nitrox and Gauge
Memory Capacity70 hours (60 dives)
Depth Display0 to 120m
Altitude Adjustable3,700m max
Warranty2 years, limited
Price$$

The Cressi Leonardo Wrist Computer is a dive computer that looks like a watch. It will provide all you need on depth, bottom time, no-decompression limits, and on the surface, help you plan your dives.

The touch screen provides most divers with all the information you need when scuba diving, allowing you to access crucial information through the dive. Even the bulkiness is surpassed by the ease of use by our instructors and students.

Key Features

  • Simple & Functional Design
  • Effortless Programming
  • Single Button Interface
  • Modes: Air, Nitrox & Gauge
  • Large Numerical Displays

Best for: Divers that want an affordable, reliable dive computer

πŸ‘ Pros

  • 4 operating modes. Air, Nitrox, Gauge, Free Dive
  • Changeable batteries
  • High visibility LED lights

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • Battery life can be short depending on how often you use it
  • Bulky

Men’s Wetsuit: Cressi Morea 3mm Men’s

Cressi Morea 3mm Men's

Our Rating

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MaterialsNylon II, I neoprene
SeamsGlued, sewn
ClosureBack zipper w/ pull tab leash
Thickness3mm
Warranty 1 year, limited
Price$$

Cressi Morea 3mm Men’s Jumpsuit has a unique design that offers excellent visibility and comfort, even when you’re wearing it for long periods like we do!

This perfect tropical diving wetsuit is constructed with Ultraspan nylon II on the arms and legs. With its anatomical cut and design allows for ultimate freedom whether you are scuba diving, surfing, or going for a snorkel.

Key Features

  • Summer/ warm water exposure suit
  • 3mm neoprene: warm water use
  • Anatomically designed : optimum flexibility
  • Rubberized neoprene chest: durability

Best for: The Cressi Morea 3mm Men’s is perfect for people who don’t want to spend too much on their diving gear but still want good quality gear.

πŸ‘ Pros

  • Quick-drying
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • It includes a durable material that provides extreme buoyancy.
  • Easy-to-use zipper

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • As with all suits, not everyone fits
  • As with all 3mm suits, only suitable for tropics

Women’s Wetsuit: Cressi Morea 3mm Women’s

Cressi Morea 3mm Women's

Our Rating

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MaterialsNylon II, I neoprene
SeamsGlued, sewn
ClosureBack zipper w/ pull tab leash
Thickness3mm
Warranty 1 year, limited
Price$$

The Cressi Morea 3mm Women’s jumpsuit is a women’s swimsuit made of high-quality materials that are designed to be durable and long-lasting. Our suits have lasted for years without too much compression.

The suit is a 3mm neoprene with a soft and smooth surface. It can keep its shape even after repeated use and washing. The suit also has an integrated silicone gripper for comfort and support.

Key Features

  • Female specific fit and design
  • Summer/ warm water exposure suit
  • 3mm neoprene for warm water use
  • Anatomically designed for optimum flexibility
  • Rubberized neoprene chest for durability

Best for: Female divers that want a specific fit

Pros

  • Lightweight, breathable fabric
  • Excellent fit
  • Quick-drying
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Difficult to find in stores
  • Sizing is not consistent

⭐ Best Scuba Diving Accessories for New Divers 2022

While not mandatory equipment required, these accessories will make your diving safer and more enjoyable!

Surface Marker Buoy

Surface Marker Buoy

Our Rating

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MaterialsCordura
Length 45 in.
ColorYellow, orange
Inflation ValveOral inflator
Warranty 1 year, limited
Price$

You really don’t want to dive in a boat traffic area without one! If you don’t use a Signal Tube Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) when diving, it’s time to start!

This dive signal tube is composed of robust Cordura fabric and comes in yellow or orange. Carrying the bag is simple and convenient thanks to the attachable gate snap clip.

Finger Spool

Finger Spool

Our Rating

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MaterialsInjection molded POM acetal plastic, stainless-steel
Line Length18.3m, 36.6m
Tensile Strength99.80kg
Warranty1 year, limited
Price$

With every SMB comes a reel or spool! This finger spool has holes in the side, allowing for clipping in a double-ended snap anywhere along the perimeter of the spool to keep the line tight when not in use.

Dive Rite Finger Spools are made of corrosion-proof injection molded POM acetal plastic; finger spools are simple to use and virtually indestructible in the water.

The finger spool is available in 2-line lengths and 2-line colors of 60′ or 120′ (18.3m or 36.6m) in white or orange 0.073″ (1.86mm) diameter DuPont fiber braid #24-line or orange Dacron that does not stretch with breakage strength of 220 lbs (99.80kg).

Spools come standard with a large stainless-steel double-ended snap clip and can be attached to metal d rings.

Zeagle BC Dive Knife with Sheath

Zeagle BC Dive Knife with Sheath

Our Rating

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MaterialsStainless steel
Tip StyleDrop point
Blade TypeStraight edge, serrated edge
Blade Length1.75 in.
Warranty 1 year, limited
Price$$

Entanglement is NOT what you want during your dive!

This knife is a stainless steel, corrosion-resistant knife with a 1.75″ (4.4cm) drop point tip blade that measures 6.5″ (16.5cm) overall length when extended from the sewn sheath. When not in use during the dive, the knife is firmly secured in place by means of snaps.

Tank Banger

Tank Banger

Our Rating

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Materials Plastic, Rubber
TypeManual
ActivationHand Pull
Warranty 2 years, limited
Price$

You’ll need a way to signal your buddy or your dive guide when underwater, and shouting doesn’t cut it! Use this banger sparingly, some divers get annoyed by too much noise.

The tank banger is the most basic and dependable attention getter for scuba diving. Simply stretch it over the base of your cylinder and you’re ready to go. If you’re right-handed, place it to the right; if you’re left-handed, place it to the left.

Compass

Compass

Our Rating

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MaterialsPolycarbonate
Display Luminescent
Rotating Bezel30-degree numbered increments
Warranty 2 years limited
Price$

Divers typically take compasses for granted, considering them just accessories to their overall gear. Navigation with an improperly functioning or poorly designed compass can be one of diving’s more frustrating experiences.

This Cressi Compass is a robust and precise underwater compass for navigation that ensures accuracy and durability for long periods of time.

With the convenient side window, you get large, easy-to-read bearing indicators with a luminescent display.

Even in cold water with thick neoprene gloves, the ratcheted bezel can be rotated easily by divers who prefer relative navigation. Compass direction can be easily determined with the luminous dial, designed with a half black / half luminous pattern.


⭐ Underwater Photography for Beginners

GoPro HERO10 Black

GoPro HERO10 Black

Our Rating

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Photo Resolution23 MP
Max Video Resolution5.3K/60 fps
ProcessorGP2
Waterproof Depth33.0β€² / 10.0 m
Warranty 1 year
Price$$$

Wanna record your dive, or maybe film some cool underwater marine life? We use these as our rental cameras and they are totally built to last.

HERO10 Black is the most powerful GoPro yet, with all-out speed and simplicity like no other.

HERO10 Black shoots 5.3K video with double the frame rate, 23MP photos, improved low-light performance, and game-changing HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization in all modes thanks to the revolutionary new GP2 processor.

Key Features

  • GP2 processor
  • SD card and rechargeable battery included
  • Advanced HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization
  • Waterproof to 33ft
  • Built to last
  • Fits on over 30 mounts and accessories

Best for: Divers that want to record their dive and start underwater photography

πŸ‘ Pros

  • Automatically upload footage to the cloud when charging
  • Advanced HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization
  • TimeWarp 3.0 allows you to nail any shot

πŸ‘Ž Cons

  • Only waterproof to 33 ft (11 meters)

πŸ“Œ Final Thoughts on Best Scuba Gear For Beginners

So, whether you’re a beginner just starting out or an experienced diver looking for some new gear, we hope our list of the best scuba diving gear for beginners has given you some good ideas.

And remember, if you’re ever in doubt about what to bring on your next diving trip, always check with your local dive shop – they will be able to help you choose the right equipment for your needs. Have fun and safe diving!

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