Owning diving equipment represents a longterm investment in fun and safety. A good set of dive gear can last through years of diving and travel, take you to unforgettable experiences in incredible underwater environments, and bring you home safely. It is important to buy the right gear for the type of diving you will do, ensure that it fits and is comfortable, be trained in its use and keep it serviced at recommended intervals.
Diving's equipment manufacturers sell and service their products through a network of authorized dealers. These dealers understand the product features, benefits and applications, are authorized to fit assemlbe and service your gear and are your link to the manufacturer for sales, service, performance, warranty, notification and upgrade issues.
It is very possible for you to purchase dive gear from nonauthorized dealers and not be aware. For example, many Internet sellers acquire the product they sell through gray market (third-party) channels. They may not be authorized to sell or service a particular product, are not trained by the manufacturer, may not ship it assembled, may sell it without the original parts or sell items that have been used or returned. For those reasons some manufacrturers do not warrant products sold by unauthorized resellers, who in turn
may sell gear without a warranty enclosed, or include their own warranties that appear valid but are not recognized by the manufacturer. There may also be issues with post-sale assembly, service and notifications, parts costs and exchanges.
Dive gear is incredibly dependable, but it is lifesupport equipment, engineered to take you where humans aren't designed to go. Each piece of gear has a specialized purpose, and the aspects surrounding product education, fit, function and service may be as important to you personally as is the equipment itself. It's all part of the value equation, and why it is important to buy your equipment only through authorized dealers.
If you question whether a particular reseller is an authorized dealer, it's pretty simple. Call the manufacturer directly, or confirm it by using the authorized dealer listings on manufacturers' Web sites.
At Dive Training magazine, we believe that part of the commitment you make to learn to dive shoud include acquiring your own dive gear. It's an excellent investment in yourself and in your diving adventures. Please remember that service aspects of equipment are important as well.