As you may imagine, scuba diving is a gear-intensive sport. The costs of the required dive gear can begin to add up and affordability is a factor in many divers’ plans. Many cite the “money spent vs. accumulated experience” counterpoints and deservedly so. However, in pursuits that require life support in unforgiving environments, why take chances?

Due to the shift in culture, some dive shops look to capitalize by offering attractive, “All Gear Included” options. Other dive shops are more à la carte, renting out every piece of gear, individually priced. One option is not necessarily better than the other, but it is important to understand each offer.

Let’s take a hypothetical look at two common offers for Open Water Scuba Diving Checkout Dives (Part 3 of Open Water Certification). Dive Shop A and Dive Shop B and their offers:

Dive Shop A: $525

Offer Includes: Training, transportation to the scuba diving site, marine park fees, all scuba equipment, and certification documents.

Dive Shop B: $199 for training only.

Offer is only for the training. 

Open Water Scuba Gear rental: $79.50

Marine park entrance fee: $45

Transportation to and from the diving site: priced according to an individual’s departing location

Total cost WITHOUT transportation: $450

Dive Shop A’s offer certainly takes a lot of the thinking out of the equation, but there is not much flexibility. Dive Shop B is more flexible, but requires a little more planning and foresight.

  • What if a diver purchased their own scuba equipment? Do they still pay the same price as someone renting?
  • What if a diver has their own car? Do they have to take the same crowded transportation as everyone else? Do they have to pay for it even if they are self-reporting?

While it may make sense for some divers to do Dive Shop A’s method, it may also make sense for some to do Dive Shop B. In conclusion, the point is that much like everything else in life, in Scuba, nothing is free. Dive shops make money off of diving and dive gear. If it’s not charged directly, it is baked into the cost of the offer somewhere else.