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#312
New Gear
SinkOrSwim - 12/29/2010 4:56 PM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 22

Ok. So after an unimaginably long 5 month period since my certification, I am finally in the market to get some new gear! I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions on which BCD would be best. Any suggestions on other stuff would be appreciated as well. Eg. fins, mask, dive pc, regulators, etc...
#300
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popojeb - 12/29/2010 5:47 PM
scubapro for bcd, atomic aquatics for regulator, and suunto for dive computer..
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OLDSCHOOL - 12/29/2010 8:19 PM


This thread could easily end up in the record book for being the longest. Every scuba forum always has folks asking what gear they should buy. There is nothing wrong with asking. The problem is if your final selections are based on what others have recommended. You and only you can decide what works for you and what doesn’t. My suggestion is to find several LDS’s who have various brands. Try them all out. Does this take time. Sure. But once you have selected the gear that you are comfortable with, it will provide years of enjoyment and last for years if well taken care of.


P.S. Sherwood Avid BC, Scubapro reg, Oceanic Veo 250 computer, Cressi Big Eyes mask, Cressi Rondine A fins.....
#344
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FL-FROG - 12/29/2010 8:32 PM


Depending on what type of diving your going to do, the OMS or Oxycheq are great. I own a rear bladder OMS and a Oxycheq Recon for side mounts or regular rear mount. I use my OMS for all my diving at the moment, it is really versital. My setup includes double LP 95s with two Genesis regulators with DIN conversions, small Pelican lights and a Sartek cannister light, problem with this is that the steel LP 95s are heavy as hell, I also have a set of double 80s which are much lighter and make for a more enjoyable day. I would make a tank suggestion with HP 100 or single LP 95, as for diving wear I use wet and dry depending on my mood.
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meltonart - 12/29/2010 8:38 PM
Take your time and do your research.
Try it out in a pool and see which is best for you.
For example I have tried both and prefer a back inflate BCD over a jacket style.
 No matter what you go with you should purchase from a trusted source such as a dive shop that is going to service and stand behind the gear.
ebay is great for deals but not when it comes to something you are going to depend on for life support.

On a final note some of my favorites include...
ATOMIC split fins and regulators, Aqualung Balance BCD, and Henderson or BARE for wetsuits.
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RAWalker - 12/30/2010 2:15 AM


This subject is impossible for anyone other than yourself to answer completely. It is highly dependant on your intended diving profiles and your needs.


As for brands many of the well known brands have models that would fit your needs. May I suggest that you vote for a free market with your purchase.


Please avoid the manufacturers that require their dealers to sell for Manufacturers Authorized Retail Price (MARP) This is nothing less than legal price fixing that artificially maintains the high price of gear.


Instead seek out Brands that use MAP pricing Minimum Advertized Price. This allows the dealer to set the price they wish to sell for. It only requires them not to advertize a lower price. This allows you to stop in or call and negotiate the best deal you can. I can save you some serious coin when shopping for scuba gear. Don’t let anyone convince you the best brands don’t negotiate it’s just not true the top MAP brands offer models just as good as the MARP brands and in many case superior models are available at discount from authorized dealers.


Case in point Oceanic EOS and Sherwood SR-1 are 2 of the top rated environmentally sealed regulators available (So good that in blind test divers are high unlikely to be able to tell one from another or from regs costing twice the price)


 
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slippin2darknezz - 12/30/2010 5:38 AM
Dive gear can get expensive to say the least. What type of diving do you plan on doing? Do you see yourself going down the technical road? Will you dive once or twice a year? Will you dive locally or will you travel alot? There are alot of questions you have to ask yourself to decide which type of gear you will need. Once you decide what type of diving you will do, then you can get a little more focused on what type of gear to focus on. Will the gear you buy be of a modular type configuration where you can add to it or get it modified if necessary. Once you pick your path and find an instructor you will be training with, utilize your instructor for guidance and gear configuration. Thats the route I took and purchased gear I could grow with. Saved me tons of money by not going into the hit and miss arena.
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LatitudeAdjustment - 12/30/2010 8:35 AM
From OLDSCHOOL:

This thread could easily end up in the record book for being the longest. Every scuba forum always has folks asking what gear they should buy. There is nothing wrong with asking. The problem is if your final selections are based on what others have recommended. You and only you can decide what works for you and what doesn’t. My suggestion is to find several LDS’s who have various brands. Try them all out. Does this take time. Sure. But once you have selected the gear that you are comfortable with, it will provide years of enjoyment and last for years if well taken care of.

P.S. Sherwood Avid BC, Scubapro reg, Oceanic Veo 250 computer, Cressi Big Eyes mask, Cressi Rondine A fins.....



Ditto, 10 divers will give you 11 different answers!

What is most important is that what you buy can be serviced locally!

One good piece of advise that has popped up in this thread is Oceanic makes good breathing inexpensive regs and they are also the manufacture of most of the dive computers out there that have been private labeled.
#312
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SinkOrSwim - 12/30/2010 11:02 AM
Coming into this i knew it was really gonna be a matter of opinion, more or less a ford or chevy man kinda thing! but at lest now i am have some general ideas! I really appreciate the info yall provided about the regulators and such. My main concern was paying way to much for a piece of equipment when, a cheaper one was out there that matched or exceeded the performance. And btw Ford lol!
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diverray - 12/30/2010 1:06 PM
It is helpful if people would explain why they prefer one brand/style over another, as some of the above posters have. That way you could consider that in your contemplations about the various styles and brands.
#312
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SinkOrSwim - 12/30/2010 1:12 PM
From diverray: It is helpful if people would explain why they prefer one brand/style over another, as some of the above posters have. That way you could consider that in your contemplations about the various styles and brands.

Thats what i was just thinking lol.... If you could please explain why you prefer on over the other, be it price, comfort, style or performance. I am just staring out, so i do not need the pro gear, although maybe in the years to come i will have a chance to expand my horizons from just an OW diver!
#28662
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RAWalker - 12/30/2010 2:12 PM


I prefer Oceanic Delta 4 regulators as a best bang for the buck.


They are among the lowest breathing resistance regs on the market.


It shares the same 1st stage with the Oceanic EOS which is Oceanic’s present top of the line. (It was the top of the line until the EOS was introduced) It has adjustable force of breathing and a surface anti free flow switch. It’s a light weight 2nd stage.


Oceanic is second to none for customer service.


Oceanic’s maketing agreement with it’s dealers is MAP which allows dealers to discount the price.


The above 2 reasons are why I also prefer Oceanic’s wrist dive computers.


Also under computers add in the fact that Oceanic’s models are programable for conservative if needed and not overly conservative all the time like Suunto models.


I use AI wireless computers. I own a Oceanic VT Pro, VT3 and (2) Atom 2.0 between myself and my wife. Oceanic wireless computers preprogram a code in for communications between the computer and tank transmitter this is a far safer design than the Suunto which scans for transmitters when activated. The Suunto could pick up another divers nearby transmitter instead of yours. If you should lose sync I find the Oceanics to be far more reliable to reestablish. In fact I’ve never had to thumb a dive due to sync issues.


As for BCD I perfer back inflator style for better horizontal positioning during a dive. I have a Sherwood Tortuga which I am very happy with and still use when dealing with students. When not dealing with students I use a Backplate & Wing again for good positioning in the water but the BP&W is high configurable and customizable it allows for more advanced and specialized diving as I/you progress as a diver.


Just be advised that the ability to customize a BP&W is a double edged sword. It take some skill and knowledge to trim and adjust it properly and may require a mentor or instructor with that knowledge to help you select, configure and make adjustment to get you properly trimmed out. At least until you develope a knowledge a feel for it yourself.


I don’t recommend this style to new divers but to those who are completely comfortable in the water and have dialed in their bouyancy control. That dialed in control, comfort and trim knowledge will allow you to fine tune this style to give you that perfect weightless flowing through the water feel. A Peak Performance Bouyancy class can help with getting you there.
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OLDSCHOOL - 12/31/2010 2:51 PM


Ok. Scubapro reg - Mk25 1st stage / S555 2nd stage. Got a hell of a deal on it when I purchased it new a few years ago. Parts are available anywhere. Built like an Abrams tank. Sherwood Avid BC - well constructed with two tank bands, 6 stainless D-rings. Packs well for travel. The outside snorkel pocket makes a great place to store a smb. Oceanic VEO 250 Computer - wristmount, air and nitrox. Easy to use with a large display. Oceanic, IMO, has one of the best if not the best customer service. Cressi mask and fins - I’ve used Cressi masks and fins since the late seventies. The Big Eyes mask provides excellent downward vision which is handy when retrieving something from a bc pocket, etc. The rondine A fins are solid blades, not split. Plenty of propulsion, especially against currents. The only down side is they are 25" in length, which makes them hard to pack for carryon.


 


From SinkOrSwim:
From diverray: It is helpful if people would explain why they prefer one brand/style over another, as some of the above posters have. That way you could consider that in your contemplations about the various styles and brands.

Thats what i was just thinking lol.... If you could please explain why you prefer on over the other, be it price, comfort, style or performance. I am just staring out, so i do not need the pro gear, although maybe in the years to come i will have a chance to expand my horizons from just an OW diver!

#5919
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SCUBASMITTY - 12/31/2010 7:12 PM
oooohhhh man what a loaded question !you are gonna be inundated with preference’s, personal and expensive, variety is the spice of life and an adventure in the dive equipment world ! use them all and pick what work’s for you !!my condolence’s and -good luck !
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Scubakitty - 1/02/2011 9:07 AM
I agree with others. It’s a matter of preference. Most important - Do your research!!! I started out with all Oceanic & regreted it, but that is just me. As you can see other’s love their equipment and they do have fantastic customer service. I am now Scubapro back inflate BCD, fins and computer (big for seeing numbers & ease of use). Aqualung Regulator - its a no fail device! Takes a licking & keeps on ticking. Henderson wetsuits, although there are some other very good ones out there. Tusa Mask’s for narrow faces. As other’s have mentioned, buy from an authorized dealer for service! And get your equipment serviced once a year. This equipment is your life support!!!!
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RAWalker - 1/02/2011 2:47 PM


"#1 This is life support equipment. Don’t necessarily think "cheap". Think quality and long term use/service ease.


#2 Go and patronize a LDS (Local Dive Shop). If you can visit more than one do so. Tell them what you are wanting and let them work with you. If they are professional and not just out to sell equipment, then you will have the best experience..."
"As other’s have mentioned, buy from an authorized dealer for service! And get your equipment serviced once a year. This equipment is your life support!!!!"
Well I have to disagree a bit here...
Virtually all well known brand names product are perfectly safe products as long as you select models appropriate for the diving profiles you intend to dive. For Instance an Environmentally sealed first stage on a regulator for diving cold water or a BCD with enough lift capacity for the bouyancy of the tank and lead the diver may need to carry. Life support or not this is scuba gear. Any manufacturer that was to intentionally release a substandard product could be held liable for it regardless of waivers signed.
As for purchasing from LDS to get support, this is hogwash. If you purchase from a authorized dealer and adhere to the qualifications of the warranty you should be able to get warranty service from any other authorized dealer/service agent. If a LDS that is a authorized dealer/service agent refuses to service a warranty issue, get on the phone with the manufacturers customer service rep and have that LDS stripped of it’s authorization. I’m willing to bet you get a call from the LDS with a change in their response.
I’m a firm believer in giving the LDS a chance to compete. In most cases they can and will. Unfortunately some shops still think they don’t need to. They are using an outdated business model for an industry that didn’t have online competition. My advise is walk away from these shops. Many have closed and more will continue to. Some will get the message and change their ways.
As for purchasing online...
Of the largest online dealers Scubatoys, Scuba.com and Leisurepro all have real brick & mortar stores. Scuba.com is an authorized dealer for everything they sell. Leisurepro and ScubaToys either are authorized dealers or offer their own warranty equal to the manufacturers. Many of the other online retailers offer similar policies so a little rese
#993
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Dusty - 1/02/2011 6:27 PM
Force Fins is my choice
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slippin2darknezz - 1/02/2011 6:49 PM
After a long dive..I usually go for a cinnamon rasin bagel with lox spread and cherry gatorade..freaks the taste buds out something fierce..but does the job. I brown bag it of course..can’t get dive charters to stock it.
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Pixel - 1/03/2011 7:45 AM
When deciding what gear to buy when I had money to do so, I found that thinking long term is obvious and as others have mentioned, affordable when it comes to parts and servicing.

Also your equipment should suit you as an individual (ie: what do you want from your equipment while diving) as well as how far you would like to go in your diving. It’s also important to take your body into consideration. What is comfortable for your shape and what works best for your habits. (I for example have gear that comes on quickly and is easily adjustable once under water, from BC to fins)

EG: I went for the Mares She Dives proton reg because it’s light weight and easy to throw up through. (I get sea sick). And because a jax mouth piece is standard, jaw fatigue is non-existent. And it’s great for deep diving. (http://www.mares.com/products/regulators/regulators/proton-42-metal-she-dives/266/?region=as)

I also chose the Aqua Lung Peal I3 (air trim) Bcd as I don’t like the hose hanging my front and that I like the control of being able to deflate in any position. It has the right weight distribution to suit my needs.(Integrated as well as tank weight pockets, and loads of nifty pockets for those little treasures) And the comfort across the chest is great. Especially if you have a chest. ;) (http://www.aqualung.com/uk/content/view/215)

As for soft gear. One can never go wrong with a face fitting mask. (Mares liquid skin is great) Their Volo Power finds are also great especially if you like maximum speed with minimum kick.

I hope you find the equipment that suits you and I hope you and your kit will spend many happy years together.
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somelikeitwet - 1/04/2011 11:13 PM
I am a Mares regulator fan. Their regulators are very simple, no knobs or extra stuff and they ALL breathe fantastically. I personally use the MR22 Ruby Abyss, unfortunately they don’t sell these anymore. I am going to buy a new second stage and keep using my dependable first stage.


I also use a Mares Rover BCD. It is durable and non-weight integrated.
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oceanfloor - 1/14/2011 6:04 AM
When considering safety.. Staying alive... Invest the most in what you consider to me the most important part first. I invested the most in my computer then regs then BC.. Then fins... If I had to do it over.. Although now I would go with regs first. To quote my instructor, " as long as you can breath .... Everything else is just a nuisance" ....:))