Confused on what gear to buy

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Antagonist, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Antagonist

    Antagonist Single Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sunabe, Chatan, Okinawa, Japan, Japan
    152
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    I am new to diving and I am unsure about what brand or gear to purchase. I am living in Okinawa, Japan and it is mostly warm here. I want to purchase a new BCD and Regs. I recently purchased a TUSA IQ700 computer. I have been reading the reviews on a lot of brands and their products. I want to buy a reg that can use Nitrox also, because we have free courses on my base here. I have been looking at Mares and Cressi. I need help.
     
  2. knowone

    knowone  

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  3. h90

    h90 Manta Ray

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    I have a Mares Abyss and I am happy with it. It works well and it does not has much that can break. Mares Service here in Thailand is terrible but maybe better in Japan. I think these days all brand name regulator can use Nitrox and all are good. So I think there won't be much difference in warm water.
     
  4. Antagonist

    Antagonist Single Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sunabe, Chatan, Okinawa, Japan, Japan
    152
    4
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    Do you have any suggestions on some gear that is good for a beginner to purchase?
     
  5. Antagonist

    Antagonist Single Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sunabe, Chatan, Okinawa, Japan, Japan
    152
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    Is it better t purchase a package deal or buy things piece by piece?
     
  6. vladimir

    vladimir Giant Squid

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location:
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    Take a look at the package and then look at what the components cost separately at LeisurePro or ScubaToys. I don't think anybody needs "beginner gear." Look for quality gear with a minimum of bells and whistles, don't buy an expensive computer, and don't buy a cheap regulator and you should be okay. Any regulator you buy will be suitable for recreational (<40%) nitrox.

    There should be a lot of similar threads on this subject:

    http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/ne...-diver-looking-gear-packages.html#post5276264
     
  7. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
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    If I were you I'd certainly be looking at Scubapro equipment as one possible option. They have an excellent reputation, especially with their regs, and I would think you could get service pretty much worldwide.
     
  8. CamG

    CamG Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Geneva Indiana
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    Greetings Antagonist and I would be very deliberate and patient in my purchase.
    I personally would find a local dive shop that had stellar service and great reputation.
    Then I would inquire about rentals and try to dive the different rigs available till I found one I really liked and fit the diving I wished to do.
    I would consider where you will obtain service for your gear very carefully for it might be easier for some brands than others.
    I have an mix of gear and researched it all well so it is hard for me to give brand advice but it is hard to out service the large producers.
    The exception to the rule is HOG gear I have been watching them and they seen to be doing quite well.
    Just some thoughts on those.

    Good luck and whatever you settle upon be sure to dive every chance you get!

    CamG keep diving....Keep training....Keep learning!
     
    Tracy Saunders and Insta-Gator like this.
  9. dburg30

    dburg30 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Central Ohio
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    Visit local dive shops and find what they sell and service. Check pricing. Talk to the folks and see if you mesh with them. We have 3 or 4 dive shops even here in landlocked Central Ohio. 1 of the places I just dont like. It just seems to uppity to me. The 2nd is an ok place, and will consider purchases from them in the future on some stuff, but their pricing isnt the best. It's not horrible by any stretch, but again, just dont click with them. The last 2 one has been around for a number of years and one is the dive shop at one of the quarries. Both of them I just feel more comfortable with. The one is the dive shop I got certified by and bought the majority of my gear from. The quarry shop has also taken some of my cash. Both of them are aggressive on pricing and are very fair on pricing. Many times beating online prices. Sure they tend to work with you more if you are buying more from them, but even if I didnt the pricing was very good.

    I've bought a total of 2 things via the internet diving related. One was a cable for a dive computer, and one was a mold for weights. Other then that, every piece of equipment I have came from those 2 places.

    edit: RE: renting. That's a good idea, but try to narrow your choices down fairly quickly. Many people suggest renting and that's a great idea, but if you are going to continue to dive outside of vacations, then renting will get expensive fast IMO. You can easily run up rental fees that would get you to 1/2 of new equipment. Sure you want to make sure you buy the best fit for your diving so you dont waste money the other way also.
     
  10. Antagonist

    Antagonist Single Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sunabe, Chatan, Okinawa, Japan, Japan
    152
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    I have been going around looking at a few other dive shops, but never really considered where I can obtain the best service. We have a dive shop here on base and they mostly sale scubapro gear. When it comes to selecting a BC I should select it based mostly on comfort. Does anyone know anything about Scubapro Knighthawk? My girlfriend and I plan on diving a lot so we are thinking it we rent gear we will eventually buy new gear even at $23 dollars a day for everything.
     
  11. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
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    I have two Scubapro BC's. One is the Classic Plus and the other is the Knighthawk. I have been diving the Knighthawk the past two trips and love it. It's very well made and it has gotten great reviews over the years. It would be an excellent choice I think. Of course the Classic is a "jacket style" bc and I like that just as much....maybe even more. Maybe the shop will let you try them out a few times.
     
  12. vladimir

    vladimir Giant Squid

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location:
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    I have owned both of these BCs as well and I agree with this assessment. Right now you can get a Scubapro Classic for $125 less at LeisurePro ($325 vs $450), which is a good deal, I think. (Although they have offered it as low as $275.)
     
  13. Antagonist

    Antagonist Single Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sunabe, Chatan, Okinawa, Japan, Japan
    152
    4
    0
    There are so many regulators with a wide range of price differences. How will I choose what regulator to purchase? I think I will go with a scubapro regulator now that I have done research and service will be easy for me to get done. On the Marine Corps base I am at they only sale scubapro regs.
     
  14. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    3,847
    1,174
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    Scubapro makes a wide range of regs. Some high end and very expensive down to more basic models. Years ago I had a G250 and it was a great reg. Used it for years and then just decided one day to buy something more expensive but to tell you the truth, I don't know that the more expensive reg was any better. Well they stopped making the G250 for a few years but have brought it back because it was such a good reg for them. I would certainly look at the MK25/G250 set-up as one possibility.

    And to correct something from an earlier post I made. I don't have the Knighthawk. I have the Seahawk. It's much the same as the Knighthawk but better I think. Better pockets for sure. I was going to buy the Knighthawk but my shop guy told me to wait on the Seahawk and I did. Either would be fine but I'm glad I have the Seahawk. Here is a link to it:

    SEAHAWK - SCUBAPRO-UWATEC

    For what it's worth, it was a 2010 "Tester's Choice" model from ScubaLab.
     
  15. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
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    The bottom line is that virtually any regulator you buy is going to work -- no company can afford the liability of selling unreliable equipment. ScubaPro equipment tends to be expensive, but on the other hand, the company supports the gear it makes for a long time, if not forever, so if you keep your regulators, it's unlikely you'll ever find yourself unable to get them serviced. The company also has good worldwide penetration, so again, anywhere you end up living, you can probably get your regulators repaired.

    In general, the "newest" and "fanciest" stuff is the most expensive, and most of the bells and whistles that make it so (titanium regulators, multiple user adjustments) aren't very useful.

    There ARE some characteristics of regulators that make them preferable for given applications. Environmentally sealed and diaphragm regulators are preferred for very cold water use (although my MK25/S600 piston regs have served me quite well down to 41 degrees). Regulators which take standard hoses are more convenient (but, to my knowledge, the only ones nowadays that don't are Poseidons).

    In short, buying a middle-of-the-road regulator from a widely distributed company is probably a very good strategy.

    As far as BCs go, the very biggest thing is fit. A BC doesn't just have to be comfortable -- it has to hold the tank solidly and stably in the middle of your back. What feels good to walk around the shop in may actually have very poor function underwater. That's one of the reasons it's good to borrow or rent a few times before plunking down the money to own something.
     
  16. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
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    Can you tell what the differences are between the Knighthawk and Seahawk? I have been looking at the website but I can't really discern any difference. I am thinking of buying one to use with my drysuit. I use the Classic for all my diving.

    Which one is the older model?
     
  17. Hank49

    Hank49 Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Mullins River, Stann Creek, Belize
    6,178
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    As someone said, regs all work well. The more expensive ones deliver more air, like in an emergency when two are huffing and puffing off the same reg. I think it's worth the $2-300 extra for a good balanced first stage.

    Regarding a BC, I recommend trying a lot of set ups. I have switched to a weight integrated system where the weight is more forward on the BC, from a regular jacket with a weight belt. It really suites my feet heavy body type and makes staying horizontal effortless.
    Take your time. You'll find what suites you best.
     
  18. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
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    No big differences but there are a couple of things. The zippered pockets of the Knighthawk are along the bottom of the BC where the weight pouches go. You really don't have a lot of useable space. I think they are more of a fold-out mesh pocket. The pockets of the Seahawk zip up from the bottom and around the top of where the weight pouches go. You have a lot more useable space. More like a real pocket.

    The other thing is the Seahawk has an extra metal o-ring to clip things to. If you will notice, both have a D-ring at the bottom of the BC and one along the strap near the shoulders. But the Seawing has one more smaller O-ring just above where the weight pouches go in.

    That's the biggest differences that were shown to me. The Seahawk came out at the beginning of 2010 although I've been told they had an older "Seahawk" model years ago.
     
  19. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
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    BDSC,

    Did you use the Seahawk with drysuit at all?
     
  20. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    2,237
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