I used to rent equipment but had too many bad experiences. Once I ran out of air at 60 ft, the gauge was broken and showed I had air- had to do an emergency assent. The last one was the deal breaker for me. I was doing my first beach dive and the dive instructor said we wouldn't be going out far. Well... When air was out and we went up I couldn't even see land! The tide was going out AND there was a leak in my BC so I had to fill it with my mouth constantly. When we got to shore (after I came damned close to giving up!) The connection of the mouth piece hose to the BC was completely loose/torn. It was a miracle it held air at all.
After this I got a mysterious sickness that caused me to gain weight uncontrollably. So I have not gone diving since, but I swore if I did I would only be renting air tanks..
Search wreck valley for dive sites around ny/nj
There are a lot of tropical fish around now that get caught in the Gulf Stream
I caught 3 queen angels in one dive in NJ and there are a ton of spotfin butterflies
Also there is dive show called Beneath the sea worth checking out
I got certified with Ocean Horizon Scuba in brooklyn. Paul Bardo is a NAUI instructor. He teaches from the YMCA in park slope. He is excellent and organizes trips to mexico. If you want to learn how to scuba i highly recommend him. He provides everything you need to learn. if you want more info you can message me.