There is so much equipment for this sport, and there are so many variations and manufacturers that deciding on what to purchase can be daunting. Then, when you`ve found a product that you like, where to get the best price/service. I have tried several sites to get "objective" commentary and reviews with no real satifiaction. At this point, I have pieced together a lot of what I need to dive various conditions, but when I think about the next thing I want to add, I get overwhelmed considering the challange of the research ahead.
Part of the problem is the American culture of planned obsolecence - products are not manufactured as well so they break down quicker, so we have to buy another one. The other problem is the Amerian culture of marketing, and `needing` the newest, fanciest thing. Is this year`s model THAT much better than last year`s or 2 years ago?? According to the manufacturers, it is - that`s marketing to get you to replace a perfectly good product, because the enw version has a slight enhancement. I am sick of it, and want an alternative.
First, there should be a forum for equipment. Sure there are some forums, and many topics are on equipment, but I am talking about a dedicated scuba equipment forum, with lots of products listed, where real divers with no agenda can go on and post opinions. Where divers can say.. Whats the diff betw this reg and that one? Some centralized source that can bring in whatever professional product reviews are avail, then get real diver reviews on top of that. Maybe where and unbiased professional can comment on the right type of equipment for the right need. While I had access to that with some instructors in the past, I don`t have any classes now, and the only professionals are the shop owners pushing what they sell and have the biggest markup on!!
Give me your feedback - am I way off base or would there be a demand for something better? Thanks, AP.