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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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#172 - 02/28/01 12:42 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Mac8 Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/20/01
Posts: 46
OneThreeSeven were you molested by a dive shop clerk when you were younger? Where does all this hatred for them come from? No I do not dive the bio fins and I wouldnt if you paid me. Never once have any of my dive gear purchases been based on cost, only on quality. All my gear I dive I based on their features and performance and I would not have a bit of trouble spending $80 or $200 or $2000 if the gear was worth it.

And as far as your statements that we are all out to screw over every coustomer that walks into the stores, then you must have some really piss poor dive shops and salesmen where you live. I have sold many customers low end gear because it was what suited their needs best. I have even told some people to go a different shop because we didnt carry what they wanted or needed. No one at the shop I work in has ever tried to screw our customers over because we value them. We give them options in all types of gear in all price ranges, explain how each one works differently, let them try all of it on and then leave the decision up to them as to which they will go for.


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#173 - 03/02/01 12:08 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
quote:
Originally posted by OneThreeSeven:
[b]Its nice to see you're keeping up your end of the bargain.

grow up.


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.

the only person who lacks any knowledge here is YOU.


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

most dive shops survive because they sell gear, not run classes, but you obviously know very little about running a dive shop or you would know it makes very little business sense to screw a customer over so they never come back.


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. Thats a good use for a snorkle. So keep it in your dive bag. Put the reg in your mouth. Solves all kinds of problems.

you know when i was a newbie i would of belived the BS above but let me tell you something. YOU must have little knowledge or experience diving in different conditions. First lets go over some basic facts about scuba diving and equipment.

1. its VERY bad to empty your tank of all its air. Its the pressure that keeps water from entering the tank and damaging it. If you suck on your reg until your tank is dead your either 1. a stupid diver, 2. Asking for trouble.

2. If your in bad conditions a snorkel might just be your best friend. If your low on air sure you can suck it dry but then your going to damage the tank if you suck it dry, granted most people rent tanks, but if you own one or your own you just threw money out the door. Which makes you a really stupid diver.

3. If you decided what the hell its not my tank and you run out of air while in bad conditions on a tow line waiting behind 5-6 other divers and you run out of air because you listen to some idiots advice about not wearing a snorkel and lay on your back, your F*CKED. When the seas are high and you have no snorkel and your tank is empty you wish you had been smart and had one.

4. Theres alot of things you can possibly do without like some idiots who are accidents waiting to happen, but remember having safety gear is never a dumb thing and having a safety ballon or whistle or yes even a snorkel when your NEED 1 is the smartest thing you can do. A octopus might seem annoying to wear, a dive computer might be more drag, etc etc, but its these things that make us SAFE divers. And a snorkel is nothing more then a safety device for divers, and any diver who dives in the ocean and doesnt have 1 is a accident waiting to happen. It might not happen tomorrow or 2 years from now, but it will happen someday.


[/B]



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#174 - 03/02/01 02:45 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Amy Offline
new diver

Registered: 03/02/01
Posts: 3
Loc: London ON, Canada
Hi Danielle: when I started diving I was still a student and couldn't afford very much. You may want to get some things new (like a snorkel and mask) but you can get great deals at end-of-season sales. Most scuba schools sell off their gear because they get such good deals on the new stuff (at least the place I got mine from did). Also I got some gear second hand. I paid less than $200 Cnd. for a two piece wet suit 8 mm. I also bought a hockey bag instead of a dive bag (just as much space but only $30 Cnd). I bought my gear little by little and rented whatever I didn't have. It doesn't match but the fish don't care so neither do I. Diving gear should be safe not fashionable. There are ways to get all gear for a good price. Also check the classified ads in your local paper. Some divers quit and sell an entire set of gear for a good price. Good luck with your course and SAFE diving.
Amy.


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#175 - 03/04/01 08:10 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
SGHOWE Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/04/01
Posts: 81
Loc: Ashton, Maryland, USA
Onethreeseven, There are some dive stores that are out there to just take your money without regard to ones true needs, but that is the exception to the rule. I have had hundreds of customers coming in looking for fins and never once have i sold them split fins, i sell them scubapro jet fins. And when they are looking for a regulator I dont try to sell them the most expensive regulator like the all titanium atomic aquatics model, i usually reccommend the Scubapro Mk20/G250. This is not only my policy, but that of all of my co workers, and virtually everyone else who I am friends with in the dive industry. And one thing that I sincerely hope you do not reccommend is buying dive gear off the internet, although your attitude towards dive shops suggests that you very well may. Anybody who wants to argue this point with me is welcome to take a shot! While you may get a break on the price that local dive shops CANNOT AFFORD TO GIVE YOU AND STAY IN BUISNESS you will end up being inconvienced in the end. Not only will you have voided your manufacturers warranty which will start costing you money no more than one year after you buy the gear, but people who do this are KILLING the dive industry. When, and if things keep going like they have been this will happen, internet sales do put the majority of local dive shops out of buisness where will you get your gear serviced? And even more importantly where will you get your gas fills? If you think that a dive store can survive on fills and service alone you are sadly mistaken. And I'll give you this piece of the puzzle, the internet sales house who sold you the unwarrentied discount dive gear wont be able to help you with getting your tanks filled. This is just something to think about for everyone who is thinking about or who currently buys their gear off the internet. And when you do put us out of buisness, every single pissed off dive shop employee who has had to deal with too many disrespectful customers complaining about how they could get this regulator for cheaper off the net, will be laughing at you when you are trying to get your tanks filled or waiting 2 months for your regulator to come back for annual service at the factory, because you all brought it on your self.
Best Wishes,
Sean

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#176 - 03/20/01 12:21 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
garypeck Offline
new diver

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 2
Hi there, I would just like to say that Im using a 3mm glove for diving in 8 degree celcius in the UK and they work fine for me. I guess its what you want that really matters. I find that when using thick gloves, i lose sensitivity, although i must admit its very warm. However, the 3mm gloves gives me all the "feeling" in my fingers. They can be a bit cold when you're diving with them. So i guess, its what you really want at the end of the day, because you cannot have thin gloves and still want to keep warm in cold waters.

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#177 - 03/20/01 07:09 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
decmike Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/03/01
Posts: 20
Loc: Schenectady, NY USA
Danielle,
I agree with Mac8...I am a new diver in my 5th class of 8 classes, and here is what I have to offer....
Buy the best you can, buy what FITS you and FEELS right for YOU! Make sure your MASK fits and does not leak - an over zealous salesman (not all) sold me a mask that didn't fit properly and I had to reinvest another $60 into a proper fitting mask.....I agree - NO ONE can recommend SQUAT for you until YOU try it on and see HOW it FITS YOU! All divers are differant in height, weight, facial features and that makes A LOT of differance in proper fitting gear! Try some masks on, try some booties on (get 5 or 6mm boots - you'll be amazed how cold you get in 1 hr in an indoor swimming pool that is even 75 degrees! Fins - try some on. Snorkels - maybe you won't use them much after certifying (I can't say at this point in MY career) but it nice to KNOW how to use one. Besides, a decent snorkel is only about $20-25! When you are spending $200, whats a mere $25 at that point? I spent $85 on my US Divers fins, $60 on my mask, $30 on my 6mm boots, $25 on my US Divers snorkel, $30 on my Henderson hood (required in NY where we dive), and a weight belt for $8 plus the cost of weights! Big whoppie! Since I have bought my own Mare's Expedition BC, a COMP knife $35, a compass $60, a slate $6, a Aqua Lung regulator & octo and a used Henderson 7mm wetsuit off of Ebay for $85! (OK, if someone PEED in it, I'll WASH it thouroughly with wetsuit soap!)
Anyway, point is - buy the best you can afford NOW and buy ONCE! Buy good brand name gear and it will last years - and, remember, your life may very well depend on the gear you buy NOW - so buy quality name brand gear! Read Rodale's Scuba Diving magazine - I found TONS of good info and TEST REPORTS on regulators and gear that helped me select my gear - they are online and you can access FREE reports. The most expensive gear does NOT always equate to being the best - go to a local dive shop and collect on their years of knowledge and experience - most of them are on the 'up-and-up' and are more than happy to help and provide good, honest informaton! Good luck! Sure, you are going to spend around $20-250 now, but, trust me, when you get all this gear on and get in that water on your 1st SCUBA tank and dive, the feeling of weightlessness will be addictive and you'll love it - just remember - its sacry to everyone at first, learning to clear flooded masks, learning to breath w/o your mask on but with the regulator in your mouth, but once you get those skills down pat, and you CAN and WILL, you're on your way to a sport thats a lot of fun! Good luck!


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#178 - 03/22/01 02:08 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
SGHOWE,

If the dive shop clerk put me into "jet fins" when I first bought my gear I am sure I wouldn't be diving today. Those fins KILL ME. Just because they are good for one person dosent mean they are good for all. Same goes for the regulator. What is wrong with the titanium regulator? Won't work as good? Im not saying "everyone" needs a titanium regulator but not everyone needs to drive Porshe either and people do! Sure the Ford would probablly do them just fine, why sell them the Porshe?


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#179 - 03/22/01 03:06 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
SGHOWE Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/04/01
Posts: 81
Loc: Ashton, Maryland, USA
Rebecca,
When I reccommend people jet fins I am going on the fact that the vast majority of people who I have put them in are extremely pleased. It of course is very possible that someone would not like these particular fins, but I have seen far more people who disliked split fins and various other paddle style fins than I have who disliked the jet fins. The only way for someone to be absolutely sure what they like is to try it. And to criticize me for reccommending a certain stlye of fin just because you dont like it makes no sense. I personally think that split fins are overpriced trash, but if you like them I can see why you would reccommend them to your customers. As for the titanium regulator, there is nothing wrong with it except that it costs $1400. I think Atomic Aquatics makes a fantastic regulator...in fact I dive with one of their semi-titanium models sometimes. And that one retails for only $630. The performance is EXACTLY the same as the model that is over twice the price. The only advantages of the all titanium model is that it allows you to be lazy about rinsing and maintaing your equipment and that it is slightly lighter. Now I personally think that I would rather save that $700 and put it towards something a bit more functional. If someone wants to spend that kind of money I cant stop them, but i do like to let people know what they are spending their money on, which in the case of all titanium regulators isn't worth it in my opinion. I reccommend the Scubapro Mk20/G250 because it is a very high performance regulator which has shown itsself to be very reliable. If that isn't a good enough reason I dont know what is. Contrary to popular opinion not everyone in the world is out to screw their fellow person over for a buck. And just for those who care the Scubapro was designed by the same guys who designed the atomic regulators. The Ford vs. Porsche analogy is completely irrelevant as well. You see, there is a difference in performance between a Ford and a Porsche. Also a Ford truck or economy car is designed for a quite different purpose (well, as different as they can be and still be cars) than a porsche 911. In the case of Atomic Aquatics regulators. There is NO DIFFERENCE IN PERFORMANCE between the all titanium and the semi titanium models. I just try to give my customers the information they need to make an educated purchase. Well, I am rambling so I am going to wrap this up. Rebecca, you keep selling people what you think is good for them, and I will keep selling people what I think will be best for them. Neither of our opinions on the matter is more important than oneanothers. You aren't going to convince me to stop selling people jet fins becuase I think they are better than anything else made, and I wont try to stop you from selling people what ever you think works.
Take Care and Safe Diving,
Sean

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#180 - 03/24/01 05:38 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
decmike Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/03/01
Posts: 20
Loc: Schenectady, NY USA
SGHOWE,
Enough said! There should be more salespeople like you sout there - and, I have found, 90% of them ARE pretty fair, and honestly concerned that a diver IS getting good value AND buying good gear. A prime example of this is a situation that was occurring locally for yrs. A fellow in the 20's that was an avid cave diver had been constantly 'nagged' at by my dive shop to get his CAVE DIVING CERT and NOT rely on his OW Cert for cave diving. The guy laughed it off for years - just last week, one of his 'students' who had taken the OW course but was NOT certed in OW NOR cave diving - died when his Pony bottle ran dry while he was wedged in a passage. Point? There ARE dive shops out there who DO CARE and are NOT after YOUR money. ENOUGH SAID!

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#181 - 03/24/01 07:50 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
bpadivers Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/19/01
Posts: 88
Loc: Roswell, NM
My gosh,
All the hostility. Rent some stuff, try different things see what you like. Personally I got the SCUBAPRO twin jet fins, and love them. Be careful though, they are wide and u may hit them together. Ignore those who are know it alls and hostile. Everyone has different fits, and needs with gear. Comfort is most important.


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#182 - 03/27/01 01:01 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
decmike Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/03/01
Posts: 20
Loc: Schenectady, NY USA
All,
In defense of OneThreeSeven, you ALL need to go check out the GUE web site - thats 'GLOBAL UNDERWATER EXPLORERS' - everything that OneThreeSeven is stating you'll pretty much find on GUE's web site. GUE divers are on the cutting edge of not only cavern exploring, but wreck diving. They are BIG endorsers of the Halcyon twin tank backpack system, manifolds, BC wings and isolator valves. The most interesting thing about their system is their beliefs on primary regs and octo's. Go see how they put their primary on a 7' hose vs. the usual 36" hose, and where they attach THEIR OCTO's.

PS In OneThreeSeven's defense, again, you won't find a single GUE diver wearing a snorkel. Why? because these guys SCUBA DIVE, not SKIN DIVE. The GUE System is based on sound, safe and extremely SIMPLISTIC functional systems - which has nothing to do with styles, trends, etc. Go check it out for yourselves - OneThreeSeven isn't as stupid as you think! ANY divers that get into multi-stage decompression on REALLY DEEP dives, with staging tanks and such like these guys do, is not fool.


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#183 - 03/26/01 08:54 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Mac8 Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/20/01
Posts: 46
Ok and those are all very valid points for cave divers. However what started this thread is a young lady who had no training and no experience wanting some advice on getting started with basic recreational scuba diving. NOT cave diving. Gotta learn the basics before you begin looking at something as advanced as cave diving.

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#184 - 03/28/01 07:03 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
DeepDiveDan Offline
avid diver

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 5
Loc: Kansas City, MO
I agree with the other response. If you are not certified yet, wait on the big ticket items to make sure you will stay with to sport and determine how much of it you will do and to what extent. Depending on where you will do most of your diving, may determine what gear you buy; for example: deep water, cold water, how ofter you will dive.. You may e-mail me if you would like more info.
Dan
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


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#185 - 03/29/01 06:29 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
You canít just assume an open water diver is not going to snorkel. I love the Halcyon products, and the 7-foot hose is a great idea but lets try to stay on the point here. I have certified a lot of open water divers who have never snorkeled prior to the class. Snorkeling is a crucial part of my instruction, as divers will inevitably beach dive, encounter strong currents, or swim through rough swells. We are not talking about a cave diver or even an advanced diver we are talking about weather or not a beginner diver needs to buy a snorkel. I say DEFINATLY!

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#186 - 04/07/01 05:22 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Hi All,
Your response to the D.I.R. (Halcyon) system is the 'standard' argument that DIR receives all the time - "That system wouldn't apply to *me* - I don't do cave or wreck diving." The DIR system *is* also a great sport diving system - while DIR was founded by cave & wreck divers, the utter *simplicity* and safety features it affords is of value to all divers - it is something that *all* divers can use safely and learn from! Curious - go do a SEARCH using GLOBAL UNDERWATER EXPLORERS. Sport diving is great, but next time you go diving, take a look at 90% of the divers dragging their octo's in the silt, try and *find* them dangling all of the place, and notice just *how* many divers actually put their octo in the "Golden Triangle" - as PADI calls it. Also, there are 10 differant gadgets sold to hold your octo - 1/2 of them don't allow an OOA diver to get to your rig fast enough! I'd veture to bet that less than 10% of *all* BC's out there on the market currently allow one to actually place that octo in that triangle for an OOA emergency! No kidding - take a look next time you go diving.....most modern gear is designed to look very 'tactical' and cool - D-rings all over the place, etc. but few are really designed with where the hell you are going to attach the octo to! Most attach the octo down near your thigh - totally unacceptable for an OOA emergency! I don't know about *you* all, but if I ever experience an OOA emergency (or my dive Buddy does) I want that octo where he/I can get to is FAST and not have to *hunt* to find it! The DIR system it utter simplicity! One last thought - TRY and look down at your feet or waist when you have a typical BC jacket on! Bet you CAN'T see them! Curious - go look at GLOBAL UNDERWATER EXPLORERS web site! Its an education!

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#187 - 04/08/01 03:47 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
now that our GUE commerical has concluded
we now bring you back to our regular programming..

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#188 - 04/12/01 02:02 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Long live DIR & GUE - and I don't even dive Wrecks OR Caves!

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#189 - 04/12/01 02:06 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
This post is cracking me up! To think it started with which snorkel to buy

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#190 - 04/14/01 11:36 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Yeah,
Thats because there is a misconception about the usefulness of snorkels. In response to this:

OneThreeSeven is what I would call a "dinosaur diver"

Hardly - OneThreeSeven knows what he's talking about. OneThreeSeven is a classic spokesman for the DIR system of diving - and, by the way, DIR isn't ONLY for cave diving and wreck diving - ALL divers can benefit from the DIR no-nonsense approach! OneThreeSeven is the safest diver I've ever spoken to.



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#191 - 04/14/01 08:24 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Snorkels are DANGEROUS and lead to 'task loading' in OW - WHY submerge your face into the water (unless you are truly snorkeling) when you can simply inflate your BC or wings, and swim on your back all day long? You can talk with your Bud, look *ahead* instead of *underwater* and not risk inhalation of water! Why?

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#192 - 04/15/01 11:30 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
your just as a unsafe diver as OneThreeSeven. If you have to ask why have a snorkel, then you are a accident waiting to happen. People who look at a safety devices as task loading or unneeded so they can chat with there buddies on the surface is just plain stupid.

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#193 - 04/15/01 05:19 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
RSTONE,
I doubt that George Irvine would agree with you. Task Loading kills divers - period. Like OneThreeSeven says, "If a guys SAC rate is so bad that he needs a snorkel, he needs to get into the gym and get in shape." The key word here is SCUBA DIVING and not SKIN DIVING or SNORKELING! Name me one advantage that a snorkel offers vs not? Thats why a BC jacket doubles as a boyancy control device AND life jacket device - so divers can effortlessly swim while on the surface. Why would you want to swim towards your dive boat with your face submerged and not see where you are going when you don't need to? Even a current article in Rodale's SCUBA diving magazine recently reinforced what OneThreeSeven and I maintain. How many times have you accidently grabbed your snorkel instead of your inflator hose?

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#194 - 04/15/01 07:04 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
nobends Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/08/01
Posts: 76
Loc: NY,NY, USA
Snorkels... I hear these are used to breath while swimming around in calm clear waters. I've never had much use for one when I 40ft down on a wreck or a reef. When I first started diving, I bought into the PADI instruction that a snorkel was part of the 'Standard' gear. I discovered that it dragged underwater slowing me down and got in the way when ever I tried to turn my head. I ended up ditching the thing right away.

I'm just starting to learn about the DIR system and have to admit it seems to make a lot of sense to me. However, I made my decision on the usefulness of snorkels (none) while diving a long time ago. There is no occasion that a snorkel will be an effective replacement for a regulator on the surface. Let's all admit that a snorkel is used for SNORKELLING.

BTW - I just bought a new snorkel so that I could spend some time on the surface on my next dive trip. I have every intention of leaving my scuba gear behind when I snorkel, just as I'll leave my snorkel behind when I dive. How did this whole discussion get started anyway...

The bottom line is, everyone uses different equipment that raises their comfort level under and on top of the water. Whatever you do, evaluate the necessity of your gear, and dive with the minimum to keep your comfort level high!


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#195 - 04/15/01 07:39 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
quote:
Originally posted by scuba1066:
RSTONE,
Name me one advantage that a snorkel offers vs not? Thats why a BC jacket doubles as a boyancy control device AND life jacket device - so divers can effortlessly swim while on the surface. Why would you want to swim towards your dive boat with your face submerged and not see where you are going when you don't need to? How many times have you accidently grabbed your snorkel instead of your inflator hose?

name 1? .. your out of air, so a reg is not a option. the seas are rough and you waiting in line on a tow line behind 5-6 other divers waiting to get on the boat.. you still need to get your fins off so you can climb the ladder and your sucking in alot of water from the waves..

why would you swim with your face submerged?? hmm let me think.. your out of air, you have drifted a distance and you need to swim to the boat...

a BC as a life jacket?? OOOKKK first off a BC is NOT a approved life jacket.. life jackets are made to keep your face out of the water even in a face down position, and im sure the coast guard would disagree with you since they have stated this as well.

As for pulling your snorkel.. ya it happens, but then again is that a problem? its not letting out of my bc is it?? or putting me on a uncontrolled descent is it? if you dont want to pull your snorkel then secure your bc hose where you know you can grab it. Im not suggesting you have to wear one, but at least having a collapsable one in your BC should be part of your gear just as much as having a signalling device.


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#196 - 04/16/01 02:52 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
RSTONE,
Well, I'm just curious how a mere 6 inches, maybe, of snorkel about the top of your head is going to help *that* much with large waves? OK, *maybe I could see the merits then - but 99% of all my diving (and GUE divers) diving caves isn't taking place in the sea - its in lakes, springs and quarries.

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#197 - 04/16/01 08:37 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
OneThreeSeven Offline
avid diver

Registered: 02/07/01
Posts: 7
quote:
Originally posted by rstone:
name 1? .. your out of air, so a reg is not a option. the seas are rough and you waiting in line on a tow line behind 5-6 other divers waiting to get on the boat.. you still need to get your fins off so you can climb the ladder and your sucking in alot of water from the waves..

And what if a meteor crashes down, and causes a tidal wave? Or a school of sharks swim by and gets into a feeding frenzy?

You can contrive all the bogus example you want, but it doesn't change the fact that a snorkle is a hazard. Anyone who would describe it as a "safety device" hasn't put any thought into it beyond what their instructor told them. (Standard excuse #3).

In the situation you descriube, a snorkle is going to be about as useful as a bag of rocks. What realy happened is you didn't plan your dive, or execute the dive plan, and now you've realy screwed the pooch. You're dangerous and shouldn't be in the water in the first place until you get *that* fixed. Then we can talk about your snorkle.

quote:
why would you swim with your face submerged??

If you are on SCUBA, it's because you don't know any better, or, you're an idiot. Glad I could clear that up for you.

quote:

hmm let me think.. your out of air, you have drifted a distance and you need to swim to the boat...

Look! A comet!


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#198 - 04/16/01 09:15 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
First off.. if a snorkel is such a problem for you that its a hazard to you, if a piece of plastic impairs your ability to dive safely, if your that much of a idiot that some small piece of plastic that millions of other divers use daily with no problems what-so-ever then your a danger to your buddy and everyone else around you and shouldnt be diving. You can make all the excuses you want, but the fact still remains that a snorkel will and have saved divers from bad situtions intentionally or not. You can hide behind DIR and GUE and whoever else you want, but you cant even give 1 GOOD.. LOGICAL.. reason for not having one when your in the ocean. I could care less if you cave dive or whatever the hell agency would certify someone like you. Your a accident waiting to happen.

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#199 - 04/16/01 10:01 AM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
SGHOWE Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/04/01
Posts: 81
Loc: Ashton, Maryland, USA
First off I don't see how in the hell a snorkel is going to save anybody's life. If the water is rough what makes you think that you wont get water in your snorkel just as easily as you do in your mouth??? If it is so turbulent that you cant lay on your back or stay upright in the water without getting tons of water in your mouth even the fanciest of snorkels will be flooding and not help the situation whatsoever. Secondly anybody who is stupid or careless enough breath their tank so empty that they cant get a few minutes out of it on the surface has far greater problems than whether or not they have a snorkel. This kind of covoluted logic is ridiculous...in effect you are saying that a snorkel is a substitute for conciencious gas consuption and dive planning skills. If you can read goddamn numbers you can avoid running out of air!!! Using a snorkel for the reason that you might not have enough air on the surface to breath in the water is not addressing the problem. Snorkels have their place, and that is in snorkeling! I ditched mine far before I had ever heard of DIR, in fact it was before GUE was even a training agency and the phrase DIR was even coined. By the way I dive in the ocean and DIR works there just fine! It has been used and proven in virtually every underwater environment. There are DIR divers doing very sucessful dives in the Baltic sea, the north sea, the north atlantic ocean, and the great lakes as well as in caves and warmer ocean waters, so the argument that this diving style does not work in the ocean or in cold water is utter garbage. See onethreeseven, i work at a dive shop and im not out to sell people useless gear I tend to think this argument is going nowhere because you see rstone is a STROKE, and like many strokes tend to do he thinks he is right and wont listen to anybody.

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#200 - 04/16/01 04:06 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Toothpickman Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/08/01
Posts: 116
SGHOWE:
"in effect you are saying that a snorkel is a substitute for conciencious gas consuption and dive planning skills. If you can read goddamn numbers you can avoid running out of air!!! " I hate to tell you this sghowe but things can go wrong with diving that people can not plan. Having a snorkel is just a good safety precaution, it really isn't so hard to have one so why be so mush against it. Anyway this argument aside I really think this line of conversation is way too off the posted topic, if anyone wants to continue it I suggest making a new topic.

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#201 - 04/16/01 06:11 PM Re: new diver needs advice on equipment
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
Just so you all know I am sticking to my "dinasour diver" discription of OneThreeSeven. When I refered to him as that it wasn't just the snorkel I was talking about.
I am in instructor in CA I will not let my students into the water without a snorkel. If you try to do a surface swim laying on your back through a kelp bed instead of sticking your face down and snorkeling through it you can be sure every one of them will get tangled up! Even if I wasn't in CA or if I wasnt diving in an area with heavy kelp, students in an openwater class are not very comfortable with the equipment. A lot of times they tip over from the weight belt being crooked or they dont have enough air in their BC. Though I am very careful to watch for these problems, it is nice for them to beable to have a snorkel in their mouth in these cases. SURE! this is lack of training, but who are we talking about here? A BASIC OPENWATER STUDENT, they need to buy and use a snorkel!

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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

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#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.


Cheers,
Sandy


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

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

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


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

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.

Bruno


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#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.


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

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.

Cheers


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