The leaves are changing, the morning air has a chill to it, kids are back in school, and coffee shops are selling pumpkin spice lattes. For most people these are the signs of fall, for many of us as divers it signals that dive season is coming to a close. If you’re anything like I was in my first years of diving, my gear was stuck in the corner of the garage at the conclusion of that happy time of year. Only to be pulled out as a mess that required scrambling for service and ready for action in the spring. Oh, times have changed! Nowadays, the end of dive season is the beginning of the season for me to take a close look at my equipment.
First off, I take apart all of my gear and give it a thorough cleaning. My BCD, regs, and accessories get a nice long fresh water soak and dry before being hung up on a proper rack. All of that stinky neoprene gets a luxurious bath in a good enzyme cleaner. I then allow all of it to hang out and dry completely. Take this time to determine if you need to replace consumable items on your gear like mouthpieces, mask and fin straps. This will save you time and money once it warms up again.
For those of us who toss our gear in the truck and rush it to the dive shop sometime in late April for service, only to find long wait times should consider leisurely strolling it to the tech sometime between Columbus day and Halloween. You may be pleased to find a quicker turnaround, and a technician that is willing to take a little extra time to give your regulator set and BCD some much needed TLC. You may even shave a few bucks off of your service bill by taking advantage of end of season equipment service specials.
Now here’s the reason that the end of dive season has redeemed itself, at least in my world. I get to make a shopping list of wants and needs for my dive bag in anticipation of both end of season clearance sales as well as some of the amazing holiday specials(Black Friday…hint, hint). Doing this would give you some time to squirrel away some cash for that dry suit you’ve been drooling over or that shiny new multi gas computer you saw another diver on that charter in July using. In addition to those new toys, you might catch some epic deals on replacement stuff like new spring straps or a new mask to replace that leaky one with scratched up lenses.
So, don’t be that diver who’s running into the dive shop in April with their hair on fire trying to get their equipment ready for that season kick off charter in 2 weeks. Save yourself some time, stress, and money by going through your gear bag before the kid’s first report cards hit the mailbox!