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#162 - 02/06/01 08:46 PM new diver needs advice on equipment
Danielle Offline
new diver

Registered: 02/06/01
Posts: 2
I need to go buy my fins, mask, gloves, snorkel, suit. I dont know anything about scuba yet my first class is coming next month.I dont want to over spend but I would like to get what will last and what works well. If anyone can help??? thanks danielle

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#163 - 02/07/01 01:46 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
OneThreeSeven Offline
avid diver

Registered: 02/07/01
Posts: 7
quote:
Originally posted by Danielle:
I need to go buy my fins, mask, gloves, snorkel, suit. I dont know anything about scuba yet my first class is coming next month.I dont want to over spend but I would like to get what will last and what works well. If anyone can help??? thanks danielle

Fins: They will try to sell you a $200 pair of bio-fins or force fins. Don't do it. Spend half that on a good pair of Turtle Fins, and you will be fine.

Mask: Make sure it fits. I don't like purge valves, but thats just me. If you like them, get one. But make sure it fits.

Gloves: If you're going to be in cold water, get good thick ones. The three finger variety tend to be warmer, at the cost of dexterity. Again,. proper fit is important.

Snorkle: Get the cheapest one on the shelf. You're going to ditch it right after you get certified, anyway.

Suit: Don't buy right now. Rent for a while. A good wet/drysuit is a serious investment, and you should have a bit more experience in the water before you realy know what you want to get.

HTH!

[This message has been edited by OneThreeSeven (edited 02-07-2001).]


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#164 - 02/07/01 10:25 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
scrappy Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/26/00
Posts: 30
Loc: Charlotte NC USA
This is what I did for my class, which I am enrolled in now. I went to the dive shop where I am taking class and asked them what is the best to start out with. I went with a purge mask because I think it would be easier on me with my contacts. I also went with a pair of fins called PULSE, they cost me about 70.00. For a snorkel I went with a SEADIVER 29.00. I went with the akona boots and gloves and mesh gear bag. In total I spent about 350.00 on everything. I hope this helps. I went with the AKONA Andros purge mask 75.00. Hope this helps you out and happy diving.

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#165 - 02/16/01 02:35 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
Danielle,
Im afraid I don't agree with the advice of OneThreeSeven. Don't just rent your wetsuit, "there are two types of divers, those who pee in their suits and those who lie about it" I would rather have a suit that didnít have someone elseís urine in it. YUCK!
OneThreeSeven is what I would call a "dinosaur diver" as for me I would rather have comfort. A comfortable mask, I like the OceanMaster Z2. Pick up a snorkel that has at least a semi-dry top that way you donít get much water in your mouth (I donít have gills I use my snorkel). For fins, look for a fin that will give you the most performance for your kick. Like the Bio-Fins or Genesis Aquaflex.
You will also need to get some boots and gloves. For warm tropical locations you will want 3mm boots and thin gloves for protection. The 3 finger mitts are designed for ice diving. For colder water you will want 6mm boots and 3mm gloves.



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#166 - 02/20/01 03:59 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Mac8 Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/20/01
Posts: 46
Danielle
I hope your class hasn't started yet and you haven't bought your gear yet, and I definately hope you haven't taked the adivce of the past posters to your question. Why, cause not a one of them has written an intelligent thing to you yet! The question you have asked is a difficult one to answer, primarily because none of us have any idea of your physical size, where you intend to dive, or your fitness level. I cannot reccomend any gear to anyone without first knowing what you hope to get from the sport. You want to be exclusively a carribean diver? GREAT! The carribean will offer you some of the best diving in the entire world and you will never tire of it. Want to do cold water diving? If that interests you awesome, the Californina kelp beds offer a wide variety of wildlife that you will see nowhere near warm waters. The absolute key thing you must remember is that above else you must go for fit and comfort above all else, the rest is just details. I cannot tell you what mask or fins to buy because I have never seen you, nor do I know what size you wear. I probably wouldn't put you in a pair of SeaQuest Idea 3 fins for the same reason I wouldnt put a 300 lb. 6'7" man into a pair of Tusa Imprex, because they would not work for your body type. Then again I dont know how big you are, nor how good of a swimmer you are. I suggest you go to your local dive store and ask them to tell you about a variety of dive gear, and specifically what they think would be best for you. "One Three Seven" would have you believe that all dive shops are out only to screw you over, and line their pockets at the same time. What "One Three Seven" doesnt realize is that he is dead wrong. I'm sure that there are a few shops out there like that, but not many. In the past few years the scuba industry has turned out some fantastically brilliant designs in fin technology, and some complete crap too. What not many people do not realize is that for the most part your dive gear will last you many many years, so it's probably not realistic to say "Well I'll get really cheap fins/mask/snorkel etc. now and upgrade later" because most people dont just replace perfectly working gear. In the long run you would probably be happier if you laid down a bit more cash in the beginning, the gear will work better and fit you more comfortably. Sure, you might need to replace a broken fin or mask strap over the years, but those only cost a few dollars weather you are diving $70 fins or $140 fins.

"One Three Seven" advised you to get the cheapest snorkel you could becasue after class you would never use it again. Danielle, that is complete BS, and if he really thinks so, I invite him to come diving in North Carolian some time with me. When you are in 4-6 foot seas, a snorkel with a nice purge valve on it is a beautiful thing to have. Besided you might just want to go snorkeling some times. To tell you honestly there are only a few times when I use my snorkel, but when I'm sitting on the surface in 4-6 foot seas, with 500 psi in my tank waiting on a hang line for everyone to get up the ladder, a few minuets without a snorkel would seem like an eternity of spitting out salt water.

Wetsuits are an interesting thing, the only part of diving in which you really do need more than one if you plan to do lots of different kinds of diving. Most women tend to get colder easier then men, so you would probably be a bit more comfortable in a 3mm/5mm suit in the carribean, once again, talk to the dive shop staff, they have done travel and would be best to reccommend which suit would do best for you depending upon where you are going.

Boots. I would probably tell you to get heavy boots, nothing is more miserable while diving than cold feet. Find youself a good fitting pair of 6.5mm boots and you will be set, 3mm boots a pretty pointless unless you never leave the carribean. Never once have I been diving in the carribean in my heavy boot and said to myself "Christ my feet are too warm."

Gloves in the carribean some would call a bit of overkill, the water is usually so warm that gloves are less than necessary. I perfer not to wear then in the warm water, because if you wear them you are more likely to touch things which as we all know is a scuba no no. Owning a pair is, however not a bad idea as you may have to go up and down rusty anchor lines or ladders, keeping a pair in your pocket for such a situation is probably a good idea. As for cold water and Rebecca's suggestion of 3mm gloves in cold water... well Rebecca has probably NEVER dived cold water. Cold fingers probably rank up there with cold feet while diving, if you are doing lakes and quarrys that arent known for being warm I would reccommend a good fitting 6.5mm glove.

Anyway I hope I have been a bit more informative that your past note leavers. Remember it's all about fit and comfort. Good luck in your class.

[This message has been edited by Mac8 (edited 06-03-2001).]


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#167 - 02/20/01 04:00 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Mac8 Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/20/01
Posts: 46
Rebecca
3mm gloves in cold water?! Are you insane? Have you ever been in water colder than 70 degrees? I would invite you to dive a local quarry with me in your 3mm gloves and lets see how comfortable you are after 40 minuets of diving.

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#168 - 02/21/01 01:44 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
I am a VERY small woman and an instructor. I dive every week in 50-65 degree water. Yes I dive in cold water and I use 3mm gold core gloves. They are perfect. 3-5mm gloves are great for cold water. I have tried thicker and I was not able to adjust my own equipment.



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#169 - 02/23/01 11:59 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
OneThreeSeven Offline
avid diver

Registered: 02/07/01
Posts: 7
Originally posted by Rebecca:
Danielle,
Im afraid I don't agree with the advice of OneThreeSeven. Don't just rent your wetsuit, "there are two types of divers, those who pee in their suits and those who lie about it" I would rather have a suit that didnít have someone elseís urine in it.

But lets not forget, Rebecca is what I call a "makes a living selling dive gear diver." You, however, are just going diving. You may be a summer diver, or turn into a hard core dive bum. But the only way to avoid having to re-invest is by buying the right stuff the first time. Do you need a farmer john? How about a jacket? Integrated hood? There are a lot of options involved in buying an exposure suit, and plenty of shop monkeys around that will sell you something you're not realy going to like. Rent until you figure out what you like, *then* go buy.

Snorkles are a hazard. They are great for snorkling, but you're going diving. Dive shops love them because they can bill you another 20 bucks. Here's a hint. If you're in the water, on the surface, get on your back. It's more efficient to swim and more comfortable. You don't need a snorkle to dive. In fact, they are an entanglement hazard, a drag point in serious current, often confused with your BC's auto inflator, and a common cause of mask leaks. Get the cheapest one you can. When you get your c-card, nail it to your garage wall.

Repeat this until it sinks in: "My instructor is not always right. My certification agency is not always right. I am responsible for me at all times in the water, and will therefore make my own decisions."


OneThreeSeven is what I would call a "dinosaur diver"

Just keep selling gear people don't need, and you'll be just fine.


Pick up a snorkel that has at least a semi-dry top that way you donít get much water in your mouth (I donít have gills I use my snorkel).

If you get on your back, you won't get water in your mouth, either. If the waves are *that* high, your regulator is a much better device for delivering air.


For fins, look for a fin that will give you the most performance for your kick. Like the Bio-Fins or Genesis Aquaflex.

Told ya' so. Avoid bio-fins. They are a one trick pony. Can't scull or frog kick, hard to turn sharply, and they cost 200 bucks. Get a pair of soft paddle fins, and practice a proper kicking stroke. Turtles can be had for $85.


You will also need to get some boots and gloves. For warm tropical locations you will want 3mm boots and thin gloves for protection. The 3 finger mitts are designed for ice diving. For colder water you will want 6mm boots and 3mm gloves.

Must be nice diving in bathtub water. I dive in 40-50 degree water all year round, and 3 mil gloves are about as effective as your skin. If you're in cold water (and I mean real cold, not 60 tea water) get 5 mil or thicker. Three finger gloves are for cold water, not just ice diving. They will keep your hands warmer than five fingers.

Anyway, you are ultimately going to have to make purchasing decisions based on the type of diving you do. Don't go spend a whole lot of money right now. Rent as many different types of gear as you can for a while.

And don't forget to ditch the snorkle.

Good Luck!



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#170 - 02/24/01 12:18 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
OneThreeSeven Offline
avid diver

Registered: 02/07/01
Posts: 7
Why, cause not a one of them has written an intelligent thing to you yet!

Its nice to see you're keeping up your end of the bargain.


for you. "One Three Seven" would have you believe that all dive shops are out only to screw you over, and line their pockets at the same time.

I'll state catagoricaly right now that the dive shop monkey isn't any more knowledgeable about what her needs are than you are, when she's standing right in front of them.

99% of shops are out to pocket your dollar. Note the dot on the end of that sentence.


What "One Three Seven" doesnt realize is that he is dead wrong. I'm sure that there are a few shops out there like that, but not many. In the past few years the scuba industry has turned out some fantastically brilliant designs in fin technology, and some complete crap too.

Mac8 is a sucker that spent 200 bucks on a pair of bio-fins because the guy in the dive shop told him how cool they were. Split and "force" type fins exist to make up for poor kicking technique. They limit the types and styles of kicks available to you. But they sure do look nifty. And they cost 200 bucks.


What not many people do not realize is that for the most part your dive gear will last you many many years, so it's probably not realistic to say "Well I'll get really cheap fins/mask/snorkel etc. now and upgrade later" because most people dont just replace perfectly working gear.

Thats exactly right. So the trick is to get the perfect gear the first time. Now, Mac8 is convinced that because he paid 200 bucks for his bio-fins that they must be the best. I mean, they cost the most, right?


In the long run you would probably be happier if you laid down a bit more cash in the beginning, the gear will work better and fit you more comfortably.

Of course it will. You paid more, so it must be better. Thats a perfect method for evaluating dive gear.


Sure, you might need to replace a broken fin or mask strap over the years, but those only cost a few dollars weather you are diving $70 fins or $140 fins.

Or, you could buy an $85 pair of turtles, put a $30 dollar spring strap on it, and never have to worry about it breaking again, ever. Now thats a sound investment.


"One Three Seven" advised you to get the cheapest snorkel you could becasue after class you would never use it again. Danielle, that is complete BS, and if he really thinks so, I invite him to come diving in North Carolian some time with me. When you are in 4-6 foot seas, a snorkel with a nice purge valve on it is a beautiful thing to have.

Get on your back, and inflate your BC. Stick the reg in your mouth. That 500 pounds will last you a looooong time on the surface. Unless you suck air like a Sears Vacume, in which case it will last you a looong time. Come on out to Puget Sound, and I'll show you how real divers do it. I'll send you home with a souvenier North West Snorkle Keeper. A genuine 16 penny nail.

Besided you might just want to go snorkeling some times.

Thats a good use for a snorkle. So keep it in your dive bag.


To tell you honestly there are only a few times when I use my snorkel, but when I'm sitting on the surface in 4-6 foot seas, with 500 psi in my tank waiting on a hang line for everyone to get up the ladder, a few minuets without a snorkel would seem like an eternity of spitting out salt water.

Put the reg in your mouth. Solves all kinds of problems.


Boots. I would probably tell you to get heavy boots, nothing is more miserable while diving than cold feet. Find youself a good fitting pair of 6.5mm boots and you will be set, 3mm boots a pretty pointless unless you never leave the carribean.

Right. With a hard sole. Very nice for walking over sharp rocks and stuff.



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#171 - 02/28/01 12:42 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
newtongirl Offline
new diver

Registered: 02/27/01
Posts: 2
Hi, Danielle. I'm a new diver as well as a woman and a consumer. At my local dive shop, the owner was brilliant. He said he'd love to sell me the moon but he'd rather I be happy with my gear. So for fins, I got the Tusa Cetus. You can get these anywhere from $50 (diversdicount.com) -$79 (local dive shop). Good fins that won't break your bank or your leg muscles. I found a mask for $55 that had the best fit, and ironically as his lowest priced mask, it is also his best seller. It's skirt is soft enough for me to be able to squeeze my nose. I got Tusa boots for around $40 that will complement my fins nicely. As far as wetsuit goes, he's _recommended_ that I use some of his until I decide which mm is right for me when I asked him what I should buy. As far as a snorkel goes I have no idea. I've seen Dacor snorkels on sale for $15.

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