Is Scuba Diving Expensive to Pick Up as a Hobby?

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Is scuba diving expensive? Well, while all hobbies require some investment to learn and start in, scuba diving, in particular, has a lot of equipment and is expensive to maintain.

From the scuba diving equipment to the trips abroad to find the world’s best dive locations, scuba diving has a lot of financial burdens, and even air fills can be costly.

Nevertheless, many people scuba dive as their favorite hobby or even turn it into their career by becoming dive instructors or professional divers. There are ways to offset the cost of scuba diving or even make it your living if you’re genuinely in love with the sport.

What Makes Scuba Diving Expensive?

Scuba diving gear

There are a lot of upfront costs associated with scuba diving, like dive equipment, taking a dive trip, and scuba diving course fees. Not to mention recurring costs over time like equipment checks, advanced courses, or gear rental.

Scuba Gear, Travel, Lessons, and More: The Cost of Scuba Diving

Scuba instructor teaching a scuba diving class


One item that makes scuba diving expensive from the start is insurance.

Scuba diving is considered an extreme sport for insurance purposes, even though it’s relatively safe if you’re adequately instructed.

Dive insurance can be costly depending on the type of diving you do, but it’s good to have in case of a diving accident, especially in another country.

Gear: $200-$2000

Scuba diving equipment is another high cost. While you can offset the cost of gear by renting, if you plan on diving often or becoming more serious about your hobby, you’ll want to have equipment you can rely on.

This is probably what most people think of when they think of the cost of scuba diving. A set of essential scuba diving gear can run you anywhere between $200 to $800 depending on how much you’re willing to spend.

Larger gear sets will cost anywhere between $1000 to $2000, depending on the diving you’ll be doing. Scuba equipment may seem like a lot upfront, but it’s cheaper than renting equipment over time. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind of using your own gear.

Owning Vs. Equipment Rental

Renting costs about 1/25th of buying your gear. So if you’re planning on diving more than 25 times in the next year, you should buy your scuba gear. If you’re not planning to dive that much or dive on vacation or one or two dive trips a year, you can save money by renting your dive gear.

Scuba Mask

Whether you want to rent gear or buy to own, you have to get your mask. A diving mask is the most individual part of the diving setup, where the mask needs to have a good fit on the face to prevent water from leaking in.

A good dive mask is the most basic equipment you need to get started diving. Visit a local dive shop to get good deals on diving equipment. They can cost anywhere from $50-$200, but every scuba diver needs their own scuba mask.

Scuba Fins

Scuba fins are another thing you should add to your own equipment. Good ones will be comfortable on your feet and help you glide through the water. Fins will run you anywhere from $60 to $250, and they can be awkward to travel with, so it might be a good idea to rent them first.


Wetsuits keep you warm in the water, so it’s essential but easy to rent. While they can cost anywhere from $60 to $650, it heavily depends on the temperature of the water you’re planning to dive in, with cold water setups being far more pricey than warm tropical waters wetsuits.

Dive Computer

After getting your own mask, dive computer monitors are the next thing you should buy. They tell you your depth, air, dive time, and more. Having you’re own will help when you’re on a dive because you can easily read and understand it, which can be critical, especially in a dire situation. They’ll cost you between $150-$1300, expensive, but not the most costly.


A regulator is the crux of the diving setup. It takes the compressed air in your tank and converts it into breathable ambient air that automatically matches the depth to keep your lungs from getting crushed. Naturally, this means you want it to do its job well and continue working.

While it’s OK to rent them, you’ll want to get them checked yearly to ensure it’s in operating condition if you buy your own. Expect them to cost $225-$1600, the most expensive piece of diving equipment.

Travel: $500-$5000 Per Trip

While it’s possible to dive locally, you’ll probably want to visit some famous diving spots worldwide. There are ways to offset traveling costs, like liveaboard diving or underwater photography, but you’ll have to cough up some cash if you want to scuba dive abroad.

Diving Certification: $200-$800

Getting your scuba diving certification should be the first thing on your list. Head to your local dive center for dive training in pool dives from diving instructors. You learn all the vital scuba skills you need to scuba dive, and you need to be scuba certified to scuba dive legally.

How much it costs depends on where you’re getting your scuba certification, but certified scuba divers can continue their education with courses to dive deeper, night diving, or wreck diving. Dive centers worldwide have different prices so check to see how much it will cost to become a certified diver.

Scuba Diving Cost: Worth It

Yellow fish and purple coral seen while scuba diving

If you can afford the costs of an expensive hobby, then maybe it’s for you. If the underwater world filled with marine life intrigues you, get started with lessons from aquatic instructors, visit dive shops for good deals, and become a certified scuba diver. New divers should start slow in accessible dive spots while gaining experience by diving regularly.

You’ll never forget your first dive, so take your hobby at your own pace as you decide what scuba diving means.

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