When I have people do their open water courses with me, Apart from chatting about when they are going to do their next dives, or where on their travels they should stop off, One big question I hear quite a lot is what SCUBA gear should I buy? Quite often they say “I want a really big knife that I can strap to my leg!!” This is a shiny toy to have, especially for a guy. However its not really something you need, or to get started with anyway. The thing I recommend most people to get is their own mask, and they think “aww that’s not very cool!!” However masks are the thing most people have trouble with, you see SCUBA masks are not plastic and rubber like cheap snorkeling ones, they are made from tempered glass and silicone. And it’s the silicone that makes it comfortable to wear. As you wear the mask more and more the silicone molds to your face making it fit you perfectly every dive, and not have to worry about it leaking all the time. Not to mention that people spit in their mask to stop it fogging, I know it gets washed every time but wouldn’t you prefer a mask that only you have spat in? Also I would say get a snorkel too! Divers also like snorkeling and once you have a mask and a snorkel it makes for a cheap fun day out!! Once you have a mask there is just one thing you need to do before you use it, get a tube of toothpaste and rubs loads into the inside of the lens, leave it to dry and before you dive with it rinse it off, this will do two things, A) It gets rid of the grease that covers the lens during manufacturing to help it not get scratched. And B) Makes it smell minty fresh, Lovely stuff!!