Wave Shape
Wave Shape

New diver? Scuba gear guide…

Wave Shape
Here’s a brief guide on what you’ll need and estimate prices…

I’m a lady diver with curves, floaty feet and a loud personality. As a result I’ve had a right adventure over the years selecting, testing, buying, trying, selling and finally settling on the kit that works for me. Find kit that is appropriate to your level and style of diving (but also future proof), fits your shape and potential buoyant properties hah! oh and maybe if its important to you colour coordinate! I wrote this article to hopefully help out any new divers jumping into the world of getting their own kit.
– Author: Cleopatra, T2D member


There are so many different mask brands and designs. Find the mask that fits your face, is comfortable and doesn’t fog up! Some brands allow for prescription lenses. Talk to a couple of experienced buddies about how to treat your new mask to stop it fogging up.
Used £15
New £40-£100
I dive an XDeep Frameless Mask

TUSA Freedom Ceos Mask


You’ll probably want open heel fins for uk diving, our wetsuit or drysuit boots will fit in the pocket. Fin pocket should come about 3/4 up the top of your foot. Some sink (negatively buoyant), some float (positively buoyant), while some are neutral.
Used £20
New £100-£160
I dive Mares Avanti Quattro+

Mares Avanti Quattro Plus Fins


A set of regs should include the first stage (attaches to the cylinder) a primary 2nd stage, an octopus (another 2nd stage, often yellow) and a set of gauges (cylinder pressure gauge and depth gauge). I use an air integrated computer but also carry an SPG as backup. Some regs are silly expensive. Equally beware cheap travel regs, they don’t like the cold often grubby conditions of uk diving.
Used £100-£150
New £250-£700
I dive Apeks XTX50 on a DST 1st stage, with a Scubapro SPG and Aqualung transmitter, all on miflex hoses.

Scubapro MK11 S270 & R095 Octopus Regulator Set


So many options for a BCD. You may have learned to dive in a jacket style BCD with or without integrated weights. But have you considered a backplate/wing or a hybrid? Depending the type of diving you want to do and your body shape, also think about if you’ll be wanting to travel with your kit?
Used £50-£100
New £250-£700
I dive an XDeep Zen wing system, short stainless steel backplate with integrated weight pockets.

Scubapro Level BCD

Weight Belt

If your BCD doesnt have integrated weight pouches then you’ll need a weight belt or harness. Many options out there. Some have lead blocks that feed onto the belt others have pockets for loose lead shot. Lead shot will be more comfortable to wear. Well worth doing a proper buoyancy check every time you change a major piece of kit (BCD, exposure suit, fins). Time taken doing it now will save time, air and energy later. (Lead weight purchased separately)
Used £5-£45
New £25-£100
I dive with lead blocks and shot in the integrated weight pockets on my wing.

Mares Stainless Steel Weight Belt

Exposure Protection – Wetsuit

Diving in the UK from about Apr-Oct is doable with a properly fitting wetsuit or semidry wetsuit. A two piece is often warmer. A minimum of 7mm thick is advised. Spending any amount of time below 7metres will give you a chill as the neoprene gets compressed. For this reason you’ll need a scuba wetsuit (the neoprene is already compressed), other watersports wetsuits will compress to very very thin at depth.
Used £30-£150
New £150-£600
I dive a drysuit!

Scubapro Everflex 7/5mm Mens Wetsuit

Exposure Protection – Drysuit

Dive all year round in the UK with a drysuit. The two main options are neoprene (my preference, wear a thinner undersuit, hardwearing material) or triLaminate (a cordura type fabric, tough but thin, requires a lot thicker undersuit or layering). Some drysuits have boots fitted while others have just socks, divers wear rock boots on top.
With either option, you’ll need it to fit properly. Too tight and your movement will be restricted or it might leak. Too loose and you’ll need a lot more weight to stay down due to the extra air in the spacious drysuit. Also you’ll run the risk of your feet popping out of the boots if the suit is too long, no boots on your feet = no fins= no control/swimming. Get one that fits properly!
Used £100-£500
New £600-£2000
I dive an OThree MSF500 drysuit

Waterproof D10 Pro ISS Women's Drysuit

Dive Computer

Tech has advanced so much in recent years that dive computers are now the norm. You can spend a lot of money on this and often needlessly. What type of diving will you be doing? If you’re not going into super deep tec diving then a basic recreational computer is ideal. Some computers are air integrated. A pod attached to the first stage on your cylinder sends a signal to your computer of the air pressure. As a minimum you’ll want it to give you your depth and dive time. Most will calculate your max bottom time and deco/safety stops.
Used £80-£400
New £180-£1200
I dive a Shearwater Perdix AI and an Aqualung i300 as backup

Shearwater Teric Dive Computer


Every diver should carry a surface marker buoy (SMB) or delayed surface maker buoy (DSMB). If you’re not sure, ask one of your club instructors or an experienced buddy. A relatively inexpensive bit of kit but often essential when open water diving.
Used £10-£40
New £25-£100
I dive an XDEEP 140cm Closed, Narrow DSMB

Mares SMB


Combined with your smb should be a reel. Many options out there but the two main ones are reel or finger spool. I recommend a finger spool of at least 15m long for a dsmb and a reel of at least 40m long for towing your smb. Again ask a buddy for more details on their uses.
Used £10-£40
New £15-£200
I dive an Apeks Lifeline Spool – 30m

Beaver Puffin Mini Wreck-Line Reel


Neoprene, 3mm for summer, 5-7mm in cooler months.
Used £10-£20
New £20-£60
I dive Northern Diver Optimum 3D 5mm gloves

Waterproof G50 5mm Gloves


I wear a 5mm hood all year round. I prefer bibless but if worn with a wetsuit a bib will stop the wetsuit flushing as much. Snug but not TIGHT.
Used £10-£20
New £35-£50
I dive an OThree Classic Semi hood

Waterproof H1 3/5mm Bibless Vented Dive Hood


If diving in a wetsuit, you’ll need wetsuit boots. 5-7mm thick with a reasonable sole. Worth trying on your fins to ensure they are a good fit before heading for your first dive with them.
Used £10-£20
New £35-£50
I dive a drysuit with built in boots

Tusa Imprex Dive Boot 5mm

Dive Light

Another piece of kit that i carry on every dive. A half decent light (plus a backup). Useful for shining into holes when mooching about on the reef. Maybe get your buddies attention or use it as a location beacon for you buddies in bad viz.
Used £15-£100s
New £25-£600
I dive a Light & Motion Sola 2500 on my wrist, a L&M Video 800 on my camera setup and a Tovatec Icom II Compact as backup

Scubapro Nova 850R Wide Dive Torch

Cutting tool

Many people carry a knife or a line cutter. I swear by the Eezycut. Simple, inexpensive and very effective. You don’t need Excaliber! I often use mine to cut fishing tackle free from the reef. But it will save you life if you get tangled in said fishing line or worse, rope.
Used £5-£40
New £16-£200
I dive an Eezycut Trilobite

Maniago TS05 Line Cutter


Literally a lifesaver, if you’re not confident in its use speak to one of your instructors about underwater navigation.
Used £10-£25
New £50-£120
I have a compass on my Shearwater Perdix

Tusa Wrist Compass


Another piece of kit i carry on every dive. When you need to communicate with your buddy, its super simple to write a note. A small slate of wetnotes in a pocket can be a dive saver.
Used £2-£15
New £8-£55
I dive an A5 sized slate & pencil

Scubapro Underwater Slate


Initially you’ll be able to use the club cylinders. If you choose to purchase one second hand, ensure that it’s within test, otherwise you’re taking the chance on it failing a test yourself and the additional cost of testing. A 12L is usually ideal for a novice diver, unless you’re a larger build and know you need a 15L.
Used £80-£120
New £220-£300
I dive a 12L Steel Fabre cylinder

Faber 12L 232 bar Steel Cylinder


Until you can dive without wafting your hands, don’t think about taking a camera. Task loading yourself with trying to maintain buoyancy (don’t bounce off the bottom) and direction, monitor gas usage, navigate and keep an eye on your buddy. It’s a lot!
There are so many options, I always recommend the Olympus TG series. Anything from the TG3 onwards is fantastic and suits most budgets. Or for video, a Gopro with depth rated case.
Used £100-£1000s
New £600-£1000s
I dive an Olympus TG6 in a housing, mounted to a tray with a GoPro 8 and Video Light on the arms.

ScubaCleo taking a photo of a moray eel in the Red Sea

Boat & Trailer

Finally when you’re super serious and have enough buddies to go with you, get a boat and trailer!
Used £6000-£25000
I dive from other peoples boats!

Time2Dive boat on trailer

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