Need a Great Gift for a Scuba Diver? Tips to Avoid Embarrassing Mistakes When Buying Scuba Gifts
You’ve got a friend or significant other who is a scuba diver and a special occasion is approaching. What do you buy for a scuba diver as a gift?
Buying a gift for a diver may seem like a challenge. Most scuba equipment is expensive, and while you can certainly find inexpensive scuba equipment you really should avoid buying cheap scuba gear as a gift. Keep in mind that scuba diving gear is de facto life support equipment; when thought about in those terms it easy to see why giving someone a super cheap scuba regulator as a gift could result in the recipient thinking that you really don’t care about them, I mean really don’t care, as in you’d rather save a few bucks even if it means they drown in 90ft of sea water.
If you want to give an inexpensive gift to a diver it is safest to steer away from the actual diving gear and look for something simply scuba related, here are some ideas:
- Scuba themed T-shirt – Divers love to show off their passion.
- Scuba Diving related Hat
- Sunglasses (provided they don’t wear corrective lenses) – Cheap sunglasses could be fairly appropriate since the chance of damaging or losing a pair of sunglasses while on a dive trip could be quite high.
- Jacket – A wind breaker or some other type of cover up / light jacket could make a nice gift; even in the tropics it can get quite chilly after a long dive, especially when cruising along at a good clip on a dive boat heading back to shore. It’s fairly common to see divers shivering wishing they had a jacket to wear.
- Dive Watch – Dive watches could be a fairly safe gift since most scuba divers only use their dive watch as a backup timing device, relying on their dive computer as their primary means of tracking bottom time, nitrogen load and decompression limits. A dive watch is also something that can be worn all the time, not just while diving.
If you’re dead set on purchasing some actual diving gear as a scuba related gift, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Wet Suit or Dry Suit – These are definitely not something I would recommend purchasing as a gift for a diver, these items need to fit extremely well in order to function properly, so the chances that they would actually be able to use the item you picked out is pretty slim.
- BCDs – Buying a Buoyancy Control Device as a gift is certainly a possibility. Since most BCDs are sized simply in standard sizes (e.g. S,M,L,XL) it shouldn’t be too difficult to purchase the correct fit. What you need to know when purchasing a BCD as a gift is what style BCD the diver prefers. Note, style is not referring to the color or fashion design, but rather the functional style. There are 3 main types of BCD: Vest style, Back Inflate Jacket/Vest style and then Back-plate and Wing. The differences between these types of scuba BCDs are fairly significant, so you will want to find out what the gift recipient prefers.
- Dive Computer – This is another area where you should be careful. Scuba divers all have preferences about what data they like to see and how it should be displayed. When buying a scuba diving computer as a gift you should ideally have some knowledge about what the diver would like, and if not, then err on the expensive side so that it can be exchanged.
- Scuba Regulators – Regulators are one of the most critical pieces of scuba equipment, so again, avoid buying cheap scuba regulators. Personal preference will come into play again so ideally you should try to find out the exact item the diver wants. Some regulators allow for interchangeable mouth pieces which would at least allow for some modification to the fitment if the mouth piece isn’t initially comfortable. So if you’re not sure exactly what they want it may be best to focus on those regulators that have a swappable mouth piece option. As with the dive computer, it’s probably best to err on the expensive side so an exchange could be made if necessary.
- Scuba gear bag – This can make a great scuba gift. Either a mesh type bag meant for lugging dive equipment to and from the dive site/dive boat, or a more substantial scuba bag meant to be used as piece of luggage suitable for checked baggage on a flight to that great scuba diving destination.
One of the best options when considering a gift for a scuba diver would be simply purchasing a gift card from one of the many online scuba retailers. A gift card would at least be more personal than a cash gift, since you’d be acknowledging their interest in scuba diving, while also avoiding the difficulties associated with trying to pick out a scuba related gift.
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