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Scuba gear shopping

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by emoreira, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. emoreira

    emoreira Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ARGENTINA
    1,379
    178
    63
    Hi people :

    I'm a new diver. I have under my belt only 36 dives. I love diving.

    This is the gear I own :
    2 masks clear Cressi Matrix and black Asia Omersub
    2 snorkels Scubapro escape and SeaSub ??
    3 mm Boots
    3 mm gloves
    3 mm hooded vest
    5 mm Farmer John Wetsuit
    Open heel fins Cressi Frog
    Dive knife
    Main dive light Technisub Lumen X6
    Secondary dive light Mini Q40 Xenon
    Oceanic Compass
    Oceanic VEO 180NX PDC
    Canon A570is + Canon WP-DC-12 case
    Trident tank banger
    Home made Slate
    Home made weights (8, 4 and 2 pounds)
    Home made weight belt

    This is what I normaly rent :
    1) Neoprene Jacket (Upper part)
    2) BC
    3) Regulator + Octopus + manometer + inflator
    4) Tank

    I have some money to spend and was trying to decide one of the four points mentioned above.
    My short experience as diver that rents scuba gear is that rented BCs are crap. They lose air from the bladders, broken and/or missing parts, valves hardly working, etc.
    Only once had a minor problem with a regulator underwater. I've switched to the octopus though I could go on with the main secondary (it was only wasting air).
    Neoprene Jacket is difficult to buy online. It should fit perfect and one should try it in the store to find out the right size.
    Tank, there is no reason to buy a tank if you don't have still a BC and reg.

    I guess that the right direction is the BC. What are your opinions ? Please help me take the right decision.
    I´ve seen this one :
    ScubaMax Altima JX200 Buoyancy Compensator
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  2. SailNaked

    SailNaked Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: between 30° and 10°
    1,067
    104
    63
    if you are not having any problems with the rented regulator then Buy a BC. A BC that fits you and you can use to normalize your weight will make you a better diver. however if you want to be sure that you can breath air then buy a Regulator so that you know its history and repair and use record first then Buy a BC.
     
  3. dhuskins

    dhuskins Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco Bay Area
    280
    1
    0
    Of your four items:

    1) Neoprene Jacket (Upper part)
    If you need it regularly, then consider this. I would get some of the other things first.

    2) BC
    This is a good choice. Having your own BC means having something that fits every dive.

    3) Regulator + Octopus + manometer + inflator
    This would be my first purchase of these four. I would also get the SeaCure mouthpiece.
    Having this means you know what service history your life support system has had.

    4) Tank
    Only buy a tank if you do a more than a dozen local dives per year. Less than that and
    it may not be cost effective for you.
     
  4. emoreira

    emoreira Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ARGENTINA
    1,379
    178
    63
    Thanks for the comments.
    +2 for the regulator.
    However, from the LDS that rents equipment point of view, the regulator service is mandatory. It's a life support device, but the BC is an accessory. If it's not working properly, well the diver should be able to handle. If it loses air, the diver will go to the bottom or will need more effort and more air to keep flotability. If the power inflator do not cut (that happened to me) the diver has to manage to avoid going to the surface as rocket. This is more dangerous than going to the bottom as a stone (unless you are diving a wall).
    From the 36 dives I have under my belt, more than 80 % of the times I had complains with the rented BC, and only one time a minor problem with the regulator.
     
  5. Bubbletrubble

    Bubbletrubble Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seussville
    4,811
    868
    0
    Since the fit of exposure protection is critical to its function, I'd be more inclined to get the wetsuit issue squared away first. If your LDS is renting out a suitable neoprene "top," then order a new version of that (same brand/model/size) or offer to purchase a used one from the LDS. That being said, BCD fit is important, too, but most BCDs offer a range of adjustment.

    What kinds of issues have you had with your rental BCD?
    Do you know how to do a comprehensive pre-dive check on a BCD? (Most novice divers don't know how.)
    You should really be doing this before you leave the LDS with BCD in hand.

    In general, BCDs require a lot less maintenance than regs do. I'd be very unhappy if my LDS rented out a crappy BCD to me. I would definitely go elsewhere to rent...or buy one of my own ASAP. I'd be particularly wary of rental regs coming from the same shop. Learn how to do a solid pre-dive check for regs, too.

    I suspect that you'll be getting all of the items rather quickly. I would save the tank for last. Keep an eye out for used tanks as they can be a much better value than a new one.

    I'm curious. Why do you have a dive computer and an UW camera setup when you don't have all of the "essential" dive gear yet?
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  6. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northeast US
    7,595
    450
    83
    I would lean towards BC before reg. (Unless you normally have more problems with rental regs than rental BCs, but that doesn't seem to be the case.) It's more of a pain to use different BCs all the time. ANd I take it you're trying to save money - you should also be able to pick up a decent BC for a lot less than a reg set., and regs cost much more to maintain then BCs.

    A wetsuit top or even a fullsuit could be pretty inexpensive, just keep an eye open for a deal. If you need it I'd put a fairly high priority on it, probably also before a reg.

    It probably doesn't make sense to get tanks before BC/reg, unless you com across some great deal used.
     
  7. Mayor

    Mayor Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northeast USA
    1,110
    76
    0
    For me I can dive in any old junk but please don't take my regs from me. :D
     
  8. 2degrees

    2degrees Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Central Ga
    149
    0
    0
    I would get a reg and computer first. I purchased a good reg and computer and I have been happy with them. I did not like the idea of putting something in my mouth that someone else might have puked in. I know your LDS tells you they clean it but.... I also enjoy having my computer display info the way I want with out setting it up. After getting a reg I then rushed to purchased a BCD. As my diving style has changed so has my BCD. I now have a BCD and a BP/w. If I had to do it again I would try and use different style BCD's before pulling the trigger. I think you should dive with a hybred, back inflate, BP/W, HOG before you get your own BCD. Or you may end up with 2 bcd's
     
  9. emoreira

    emoreira Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ARGENTINA
    1,379
    178
    63
    Goooooood question, simple answer.
    All the gear I have right now is all that gear that cannot be rented (well, not all).
    I love UW photo. No where can be rented an UW camera (at least where I live).
    In every LDS the basic gear can be rented, but this does not include knife, PDC, Compass, gloves, boots, slate, lights and camera. A fully rented equipped diver (for example you are a diver on vacation but have not carried your gear and all of a sudden you can dive) has none of the mentioned devices. Only wetsuit, BC, reg, tank, weights, fins and mask, even no snorkel !!!
     
  10. emoreira

    emoreira Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ARGENTINA
    1,379
    178
    63
    I have already an Oceanic VEO 180NX
     

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