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If It Ain't Broke, You're Not Using it Enough

You know the best thing about dive gear?

Sure, it needs routine maintenance. But breaks all the time anyway. This leaks, that bubbles, and your left arm is wet to the the elbow.

Your primary light battery isn’t getting the right burn time and your pee valve is kinked. You’ve got an IP creep on your stage reg, your scooter trigger-lock is jammed shut, the fill station points out that the tanks you just dropped off are out of hydro, and the crotch strap of your sidemount harness is doing something that’s just weird that you can’t explain that it’s never done before.

Your tank valve is stuck open, your rebreather won’t pass a negative pressure check despite the fact that it’s been completely broken down and rebuilt three times, all five bottles of aquaseal in your cabinet have turned into a plastic fossil so you can’t patch a pinhole leak in your wing, your SPG hose looks like an aquarium air stone, but that doesn’t really matter because you just noticed your SPG is full of water.

All three brand new O2 cells are reporting something different. In air. The bungee that holds this down just snapped. And the bolt-snap that holds that down is seized. This neck seal REALLY needs to be replaced because it’s had the consistency of a middle-scooler’s chewing gum for the last three months now. And I really hope this webbing makes it all the way through this dive and I promise I’ll change it out tomorrow.

Of course all of this never happens at once. But bits and bobs, drips and drabs, nothing is ever really working exactly right. Something always needs some sort of maintenance. It’s all high-performance gear which people tend to mistake to mean “will never break.”

But if high-performance gear never broke then that would mean that every mechanic who specializes in Jaguar or Mercedes would be out of a job.

Of course it’s going to break.

And it’s going to be expensive to fix. Because it’s high-performance, which means the parts are not cheap and the people who can work proficiently on this stuff are few and far between.

Or you can get junky kit that is more “robust” or {shudder} rent kit. Which works like shit even at the best of times because it’s designed to be abused. The difference between owning a Ferrari Enzo and renting a Hyundai Elantra.

But all that said: the best part of dive gear?

It lets you go underwater to see cool stuff.

So, on the balance - totally worth it.

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