Offer your advice to a poor newbie

Offer your advice to a poor newbie

Post by Andrew J. He » Mon, 08 May 1995 04:00:00


First, as a lurker on this group, I've been impressed by the comraderie
and generosity offered by people offering opinions in this group.  I'm  a
soon-to-be-certified diver and, aside from being totally hooked on this
sport, it's nice to be in a sport with a cool group of people.

Ok, now that you're feeling all warm and oozy (the opinions expressed
above *are* genuine BTW), I **really** need help/guidance/opinions on how to
spend large amounts of cash for my scuba stuff.  I want to avoid wasting
$$ on rentals, so I figure - buy sooner rather than later.  I'm looking
to spend as little as possible to get as much as possible (sound familiar?).

Here are my thoughts - what do you think of them?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BCD
Buy one that is cheap and that fits.  I don't see a huge difference in
them.  I am eyeing a "Blue Reef" for about $200.  Am I overlooking
any important features here?

Wetsuit
Buy one that is warm and that fits.  I'm going for a combo suit, 6.5 mm,
for the NEast.  I like the plush inside - nice touch.  Again, I don't see
a *big* reason to go for a brand name here. Neoprene is neoprene, right???
I'm looking at a Seaquest for $200.  A Blue Reef is $150, but not as
thick.  A Mares semi-dry is $240.  Is that worth the extra cash?

Gauges
Again, go cheap. Get a basic 3x console for $125.  They all work, right?
I'll get the Air-X for my birthday, someday.

Regulator
Ahh!  Is this where I should spend more?  I want a basic,
inexpensive, high-quality regulator that is a joy to use (stop
laughing).  Of course, they all work, but what are the features worth
paying for?

        - A balanced first stage?
        - Self-adjustable?  (I think not)
        - Ease of breathing (hard to figure out in the store)

I'm thinking of:

        - USDivers Aquarius or SEA2 (or 3, or 4?)
        - Oasis II
        - Omega II / Delta II
        -

Any insights will *really* help me, and my friend who is also looking.  
So, what do I specifically need to consider to make my - few - dollars
stretch the farthest?

Looking forward to diving with you ALL,
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     Andrew Hess                            American Language Institute,

     http:www/nyu/edu/pages/hess/andrew.html       City University of NY

 
 
 

Offer your advice to a poor newbie

Post by Al Testan » Tue, 09 May 1995 04:00:00


[........snip]

 I **really** need help/guidance/opinions on how to  

Quote:
>spend large amounts of cash for my scuba stuff.  I want to avoid wasting  
>$$ on rentals, so I figure - buy sooner rather than later.  

Good theory... I agree

Quote:
>BCD
>Buy one that is cheap and that fits.  I don't see a huge difference in  
>them.  I am eyeing a "Blue Reef" for about $200.  Am I overlooking  
>any important features here?

There are differences in BCs especially where they have the "bouyancy" positioned  
and how you will trim out underwater. I don't even know if they are still made but  
you do not want a BC with a bladder... go for bladderless.  

Quote:

>Wetsuit
>Buy one that is warm and that fits.  I'm going for a combo suit, 6.5 mm,  
>for the NEast.  I like the plush inside - nice touch.  Again, I don't see  
>a *big* reason to go for a brand name here. Neoprene is neoprene, right???

Not true!!  There are definitely differences.  I have had many wetsuits for diving  
and waterskiing and the more expensive brand names (in my case: Henderson) have WAY  
outlasted the cheaper ones.  Cheap wetsuits have poor zippers and seals (leak like a  
sieve) have nylon that unbonds from the neoprene, and stiches that come apart  
quickly. I would clearly go for a good wetsuit.  

Quote:
>Gauges
>Again, go cheap. Get a basic 3x console for $125.  They all work, right?
>I'll get the Air-X for my birthday, someday.

I think you may be sorry if you don't have a computer from the start. The Oceanic  
DataSport or equivalent unit (sold by US Divers, ScubaPro and others) is an  
excellent unit for about $200 on sale (someone on this newsgroup is selling a brand  
new one).    

Quote:

>Regulator
>Ahh!  Is this where I should spend more?  

Yes... and again there are definite differences.  I bought a Dacor XLE/Pacer when I  
first started and it was a very good regulator.  A couple of years ago I upgraded to  
a Dacor Extreme and the difference was unbelievable.  It was incredibly easier  
breathing and I got much more bottom time because of it.  I think a way to test  
(despite the difficulty of testing in a dive shop) is to look for one that is smooth  
in increasing air delivery as you request more air.  Some regulators seem to have a  
"step" or surge that when you get to a certain point there is a surge of air.  This  
makes it hard to breathe slow and deep. Test the regulator by breathing with a  
slowly increasing demand and see if it follows your demand or gets to a point and  
gives you a blast of air.  The slower you do the test the better, I think.    

Quote:

>    - USDivers Aquarius or SEA2 (or 3, or 4?)
>    - Oasis II
>    - Omega II / Delta II
>    -  

Don't know much about these but check out the Dacor Extreme

I also think you should look into buying your own tanks. Depends on where you live  
regards a dive location and how much you will dive but you'll quickly pay back the  
intital investment vs renting tanks.

Good Luck

Al Testani