It's that time of year again. Family, friends and colleagues know you love scuba diving but have no idea what you already own (apart from "everything" if you ask other halves). They generally have even less idea what they should buy for a diver. Here at Simply Scuba we want to remove the stress of Christmas presents buying so for a start anything purchased can be returned within 30 days or the 10th of January (whichever is the longer) for exchange, vouchers or a refund - whichever suits you. Absolute Beginners For absolute novices that are either about to embark on qualifying or have just qualified then the essential pieces of basic kit are a dive mask, snorkel and fins. Remember you can normally colour coordinate these three items so if the recipient is keen on their appearance so may earn extra brownie points for this. If you are unsure try this short test, ask them what car they drive, if they answer with an answer along the lines of "a blue one" then you should aim to colour coordinate!
With a mask these will generally fit all face types but we will send you an advice video about ensuring it fits correctly.
Snorkels are very much one size fits all, the only exception being younger teens and petite ladies who may prefer a smaller mouthpiece.
You will need to know the persons foot size to purchase dive fins. However the first choice is whether to go for full foot fins or adjustable heel fins. For warm water diving (ie where you get in the sea without screaming or taking a sharp intake of air) full foot fins are a good choice as they are light and can also be used for snorkelling. In cooler waters or where the shore diving is rocky they will probably need some neoprene dive boots and a set of adjustable fins.
Newly Qualified Divers If you are buying for a relatively new diver then (rather worryingly) dive knives are very popular. Generally new divers will have the basics but will be yet to accumulate the extras. Other good accessories include a dive bag, dive torch or if you want to impress a dive package.
Dive bags are quite easy to buy as there is really only one decision to be made, is it transporting your gear dry or a wet dive boat bag? If it is dry then pretty much all the bags in the dive bag department are applicable. Just decide how many features you want, the price and the amount of features, such as wheels, handles, pockets and padding rise inline with the prices. If the recipient wants a wet bag, where they keep their kit together on a dive boat but it can drain easily after the dive then go for mesh bag.
A dive torch is a simple but really great gift. Underwater colours disappear quickly but by using a torch a seemingly dull grey rock can spring into view under the beam as a vibrant red or orange coral. They are also useful in and around wrecks to see hidden marine life.
We offer essentially two main packages, one are the regulators (the bit with all the hoses you breathe through underwater) and complete packages which include those plus the BCD (the bladder which keeps them afloat at the surface and deflates to allow the diver to sink). Eventually they will need the BCD too but depending on your budget will determine if you should include this. Don't worry if you can't all BCDs are compatible with all regulators so they can easily be linked later. One note here, if you are buying for a lady make sure you get a package with a ladies BCD - read my post from last year on why you should buy a ladies BCD if you want to know more.
Someone You Really Love This section also is applicable for people buying for divers who have incriminating information or photos on you. You really need to prove your love so unfortunately (for you, not us or them) you will be required to invest some serious cash (read plastic). Seriously, there are some really great items in this category and you be relieved to know this is possibly the easiest category to buy for:
The first thing to suggest would be a dive computer, it allows them to stay under water longer and provides greater safety. Check out the great range of Oceanic dive computers.
If they already have a dive computer consider a dive watch, divers love being recognised as the super hero diver they are by non divers (technical term "mortals") so a watch allows them to remember their time underwater every time they glance down.
Another brilliant gift is a dive camera, they range in price from about £100 upwards but make for a superb present. These waterproof cameras allow underwater images and memories to be captured for ever.
Experienced Divers You are going to need to come up with something either new or non essential as the chance is the diver in question has everything they already need to go diving. Good options in this category would be dive t-shirt or at the other end of the technical spectrum a personal locator like the McMurdo Smartfind Beacon If you are unsure a good option in this category is to consider a gift voucher as it allow the recipient to choose what they want.
Things Not To Buy Unless you are absolutely sure what size they are avoid wet suits and dry suits. You have more chance of guessing the lottery numbers than someone's suit size.
Still Not Sure? Get a Voucher! If you are really stuck our range of gift vouchers (either physical or virtual by email) are available and last for 12 months.
One More Thing! Purchase from our website between now and the 15 December 2013 and you will automatically be entered into our free prize draw to win an Oceanic OC1 dive computer worth £680!
12 Great Gift Ideas
Miflex Folding O-Ring Pick Multi-tool £22.50
Intova Sport HD SP1-N Camera £159.00
Dive Rite Cold Water Z-Knife £23.95
Hollis LED Mini3 Torch £68.00
Sub Gear Wrist Slates £10.00
Scubapro Microfiber Towel £20.00
IST Divers Tool Kit £22.00
TUSA Serene Mask £40.00
Underwater Kinetics Hangair £50.00
TUSA Imprex Knife £34.00
Oceanic Veo 2.0 Dive Computer £165.00
Apeks Flight Stage 4 Set - Pewter £523.00
Have a Merry Christmas and safe diving!