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Should I buy a used Computer? What about BC and Reg?
Venture11 - 7/24/2019 1:54 PM
Category: New Diver Q&A
Replies: 8

Hi I am a new diver and like the idea of having my own stuff but am cost sensitive. I wanted to get the groups opinion on buying a used dive computer. Do they change drastically year over year? Will I be missing out on anything if I get a late model dive computer (like 2 years old)? Same question on BC and Reg...
JoeWR - 7/24/2019 2:44 PM
In general, I don’t like the idea of buying used dive gear. You never know how well the previous owner cared for it. That said, a dive computer for a new diver really only has to do the basics that every computer does: show depth, time, no decompression limit, and surface interval. Warnings about too fast ascents are also helpful. All of them record your dive data. You can find basic models from most manufacturers that will do that and more for about $150-$300 new. A used dive computer in good working order might be an option, but make sure you get the manual. See if the previous owner will wipe the memory.

I’d never take a chance on a used regulator. A lightly used BCD at a good price might be OK, but take a look at it first. See if there’s wear and tear, make sure the inflate/deflate hose is in good shape, verify it has the weight pockets and they fit securely, etc.

Whenever you’re buying gear, think about the kind of diving you want to do and how often you think you’ll do it. For example, are you going to be a warm-water diver on vacations once or twice a year? Then just buy a mask, fins, 3mm wetsuit, and a computer. You can rent the rest at your destination (reputable shops that abide by agency standards keep the gear in good order). If you plan to dive frequently in the north, then buy your gear gradually. The investment will be worth it in the long run.

One other thing to keep in mind is that you will need to get your gear periodically serviced or repaired. Make sure a dive shop close to you deals in the brand you choose and can service it. You don’t necessarily have to buy from them (thought that’s nice), but they generally can’t help you if they’re not a dealer or an approved technician because they may not have access to the parts or specs.

And hey, if you want to do more diving and need a buddy, feel free to contact me!

Hope this helps,
Joe G.
seanw - 7/26/2019 9:21 PM
I have no problem buying used gear. I bought my mask, fins, wetsuit, and dive computer new (the first three because I wanted them sized properly and not peed in), and my BC and reg used (oh, and a used drysuit and weights). At the low end of the gear models, features stay pretty much the same. e.g. the difference between my BC and the current model is zippers and a set of trim pockets I added aftermarket anyway, and the difference between my watch and the model before is an extra button. The sky’s the limit with regulators, but the basic models haven’t changed significantly in forever.

New scuba gear depreciates like crazy and there’s a lot of stuff out there on the used market. A lot of deals to be had especially with people that took up diving for a year and the stuff sat in their closet. I’ll suggest focusing on stuff that’s only a few years old and ask about the service history (was it serviced? Do you see corrosion or obviously bad hoses?). If you buy a regulator then get it serviced prior to being used — they replace all the wearable parts, clean and inspect the insides, and test it.

All that said, if you’re new to diving, consider renting to start like Joe mentioned above. The reason for this is that you’ll figure out what you like and don’t like, which’ll help you buy the right thing the first time (new or used). If you buy right off the bat, you might find out things you don’t like, or the types of diving you find you like may call for different gear than you first thought. While I’m still happy I bought my BC and reg used right after I got certified, I’ve already replaced the BC (and initially bought it used, it got lost in shipping, ended up finding a great deal on a new one) and have started to get a feel for the used market on the regs I want to get next. I also have a son that can use any gear that I have two of, so doubling up is less of a problem for me.

Alec Pearce Tech Tips on YouTube has some great videos on features for the various pieces of gear which may help you with the things you want, and what are fancy bells and whistles.
WaterBoy700 - 7/30/2019 5:47 PM
You will be happy with used gear, just be careful what you buy. IT IS SO NICE TO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT TAKING SOME RENTAL GEAR BACK TO THE DIVE SHOP. !
MDW - 8/11/2019 1:42 PM
I wholeheartedly endorse the buying of used gear. I have found most of what I have bought, mostly from eBay, yard sales, and the used room at several local dive stores is normally lightly used by divers who have either upgraded or given up on diving. Rarely will you find used items that are heavily used, because the owners want to keep on using it forever. When you do come across a piece of used kit that is worn out, it will usually be apparent, so you just don’t buy that.
In 18 years of diving, I have bought at least 20 used regulators, 6 or 7 harnesses and/or plates, 10 BC wings (spanning back and side mount), and 20 used tanks. I still have 90% of this gear, and use most of it at least occasionally. I have calculated that all this has only cost me about the same as 2 or 3 full sets of new gear and 4 new tanks.
Do be careful, though, in selecting the gear you want to use. Buying something the previous owner used once or twice is great unless he’s selling it because it’s not the right thing for the type of diving he wanted to do and will be the same for you. Whether you buy new or used, consider carefully, first if it’s the right style/model/size, etc. for what you need it to do. Otherwise, you may be the next person selling some barely used equipment for half what you paid for it.
ArtCurry - 9/10/2019 8:24 PM
I’ve bought lots of used gear. Give it a good look over. Take an experienced diver friend with you. If it’s something that has suggested yearly maintenance, get it done by your LDS before using unless they have records of it being serviced recently. Even then, it’s safer to just get it serviced.
Andrew_Mason - 9/15/2019 7:01 AM
I’m also a new diver. I went through and; was able to fully outfit for about $1600. I didn’t buy top of the line gear but what I have is adequate to get me started and help me gain valuable diving experience. Here’s what I purchased:

Henderson Thermoprene 8/7mm semi dry suit with integrated hood - $300
Mares Puck Pro computer - $160
Sea Elite BCD with integrated weight pouches + Sea Elite primary, reg, octo and gauge console with depth pressure and compass - $650
Henderson 5mm gloves - $24
2x 80 Alum. Tanks - $320
Knife and other accesories - approx. $200

As stated: not all top of the line gear but good enough to get me going so I can start building my dive log.
fisharefriends - 3/18/2020 12:55 PM
Buying used is a good decision for a new diver. Find a dive shop you can trust (that you may have done some dives with) and make it look like you’re interested in buying all of your stuff in one spot if you can get the right prices. Look for shops that have been under the same ownership for at least 15 or 20 years—in my experience they are a little less concerned about squeezing out every possible penny than they are about making a good impression and bringing back customers.

For a regulator, look at their line of rental gear. Sure it gets used plenty, but it gets serviced just as well. A good shop keeps their rental regs in good running order, and many will replace them on a yearly basis, selling them at the end. If you can catch them 6-12 months after they’ve been on the rental line, you get lucky making an offer. I got an Aqualung Calypso octopus with a backup reg, gauges, and a bcd hose for 300. I didn’t have to get it serviced for several months.

I purchased an old Zeagle horseshoe-style bladder BCD with noticeable wear for $100, and got it serviced for $40. Works like a dream.

As for a computer, I don’t know. I bought a new one though. Zoop novo
ELLOCODIABLO - 8/04/2020 3:13 PM
Diving for 18 years now and the only new gear I ever bought was a wetsuit.