Last Updated: February 28, 2023
Scuba diving is undoubtedly one of the most thrilling adventure sports you can try. But, before making friends with water, let’s talk about money – is scuba diving an expensive hobby?
Well, it is far from being a cost-effective sport. Scuba certification, diving equipment (wetsuit, mask, fins, and the list goes on), and diving costs add up to a couple of thousands.
This article will break down per item scuba diving cost for you. Not only that, but we’ll help you figure out the most affordable way for scuba diving (hint: rent the equipment).
Let’s dive right into the details.
Scuba Diving Cost
Scuba diving certification costs can come up to about $300, while you can get your scuba diving gear for anywhere between $200 and $2,000. The dive itself can cost you $75 to $150 for a single dive. The highest of these is the cost of scuba diving equipment.
The good news is that you can always rent your scuba gear instead of buying it and go for a dive while on a budget.
How Much Does it Cost to Get Scuba Certified?
Before you enroll yourself to get a scuba certification, it is good to take a few test or trial classes. Simply put, to be scuba-certified refers to taking and passing your scuba diving training course from a recognized agency.
It is best to get certification from well-known agencies such as the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) and Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).
The training consists of theory learning, written exams, training in a pool, and finally, diving in the open water. Generally, such courses last for six weeks. If you want more intensive courses, some offer weekend batches.
Typically, it can cost you anywhere between $200 and $400 to get your scuba diving certification.
The theory and exam portion are often completed online or via an app and can cost about $100 to $190. Whereas, the practical or diving part could take another $200 before you finish your certification.
The best part is that it doesn’t take long to get scuba certified and it will be valid for a lifetime. If you need to brush up on your basic skills, there are many affordable refresher courses out there.
The costs would naturally be much higher in case you would want to become a scuba instructor, as you have to complete a series of courses and it would take quite long too.
How Much Does Scuba Gear Cost?
The cost of getting your diving equipment would depend on whether you choose to rent or buy it. Buying your own diving gear comes with its perks – correct fitting, hygiene, and familiarity.
Whereas if you decide on renting your gear, you don’t need to fret about its maintenance, and it costs less. If you are just beginning with your scuba diving journey or are into occasional recreational dives, it’s better to rent.
I’ve listed the most common scuba diving equipment, along with their approximate costs.
Wetsuit ($60 – $650)
One of the primary diving gears is a good-quality wetsuit, allowing you to insulate your body by avoiding water while preserving your body heat. Depending upon the brand you choose, it can cost you anywhere between $60 to $650.
Scuba mask ($50 – $200)
Scuba diving masks help you see underwater and also equalize air pressure while you go on deep dives. Look for a watertight fit that doesn’t have any gaps and has a comfortable nosepiece.
Scuba fins ($60 – $250)
Scuba fins come in handy while trying to navigate the saltwater. Go for the lightweight ones that offer a snug fit and don’t cause pain or pressure on your muscles.
Dive computer ($150 – $1,300)
You can use a dive computer to check the dive depth, the number of dives, time taken, and tank pressure, among other things.
Regulator ($225 – $1,600)
Regulators convert the high-pressure air into the one with ambient pressure, thus making it breathable. Aim for a high-quality build when it comes to this essential equipment. Moreover, your regulator should be comfortable to breathe with.
BCD ($350 – $1,000)
A Buoyancy Compensator or BCD keeps your gear in place while making it easier for you to carry a tank. Plus, it is responsible for keeping you afloat on the water surface. Look for a snug yet comfortable BCD that is breathable and comes with multiple pockets and traps.
Snorkel ($30 – $90)
Divers often make use of a snorkel for conserving the tank air when they come to the surface.
If you opt for renting your diving gear, it will prove cheaper. While some diving packages include the rental fee, many others don’t. You can expect to pay somewhere between $150 and $250 if you rent from outside.
How Much Does it Cost to Go Scuba Diving?
Several factors come to play in determining the cost of the dive. These include your diving location, the company you choose, and your total diving duration. I have researched the rough estimates for diving costs in different places.
Typically, the diving points across the USA do not cover the equipment rental costs in their pricing. In contrast to this, many international diving companies offer a complete package deal, which covers everything from the dive trips and rental costs to tipping.
Popular Diving Spots in the USA
- California: You may spend somewhere around $100 to $150 per person for a one-tank dive in California. Whereas, a two-tank dive will cost between $200 and $250 per person.
- South Carolina: Diving in South Carolina may roughly cost you anywhere between $80 and $120 for one person, that too for two-tank dives.
- Florida: A one-tank dive in Florida is priced in the per person range of $50 to $80. Here, a two-tank dive will cost you roughly $65, whereas a three-tank one costs $90.
- Hawaii: Hawaii is a hotspot for diving, with several spots offering first-timers a dive for roughly $130 per person. For a two-tank dive, you can expect to pay anywhere between $114 – $185 for a single person, while the same person will have to pay around $150 to $170 in a three-tank dive.
Read: Best 15 Locations to Scuba Dive in USA
Well-known International Diving Places
- Mexico: For a one-tank dive, you need to pay roughly $70/person, and two-tank dives begin from $90/person. Check out the best places for scuba diving in Mexico and their average cost.
- Indonesia: Diving here will cost you somewhere between $75 and $165 or more per person.
- The Bahamas: Expect to pay something between $120/person and $190+ for dive trips in the Bahamas.
- Australia: The land of kangaroos will charge you roughly between $120 and $380 per person.
Scuba diving is a cool hobby that features several physical and mental health benefits. These include stress relief, sun intake, better muscle strength, burning calories and improved heart health.
When it comes to costing and budgeting, you need to keep in mind expenses like scuba certification, diving equipment, and the dive itself.
In total, these can add up to a few thousand. However, you can always choose to rent your diving gear, which makes the sport comparatively affordable.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.