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#202 - 04/17/01 04:01 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
mitts43 Offline
avid diver

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 9
Loc: Perth W. A Australia
I won't say much except the equipment you have mentioned is just as important as anything else with so spend the money to get quality and comfort BUT DON'T GET RIPPERD OFF GET THE CHAEAPEST PRICE U CAN

#203 - 04/17/01 08:50 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
SandyBuchan Offline
avid diver

Registered: 03/10/01
Posts: 8
Loc: Brunei
[ome absolute idiot wrote:
"..then your going to damage the tank if you suck it dry.......which makes you a really stupid diver......"
I am a novice diver, but I am an industrial process engineer, which means I know a bit about pressure, temperature, gas, liquid and "things like that"!
The maximum a human being can inhale is measured in "inches water guage", which is a means of measuring very small pressures. As atmospheric pressure is 1 Bar absolute, the average human being can "suck", by means of their lungs, a couple of psi below 1 BARa. To collapse a tank, I reckon that an absolute 0 BARa (impossibly hign suction by a human being) in the tank would withstand at least 1500m of depth. Very minimum. You can't "collapse your tank", *especially at surface*, unless you are breathing from a polythene bag!
Hope this clarifies matters. you cannot "collapse" a tank at surface (or at bearable depth) by breathing too hard on it. Sheesh that makes me mad! - that's why I replied.
Anyway, next:
Diving gear should be safe not fashionable:
My sentiments exactly!

Because of where I live because of my work (Borneo), I don't have much access to scuba gear and have to make do with what I can find - It's not fashionable, but it woks well, and no-one cares because we have fun. Join a good club and the fashion pales into insignificance - you just enjoy the dive! I never had a purge mask, although they sound nice. What is the benefit exactly? Not having to put a finger to your face?

I am not a diving guru or even a competent diver (yet), I just wanted to put the record straight on tank pressures and danger. Grrrrrrr.

Sean, I am in Borneo, and am looking to buy diving gear. The web is - to put it mildly - offputting - as the shipping costs are severe to here - I think the ex-US prices are designed to put you off. I am thinking about buying when I get back to UK sometime next year and taking the whole lot back here. That probably means I can't carry clothes! What I want is a dive shop who has reasnable prices (not necessarily cheaper than web, as I take your points), and who is willing to sell decent gear to Asia.
I'm willing to pay the going rate for gear as long as it is accompanied by sound advice and experience. I don't have the knowledge to know exactly what I want, so I want to talk to somebody about it.


#204 - 06/02/01 10:33 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
jshimmer Offline

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 21
Loc: Detroit, MI, USA
Originally posted by Amy:
... I also bought a hockey bag instead of a dive bag (just as much space but only $30 Cnd)...

Of course you did -- you're from Canada! I wouldn't do it any differently myself!

#205 - 06/04/01 05:32 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Hybrid8 Offline

Registered: 05/21/01
Posts: 23
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Seems that many people seem to believe a snorkel is a safety device rather than a convenience. Maybe it would make sense to carry one when practising other watersports where one might spend some time in the water: sailboarding, wakeboarding, surfing, water skiing and PWC riding. I've taken wipes and had to swim 40 feet wearing a PFD. Not the most comfortable thing to be wearing trying to swim, but obviously wouldn't be doing any watersport (other than scuba) without one.

Would I have wanted a snorkel? Perhaps. If I wanted to watch the fish as I tried to swim to my craft. Of course then there would be the following problems: not being able to see what I was swimming to, not being able to see other traffic around me, etc.

Oh, and I've done this off the coast of NJ in much higher than 5-6 foot waves. With goggles, but not a mask.

I have an analogy to this snorkel debate. I hate to see people preaching from a religious stand-point in either direction. Both arguments can be very flawed. I'm a little tired of people treating George Irvine of GUE like a god. Give it up already. DIR has some good ideas, but it's not like others didn't have them first.

Anyway, here goes... This happened today on the way home from work. It's a cycling and HELMET story. I see a guy on a very nice mountain bike (perhaps in the $1000-$1500 range) wearing good shorts, good jersey, nice clipless cycling shoes and a helmet. He approached a red light and slowed right down. He creeped and crawled to avoid having to stop completely and take one foot off the pedal (trivial with a clipless system). He starts to turn the corner ever so slowly. I could tell that wasn't his intended route. After I went through the green, perpendicular to the direction of the red obviously, he proceeds to ride right through the red - I can see him from my rear-view.

So, in this instance (cycling) a helmet is indeed a safety device. But when some moron has complete disregard for road safety what does that say? I suppose the helmet might come to use for anyone, but he's putting himself in some areas of danger the helmet will not save him from. The fool could also barely balance his bike at the slow crawl.

In any case, though I believe a snorkel is a valuable tool for some people, for others it is a possible source of danger. And not because they are not capable divers (the silly plastic comments above in another message).

Just don't let the snorkel be your crutch. And I see some people in this thread talking out of their rears just because they're passing the line they've heard for ages. Learn to think and don't rely on any crutches. Learn not to need a snorkel, even if you plan to use one. Likewise, learn how to function without the use of your mask if you should lose yours. Be prepared either way.

And going back - waaay back to the original message that started this thread...

Masks: take a look at TUSA and Cressi. Some of the best models I have seen and tried on. Fit a wide variety of facial sizes and profiles.

Snorkel: TUSA makes some nice ones and they're priced decently. If you plan to use it, the Platina hyperdry is one of the nicest I've seen, period.

Fins: do *NOT* buy split fins until you have tried a variety of more traditional fins. Do your cert with a more standard fin. Move to a split once you have learned various finning tehcniques and are able to adapt to splits. Having two sets will probably work well at a later date anyway. Don't spend a huge amount on your first fins, you will more than likely get a better feel for exactly what you want only after some experience.

Wetsuits: don't buy one before getting certified. Above all, don't get suckered into paying any more for anything claiming it has any type of metal in its contruction, inclusing titanium. None of them do anything more than a regular neoprene/poly suit. When it's time to look, get proper thickness for climates you'll be diving and make sure the fit is RIGHT. Snug but not constricting. And style and function when it comes to wetsuits do count for something. Make sure any padding or protection is anatomically placed for comfort and make sure you like the way it looks - dont want that factor to be a ditractor from you going diving.


#206 - 06/10/01 05:55 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
MarquisDS Offline
avid diver

Registered: 06/10/01
Posts: 13
Loc: Wilmington,DE USA
Mares, US Diver, Tusa, etc are all good equipment. If you eventually get into diving seriously, any quality equipment will serve you well. Upgrade later. If you change later you will have quality back up gear. Nothing will ruin a trip worst than to be diving in the Carribean and lose a fin or mask and not be able to replace it on the trip. It suck to be dry docked cause you drop a fin and didn't notice it till it was half way to Cuba.

Diving equipment is as individual as the person using it. Get catalogue's and read. Ask questions of a Diving Professional. Find different dive shop with different gear and ASK QUESTIONS. Rent different equipment to see what fits you best. Be sure to dry swim with your gear around the house to see how something fits and where thing are. I try to operate everything with my eyes closed. Fiqure out how you want to dive.

#207 - 06/14/01 03:35 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
jmsdiver Offline

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 169
Loc: USA
Well, this is one amazing thread. We have gone from an original question about what kinds of fins, masks, snorkels, and suit one should buy to the DIR method of diving. Now what went wrong there? Some people are attempting to give DIR advice to a diver who is just starting out. I don't believe that is in the best interest of a new diver. Let's give them some time to gain some experience before slapping a new method of diving on their shoulders, shall we?

So, back to our original question:

Mask: find something that fits good and passes the good ol' leak test (that some proponents believe is old school). Then look at other features like purge valves (some people like them because of ease of clearing the mask) and ability to put prescription lens in it. I personally like the TABATA line of masks: very comfortable and pop in lens are an option.

Snorkel: It is a necessary evil for instruction, and hey what the hell, good for a surface interval in your favorite dive location. I would recommend a good "dry" snorkel like the one sold by USD. For those proponents that say a snorkel is good for waiting for the boat and "one may mistake it for the BCD hose" or no snorkel at all, USD and Scubapro both make foldable snorkels that will fit in most BCD pockets. This will allow you to pull it out in heavy wave action if you don't wish to dive with it. Personally, I only use a snorkel for training, swim on my back for going to boat or shore, and *yes* I've done shore entries and exits without a snorkel. Also, one has to look at the type of diving they will be doing. I dive wrecks and under ice, no snorkel required because they can snag in wrecks, and hey, one can't snorkel to the hole while ice diving. Furthermore as a Public Safety Diver, no snorkel because they can potentiate problems. But, don't forget that a good J-type snorkel is great for rescue breathing during a rescue class or situation.

Fins: buy what feels comfortable and gives a reasonable amount of thrust. There are many models out there. Just try before you buy and you'll find something you like. Many people own different fins for different diving situations (ie wreck and cave divers sometimes like stiffer shorter fins that won't potentiate a silt out). I personally dive with Mares Quattros; good power, comfortable, and relatively cheap (say $50-70 in store).

Suit/exposure protection: that depends on the type of diving you'll be doing. I regularly dive in water that is 36-60 degrees F, so I opted to go with a drysuit. Not a recommendation necessarily for a new diver. I dove many years with a 6mm wetsuit in same conditions, but I get cold easily in the carribean, so I dive 5mm or better down there and dry in the hometown lakes and quarries. 3mm gloves are pretty decent for cold water diving, but you have to look at personally comfort and cold water tolerance, they aren't for everyone. I use dry gloves with my suit....toasty warm.

So, to start out, I usually recommend new divers start with a mask, a snorkel, and a set of open heel fins with a set of wetsuit booties. I consider these personal equipment and it allows divers to enjoy both the carribean and colder water without buying different sets of equipment. The next piece is generally good thermal protection (again, personal equipment) and then move on to a regulator. When I travel I tend to put my mask and regulator in carry on and check everything else because I like to know that my reg is going to work and I need my prescription mask to see underwater. Everything else can be rented if my luggage gets lost.

I hope this gives some insight to the original question. Happy shopping, and don't forget about the local store: they need business too, especially if you wish to get your equipment serviced, air fills, and education from them in the future (one can't do that online very well). And, it's hard to try before you buy if you patronize an online establishment.


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