What to Look For

When Renting Scuba Gear

If you haven’t made the plunge into purchasing your own scuba equipment and will be renting equipment on your next dive, it is extremely important that you take the time to research the facility that you are considering. One of the first cost-saving measures an operation might take is to cut back on the maintenance of their equipment. Whether it is a piece of dive equipment itself or possibly the air compressor, being lax with maintenance is often an area that customers will not see on the surface but could result in a hazardous diving experience.

The best way to ruin that dive vacation in paradise is to rent a piece of equipment or a tank of air that has not been properly maintained. If you’re renting it’s best to check ahead of time with the facility to see what type of equipment they rent. More specifically, what the models are in their rental pool? If you’re renting equipment locally take the time to visit the dive shop and get familiar with their gear or check around with local divers for any reference or information they may have regarding their reputation.

As far as questions regarding the specific equipment:

  • Do they rent weight integrated BCDs, computers or basic air and depth gauges?
  • Are their computers air integrated and do they provide instruction on the proper operation or have manuals for your review?
    • It’s imperative that you understand how to operate the computer prior to your first dive. The more familiar you become prior to your trip the more comfortable and enjoyable your adventure.

Airfills & Tanks

Airfills and rental tanks are easy to overlook but worth looking deeper into. The quality of the airfill and the condition are two factors you need to pay particular attention to. At AAO, the air coming out of our compressor is regularly checked every three months by an outside agency. Our air must pass at least 13 different tests for purity and to ensure safe levels of breathability. Breathing moist, dirty air will certainly guarantee a bad day!

Tip: Before attaching the first stage of your regulator to your tank, carefully open the valve ever so slightly- just a crack- to release air. Place your hand in front of it for 5-10 seconds. Be careful not to put your hand in front of the valve until you are sure the air flow is not too extreme as it could cause a laceration to your hand. After a few seconds, your hand should be clean and dry. If you detect any moisture or other particles notify your operator and have any remaining tanks checked. In any case, do not use a contaminated tank for your dive. What collects on your hand will also collect in your lungs. BAD BAD BAD!

Again, rent only from a reputable source, get familiar with the equipment prior to your dives and check the quality of your airfills.
Enjoy your next dive adventure and dive safely!