So you want to be a scuba diver? Or maybe you are thinking about sponsoring someone who wants to learn to dive? (AKA you have a kid who's a little water bug. I know you know!)
Obviously, this is a big question and you need real numbers to know what you're in for. I like to encourage people to think of it a bit like golfing: it may take a little bit of cash to get your rig set up, but after that, you just pay for your dives, just like greens fees.
So here's the real deal, no joke estimates on what it takes to learn to dive. To be clear, we are talking entry-level here. Y'all zealots (and we love you!) that want to go straight from Open Water to Rebreathers will get your own post!
Open Water plus Nitrox Class $449. You can find out about our Open Water Class here.
Note: Rental BCDs, regulators (the hose you breathe out of), wetsuits, and tanks are all included in your price of the class. (If you clicked on the link above, you'd know that. *wink*)
Snorkel Gear. You need to have your own mask, fins, and snorkel. This is where it can get a little hard to give an estimate, but I'm gonna try. We have masks that range from $92 up to $175. Snorkels will run you anywhere from $35 to about $75, and fins can cost from $95-$250. Also required for your class is a SMB (Surface Marker Buoy) at about $65-$85, depending on the one you want. So, for the sake of *loose* averages, let's try this scenario: mask for $125 + snorkel $50 + fins $150 + SMB $85 = $410 for the gear that you need to own.
Now, if you're tracking with me so far-- to get you to a real-life bonafide badass scuba diver, you can do it for under a thousand bucks.
Once you know how often you'll be diving, we can help you decide what are the next steps for you. Usually, I recommend getting your own computer first thing. (Dear, Santa?) A dive computer helps you, at the least, with the accuracy of your depths, gas, dive log, and your decompression limits. You can get started with a basic Suunto and it will for sure get the job done. Some computers, like the Shearwater Peregrine, will connect to your smartphone via bluetooth and log your dives on the app. While others like the Teric or the Garmin Descent even have air integration and will connect to a transmitter to give you EXACT readings on the amount of gas in your tank. God bless technology! Back to the numbers, just like anything, you can spend as little as $299 on up to $2000 for a computer and transmitter. The Peregrine mentioned above is a solid computer for a decent price of $495. (I love mine!)
After a computer, we'd take you right over to the regulators and BCDs. Yes, you can rent them, but if you are going to be diving any sort of regularly- which we highly recommend- having your own setup is pretty great. Getting the right fit and rig for your type of diving is a game changer. Pinky promise. BCD's range from about $600-$1500 depending on brand and functions. If these numbers freak you out, or you're going to be diving once a year on a vacation, renting may be a good option for you.
Now, this is obviously not a definitive list because there is no such thing. You may or may not want a wetsuit. You may be a lover of all things accessories. You just might like to try some spearfishing! What is super awesome though, is that for a while at least, your family and friends have great gift ideas! So feel free to share this with your additions!
And, listen friends: not for nothing: experiences like these are PRICELESS! Just book itttt!