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#123376 - 02/11/08 03:55 AM Scuba gear?
gulliamo Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 155
Loc: NYC, USA
Anyone here know about SCUBA gear? Best places (online) to shop? Best brands? Worst brands? Must haves? Avoids? Any info is helpful.

Thank you in advance!

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#123387 - 02/11/08 06:58 AM Re: Scuba gear? [Re: ]
Stokie Offline
Member

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 175
Loc: Paris, France
Depends what kind of diving you're into, cold and deep or warm and shallow.

What certification and experience you have.

I've dived under 2m thick ice at 20m in Norway, with great visibility, to 0m visibility and 105m depth in the North Sea, to boiling hot (22C for me anyway) in the Indian Ocean and crystal clear water. The set-up for each was pretty different. You adapt your gear to suit your needs.

The regs I needed for Ice diving had to be pretty robust as to not freeze. The regs I had for deep diving suited the mix of gas and tanks I'd be using to make my descent and ascent. At that depth it takes hours to come safely back to the surface, you're in the water along long time and need to be equipped for it.

For mask, fins, snorkels, wet suits and dry suits go with ebay. For regs and stab jackets go new buy from a shop you know. You can't always be sure how well the regs or jackets have been maintained when you buy from ebay, unless they're new from ebay, but then again are you sure the jacket will fit well?

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#123393 - 02/11/08 11:42 AM Re: Scuba gear? [Re: Stokie]
Kris Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 623
Loc: A Canadian in the UK
Like Stokie said, it all depends what kind of diving your into.

I've only dived in the Carib, and water below 26C for me warrents a full 4mm+ wet suit for 100 foot dive. In the summer, the water is around 27C at 100 foot and you can get by with a carib shorty wet suit (one piece with the arms and legs cut off).

Personally, I'd go to a dive shop for your first outing. You need to try on the bcd's and find one that fits properly with the bells and whistles that you want. Regs are a personal choice (i've been through 4 sets just on this island alone).
Like everything, there is a tonne of choices mixed between 'crap' to 'excellent'.

If your going for more wreck diving (only if you have the cert), then you have to buy equipment to match it...

Side note: its best to at least get your cert up to 'rescue diver' if your going thru padi. Most people don't feel confident until that cert, and its nice to know what to do if your buddy is in trouble at 100'.

Kris

_________________________
"One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything"
William of Ockham (1285-1349)

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#123395 - 02/11/08 12:10 PM Re: Scuba gear? [Re: Kris]
Stokie Offline
Member

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 175
Loc: Paris, France
Kris,

Has put it right, via PADI you can consider yourself well trained and autonomous when you've reached Rescue Diver level.

I'm PADI Trained to Divemaster Level, I'm also CMAS 5 star dive director, I've got NAUI and BSAC certs as well. I consider I'm still learning, I just love it so much.

Kris, all that ocean I'm jealous, I've got the Atlantic and the Channel. When in the UK, I'd the Irish sea and the North Sea, very different waters from you. At least the waters are constant round the UK, 10C, winter and summer. I have a dry suit, which requires training to use otherwise I'd be wearing 15mm wetsuit or such. Not comfortable at all.

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#123398 - 02/11/08 01:23 PM Re: Scuba gear? [Re: Stokie]
Kris Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 623
Loc: A Canadian in the UK
Stokie,

I'm from East Coast Canada, and its damn cold (temps close to that 10-15C in the Bay of Fundy with zero degrees visablity during the summer).

The alantic is a different story... as soon as you get down 10 foot, it goes down to 10C like you mentioned. Not for me. You get spoiled being down here and taking off doing a dive at lunch if you like.

Heck, for about 2 years strait, I was averaging 8-10 dives a week (usually 1/2 that were night dives - its when all the cool stuff comes out) and always had 4 tanks of nitrox in my car at all times.

I was thinking of going up to dive master then going for tech certs to get into deep water. But then I got married.

I can't even begin to tell you how many dives I have. Filled up two dive logs, my dive computer got downloaded so many times, etc. The carib way is just going and doing, no need for profiles and such. Even though its in bad practice.

If your in the area, give me a shout.

Kris
_________________________
"One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything"
William of Ockham (1285-1349)

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#123401 - 02/11/08 02:03 PM Re: Scuba gear? [Re: Kris]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2027
Loc: NE Wisconsin
I snorkel in the 4 foot deep pool in my back yard, and let me tell you, you really need to know what you're doing or it can result in disaster. Its a miraculous world teaming with beauty (my daughter), danger (my son), and wildlife (diving beetles). Invest in good gear and take care of it.

OK, so I got certified back in my younger days, but family life and other priorities haven't allowed me to go diving in many years.

My advice would be to find SCUBA clubs in your area - often associated with SCUBA gear stores - and seek their advice. NYC has to have lots of them. I would think that the small stores are going to cost more than on-line, but they can also offer some good advice.

Also check out http://www.scuba-forum.com and http://www.scubaboard.com

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#123408 - 02/11/08 03:07 PM Re: Scuba gear? [Re: Kris]
Stokie Offline
Member

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 175
Loc: Paris, France
Kris,

I here you brother, same here got married then had kids. It's put a bit of a stopper on the diving in the last few years.

I can't wait till the kids are old enough to go diving, I might just give you a call.

As far as gear goes, I'd heard that there's a new "rebreather" type back that's come out which they're hoping will also be available in kids sizes.

I feel rebreathers are the way to go, especially in your location, loads on bottom time, smaller, lighter rigs. At the moment too expensive, yet the prices have dropped since I played with them 5 years ago. Back then they were a bit tricky, today I've heard some pretty cool stuff. So who knows in a few years time.

When our friend here gets his certs and experience he maybe giving us tips.


Edited by Stokie (02/11/08 03:14 PM)

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#123410 - 02/11/08 03:30 PM Re: Scuba gear? [Re: gulliamo]
Stokie Offline
Member

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 175
Loc: Paris, France
Gulliamo,

Maybe I should have started with this first, read up on a few dive magazines. In europe there are about 3 or 4 really good ones. Over in the US I know there's a lot more than that.

Magazine's give you a lot of info, sites for gear, training, dive locations.

Have you dived before or are you just interested in starting?

Many places have dive clubs, or go to your local swimming pool as that's where most clubs practise, unless they're lucky enough to have a fair size lake nearby.

Every club in the world will be only too happy to give you a trial dive. 20 minutes or so with an instructor in the safety of a pool. I knew a few lads that have done this for friends for free, so go talk to some of them.

If you've not done this first step, I warmly invite you to try. It's the time when you find out you whether you either like it or love it. Only a very small minority of people don't like it because they can't get over the breathing underwater experience either it's fear or a phobia I'm no expert in that area.

Let's us know a bit more.

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#123415 - 02/11/08 04:19 PM Re: Scuba gear? [Re: Stokie]
Kris Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 623
Loc: A Canadian in the UK
Also to add... Almost every resort that has access to the ocean anywhere in semi warm to tropical climates will offer some sort of 'resort course'. Basically, its a couple hours padi based training, and when completed, you can do a shallow dive (60' or less) with an instructor.

If your a newbie and haven't tried diving before, this is an excellent way to get into diving and see if you'll like it or not.
_________________________
"One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything"
William of Ockham (1285-1349)

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#123421 - 02/11/08 05:03 PM Re: Scuba gear? [Re: ]
Kris Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 623
Loc: A Canadian in the UK
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
Damn you all and your use of Celsius! *Pulls hair out*


Sorry man. Blame it on my Canadian up bringing. When I lived in the states for a few years, I had to convert the temp to C just to understand the weather forecast.
_________________________
"One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything"
William of Ockham (1285-1349)

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