Learning to dive opens a whole new world—one that comes overflowing with new toys! There’s no shortage of items a diver will want, especially when just starting out, so Scuba Diving’s editors selected nine that are especially useful at the beginning of a diver’s journey. We hope these help inspire and execute all the adventures waiting beneath the waves.
1. Mask & Snorkel Set with Defog
As our window to the underwater world, a mask is one of the most important parts of a diver’s kit. It’s often among the first pieces of equipment that a new diver buys since an entry-level mask is affordable and easy to store. Pairing the mask with a snorkel and defog (a cleaning product that keeps the mask clear) makes it a complete set—and gets them ready to snorkel during surface intervals!
2. Fish Slates
These waterproof tablets are a great tool for becoming acquainted with the life a diver is encountering underwater, whether in local waters or on foregin shores. Usually less than $5, they typically come pre-punched with a hole in the corner that allows divers to connect them to their BCD with a retractable lanyard—another great gift add-on.
3. Tank Fills
This really is the gift that keeps on giving. Many local dive shops let you pre-purchase air refills for a dive tank so—if your diver has a tank—buying them an air card makes it easy to get in the water over and over again.
4. Travel Gift Card
Help your new diver see even more of the underwater world by giving the gift of exploration! Many dive operators and resorts around the world sell gift cards that will bring the dive of their dreams one step closer—and serve as proof that the best things come in small boxes.
5. Local Diving Field Guides
Most people know their neighborhood like the back of their hand, but your neighborhood waters are a completely different story. Localized diving guides make this easy by drilling down to a region in minute detail. Which book is best will depend on where you live, and this will be easier to find for dive hubs, such as ReefSmart’s Florida dive guides or “A Diver’s Guide to Southern California’s Best Beach Dives”.
6. Waterproof Smartphone Case
Who doesn’t want to share their new adventures? Diveable phone cases make this possible, instantly convert a smartphone into a waterproof camera at a fraction of the cost of the normal underwater camera rig. They are also smaller and lighter than most underwater cameras, which is easier for a new diver to handle underwater.
7. PADI Specialty Course
Help your diver unlock future adventures with a specialized dive course focused on their interests, whether that’s learning to safely dive shipwrecks or how to breathe nitrox air.
8. Reef-Safe Sunscreen
This perfect stocking stuffer protects their skin and the ocean. Traditional sunscreens have chemicals that damage coral reefs, but products like Stream2Sea are specifically formulated to be safe for use in the ocean.
This classic scuba coffee table book is bursting with inspirational National Geographic images. Wreck in Micronesia, cenotes in Mexico, caving in Belize, sharks in Costa Rica — whatever your dream destination or dive style, you will find it between these covers. Flipping through these pages will have any diver itching to don their wetsuit.
Are you ready to step up, help save the ocean, and #LiveUnfiltered at the same time? Sign up for a PADI Open Water Diver course now.