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View Full Version : Equipment regrets???


IvanTheTerrible
03/14/2015, 11:20 PM
I will be taking a scuba certification class soon, and it was recommended that we buy a mask, fins, and snorkel to use during the class. The thought is that this will let us try out the equipment in the pool to make sure everything fits right. I have two questions:

Will we spend enough time in the pool to really know if the equipment works/fits properly?

Did you buy anything early on that you later regretted or had to replace?

I'd much rather buy equipment once, even if it costs a little more.

Thanks,
Ivan

snorvich
03/15/2015, 11:54 AM
A mask fit is easy to test. Put the mask over your face, suck in the air from the interior of the mask, look down. If the mask holds, you should be good. Fins is a different situation as there are fins which require booties and fins which do not.

tkeracer619
03/15/2015, 01:29 PM
No, because like recommended I used it all in the pool and knew it worked. Yes, you will get enough time in the pool and likely this shop will let you use the pool anytime you want to test out gear.

I prefer fins with booties, you want them tight enough they aren't floppy but not so tight it digs the ends of your toes They will loosen up when they get wet. Reason I love booties is my feet get cold and I hate the feeling of sand in my fins after walking in for snorkeling or after standing on the sea floor. Something to know... the bigger the fin the easier it will be to swim and the less air you will use. However, if you go too big and are not strong enough to move them for a couple hours you will end up with terrible leg pains the next day.

You can save a lot of money buying online but I have had mixed results. I want it all to fit and try to support the local crew as much as I can.

Gloves, a safety sausage, and an underwater writing tablet are things you should invest in. The PADI notebook you get in the class will suffice but the book will get ruined after a while. If you are serious about logging your adventures then go ahead and get a nice water resistant binder for it. You will often be handling the book to get key details shortly after a dive.

You want a snorkel that is easy to keep in your mouth without chomping down.

Consider a basic used dive computer. I use a zoop, it was dirt cheap and is is a very common computer on rental bcds. It is nice to see the same numbers on two devices.

machonachos
03/16/2015, 06:49 AM
Besides your regulator. Consider picking up everything used/barely used gear. Scuba is one of those hobbies we here tons of people try and decide it's not for them, you could also be of those people. So hold off buying anything yet. A mask/snorkel/fins are on the cheaper end of the spectrum for scuba gear. So your not risking too much buying a set.

It's also doubles as snorkel gear!

IvanTheTerrible
03/16/2015, 09:31 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone. I'll pick up the mask/fins/snorkel for the class and we'll see where it goes from there. If it "sticks", I'll look for some good used equipment.

r-balljunkie
03/18/2015, 04:18 AM
I had to get off the couch and go look in the dive closet to peruse the unused.

A lot of the below comments go against the whole "DIR" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doing_It_Right_(scuba_diving)) movement....my personal preference.

+1 on Machanado's suggestion. Buying used is a good option too.

BCD - Personal preference for you. A lot of good manufacturers to choose from.

I would keep away from Sherwood BCD's. They're usually a little cheaper. I had problems with them breaking (my wifes old one...still in the closet) prematurely, namely the plastic tank mount. The mount brittled and broke easily after a few years.

I also am not keen on the new BCD design from Aqualung that has a flip style lever air release. They call it the i3, and it replaces the inflator hose. I've seen these needing to be rebuilt if they sit up for a few months, perhaps from salt buildup. The rebuild kit is cheap and its easy to do, but we've left a couple of divers on the boat due to free flowing.

Regulators - Personal preference for you. A lot of good manufacturers to choose from.

Atomic regs is all i have ever used from day 1. I flogged my current reg for 4 years without servicing it (bought it used to boot). Finally relented and out of sheer guilt and had it serviced.

Knife - Forget the impulse to buy a big gaudy dive knife. I love seeing people with machete's strapped to their leg or thigh. What the hell are you going to do with that damn thing. A small compact blunt tipped blade that you can mount on your BC will get you by fine.

Wetsuits - It's a preference thing. I hate wearing one because i hate getting in and out of them and prefer to be restrictive free in between dives, flip flops and a tee. If its above 78, ill tough it out in a long sleeve rash guard or 1-2 mil.

Gloves - I stopped trying to wear them along time ago. you gotta keep track of them (if you grab two rights, you'll be micheal jacksoning it), if you dont rinse them out, they're hard to get on, they stink after awhile.....blah blah blah. Generally speaking, i dont touch anything, so really dont need them. If i want to 'examine' something, ill give it a poke with my knife.

Compass - I use the one on my dive computer. the traditional one i bought when i first started diving got repurposed to use on my underwater scooter. Might consider getting a dive computer with an integral compass. Some dive instructors might give you a hard time since some class time will require you to do underwater navigation skills. If i had to do it again, i'd borrow one for the class, learn how to use it, then go digital.

Dive light - I love Sola's. They cost more, but are virtually indestructible. They have a sealed battery and can take a real beating. If you aren't planning on doing a lot of night dives, a lot of the cool kids are liking the DXG600 (https://www.divegearexpress.com/lights/backuplt.shtml) and its only 50 bux

Dive bag - bought mines at a bazaar sale, 5 bux. Years later, still using it. Only one zipper still works, but good enough for me LOL. Roller, back pack, mesh. lotsa options.

Octo - You'll have folks that prefer to have a separate "yellow" hose safe second. I like and have used both the atomic SS1 and Scubapro Air2. One less hose dangling plus i like having two air sources near my face, forget about my buddy:lol::lol::lol:.

This should cover everything to get you kitted out. Good luck and good diving!

snorvich
03/18/2015, 11:37 AM
My dive computers are wireless and air integrated. If you are using a strobe that recycles once shot, you may find the signal to the dive computer temporarily interrupted. As far as brands, I have had good luck with Scubapro. I hate wetsuits (and dry suits) but those are environmentally situational.

IvanTheTerrible
03/20/2015, 11:11 AM
Thanks for all of the input. I'll definitely refer back to this thread if I end up buying more equipment.

Any recommendations on best place to buy used gear?

Thanks,
Ivan

Captain smoke
03/20/2015, 11:48 AM
I've been a diver for more than 10 years. I've done the recreational diving to technical levels, Adv wreck, Deco, Adv nitrox, trimix exe exe Start out slow and find out what you want to do with diving, you might find that you like cold dark water with deeper wrecks or you might just want to stay with warm Caribbean diving. Learn what you like and go from there. Biggest mistake I saw was " I want to become a instructor" stay away from that attitude even if the LDS is pushing it, 1 its a scam to get money 2 you are going to be green and you will have a lot to learn and pool dives are not dives. Research before you buy, remember LDS are there to make money and they will sell you anything to make a buck.

PS to the DIR /GUE comment I am big with TDI,GUE,DIR,UTD they are great tools for tech diving when every dive you make is considered overhead dives. Think safety and if someone does not want to dive with you because they are not sure of your skills then thats there right.

tkeracer619
03/21/2015, 02:52 PM
My dive computers are wireless and air integrated.

One of these days when I buy my own bcd and regs I will go that route. I didn't want to do that until I found one I liked though. Was and still maybe too green to be making that decision. However my last rental gear was leaking water into my mouth, even the backup so now may be the time to settle on something.

billsreef
03/21/2015, 02:59 PM
Knife - Forget the impulse to buy a big gaudy dive knife. I love seeing people with machete's strapped to their leg or thigh. What the hell are you going to do with that damn thing. A small compact blunt tipped blade that you can mount on your BC will get you by fine.

Reason for the big knife is shark defense. Stab your buddy so you can get away ;) :lol:

Though in all seriousness R-balljunkie is spot on about the small knife being more practical. Better yet, EMT Shears...much more effective at cutting line and even metal fishing leaders in event you get tangled in some old fishing line.

As for used gear, best place is the LDS and some flea markets can also be good. You want to be able to inspect used gear before purchase. My regs I purchased used from LDS I took open water lessons from, still using them 30 years later (lesson here is take care of your gear ;) ). Recently picked up a used BC for my daughter at a local marine flea market, $50 and in nearly new condition. Also saw some real junk by sold by some dealers for crazy high prices...aka needed much work and said work would have made the regs just as expensive as simply buying brand new. So look close at condition, price, and what it might cost to bring the items up to snuff.

IvanTheTerrible
03/22/2015, 07:47 AM
I picked up my mask and snorkel yesterday. I'm glad I did it in person because it took a while to find a mask that fit right.

Fins are going to be even more challenging. Any recommendations on fins for a person with a size 14 foot? The LDS had a couple, but selection is limited. I'm used to this since I have the same problem with shoes (which I buy online because local stores don't have much selection). I can have him order some in, but I don't want him to be stuck with them if they don't work for me. Should I just stick with the two styles he had in stock in my size?

snorvich
03/23/2015, 09:35 AM
I picked up my mask and snorkel yesterday. I'm glad I did it in person because it took a while to find a mask that fit right.

Fins are going to be even more challenging. Any recommendations on fins for a person with a size 14 foot? The LDS had a couple, but selection is limited. I'm used to this since I have the same problem with shoes (which I buy online because local stores don't have much selection). I can have him order some in, but I don't want him to be stuck with them if they don't work for me. Should I just stick with the two styles he had in stock in my size?

Probably going to be a function of your leg strength. Stiff fins require more leg strength but require a bit more skill for fine control.

r-balljunkie
03/24/2015, 04:25 AM
PS to the DIR /GUE comment I am big with TDI,GUE,DIR,UTD they are great tools for tech diving when every dive you make is considered overhead dives. Think safety and if someone does not want to dive with you because they are not sure of your skills then thats there right.


No worries on the DIR comment. It's another school of thought that has many many good points, I just dont like the "churchy" mentality that any other way is doing it wrong.


I think the operative word above is TECH diving, where i believe that DIR has a place, especially on higher risk or deep dives.

For someone just getting there feet wet, no need to get schooled in the DIR mentality early on. Next thing you know he's at the LDS register counter buying backplates, DIN yokes, canister lights and doubles w/SPG's :dance:.

Mr sea water
03/26/2015, 08:00 AM
Reason for the big knife is shark defense. Stab your buddy so you can get away ;) :lol:

Though in all seriousness R-balljunkie is spot on about the small knife being more practical. Better yet, EMT Shears...much more effective at cutting line and even metal fishing leaders in event you get tangled in some old fishing line.

As for used gear, best place is the LDS and some flea markets can also be good. You want to be able to inspect used gear before purchase. My regs I purchased used from LDS I took open water lessons from, still using them 30 years later (lesson here is take care of your gear ;) ). Recently picked up a used BC for my daughter at a local marine flea market, $50 and in nearly new condition. Also saw some real junk by sold by some dealers for crazy high prices...aka needed much work and said work would have made the regs just as expensive as simply buying brand new. So look close at condition, price, and what it might cost to bring the items up to snuff.

I disagree about the knife it can be very usefull, If you need to Deco and the tide is very strong handy to be able push it in a crevis to help hold you there, when you have come from 50+meters may just keep you out the chamber.

snorvich
03/26/2015, 09:38 AM
I disagree about the knife it can be very usefull, If you need to Deco and the tide is very strong handy to be able push it in a crevis to help hold you there, when you have come from 50+meters may just keep you out the chamber.

For a highly experienced (hopefully) technical diver, perhaps. For the average recreational diver, it normally denotes something else.

:spin2:

jacksoncm
03/27/2015, 06:07 PM
Besides your regulator. Consider picking up everything used/barely used gear. Scuba is one of those hobbies we here tons of people try and decide it's not for them, you could also be of those people. So hold off buying anything yet. A mask/snorkel/fins are on the cheaper end of the spectrum for scuba gear. So your not risking too much buying a set.

It's also doubles as snorkel gear!

It also might take you a few dives to decide if you like something.
I guess I was fortunate enough to have dive shops that rented the gear they sold. So it allowed you the opportunity to try the $600 regulator or $500 BCD before you bought it

Captain smoke
03/27/2015, 09:10 PM
Next thing you know he's at the LDS register counter buying backplates, DIN yokes, canister lights and doubles w/SPG's :dance:.


Whats wrong with that :bounce3:

Mr sea water
03/28/2015, 03:29 AM
It also might take you a few dives to decide if you like something.
I guess I was fortunate enough to have dive shops that rented the gear they sold. So it allowed you the opportunity to try the $600 regulator or $500 BCD before you bought it

I am an eightys diver still have my old PADI books, I like my old chrome scubapros and my old Viking dry suit, I must say I love my force Finns from the USA and my Ford F-250!