Buying watersports equipment
Please note that these guides do not constitute legal advice and any information provided in the guides should not be construed as legal advice or legal interpretation. We do not accept any liability for any loss caused by your reliance on this guide.
The DoneDeal guide to buying watersports equipment
- Diving is an extreme sport and a breathing regulator is your most important piece of kit, according to Eibhir Mulqueen of the Irish Underwater Council.
- A malfunctioning regulator can leave you in serious trouble underwater. Eibhir advises that you get your regulator serviced.
- All regulators should be serviced annually. Check that you can easily find someone who will service the brand of regulator you are buying.
- Try it out on dry land. Connect it up to an air tank and breathe.
- For safety reasons it’s recommended that people dive in pairs. Ask if an ‘octopus’, or a spare mouth-piece, also comes as part of the kit.
- Ask the seller if they have dived regularly, or rarely. If a regulator has not been used for a few years, or has been over-used, there is a chance that it will not function properly.
- A tank has two dates on it: one which indicates when it’s due a visual inspection (every three years) and one for a full test (every six years). Check these dates.
- Connect the air tank to a breathing regulator. Make sure it connects properly. Try it out.
- You will need to be a member of a dive club, or go to a PADI dive centre, to get air tanks filled if you don’t own a compressor.
Weights and belts
- If buying a weight belt, try it on.
- Make sure it fits comfortably.
- If buying weights, make sure they’re compatible with the belt you already own. Can they be connected to it? Will they fit?
- The best way to check if a dive mask is suitable for you is to try it on.
- When on, breathe through your nose. Does the mask lock against your face?
- A mask that doesn’t seal around your face isn’t a good fit.
Wet and Dry suits
- Try it on. Make sure it fits.
- A proper fit is especially important with dry suits. If it’s too big, it will let in air, which can make you lose buoyancy control.
- Examine the suit for holes.
- Check the thickness.
- Wetsuits designed for surfing will not be as thick as those designed for diving.
- Get a suit that suits your needs.
- Try them on. Do they fit?
- Look at the rubber strap. Are there any cracks? Is it starting to perish?
- Examine for general wear and tear.
- Look at it closely. Check for any holes or cracks in the tubing.
- Diving is a dangerous sport, so use every precaution in buying safe equipment. If you’re a beginner, take advice from someone experienced before you buy.