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taat2d once bubbled... Seahunter, either you bought your gear used, or you have very cheap scuba gear. And PLEASE tell me where you can go diving for $5 a day. I had the misconception of buying all my gear for around $1200. That was BEFORE I actually saw all the gear needed and wanted. Needless to say I have invested well over $500.00, and that's being modest.
He owns a shop in Canada. That should answer your question.
"I will spare you a gushy description of the dive itself, except to say that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you've been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent. "
I'd say it's a tough call between diving and RC airplane modelling. I have one bird with over $800 wrapped up in it, and that's not including the radio or engine. Bare minimum is $200-$300 per bird including radio, and that's for gliders. power planes add another $100-$200 to that, depending on the size.
Fuel is $15-$20/gallon, and my 1/5 scale aerobatic plane burns that $20 in 2 hours of flight time.
Add to that $10-$50 in gas for my truck to get to a suitable flying field now that urban sprawl and golf courses have taken away many of the good sites (my favorite site is actually near Salton Sea, 150 miles away).
Can you do it for $500? Sure... with a basic trainer, and if you're happy not getting extreme and just relaxing... sure. Some of the newer electric park flyers are also pretty inexpensive, but only stay up for 10-15 minutes.
Any sport can get as expensive as you want to make it. I've probably got over $15,000 wrapped up in dive gear... and at least $5000 of that is duplicated costs for "wrong" equipment that I bought because I listened to a salesman and not someone who knew what works. What pi$$es me off is that at least $2000 of that $5000 is stuff that I bought knowing that I'd be happier with something slightly more expensive but I figured I'd save a few bucks... in every case within 6-12 months I replaced the cheaper one with what I really wanted the first time.
Actually I don't find it all that expensive. The trick is getting around the Dive Shop 9000% mark up and the PADI chain of "give me your money in order to dive" classes. Once past that you can out fit yourself pretty nicely for about &1500-$2000.
Yes, between OW class, AOW class, Adv. Nitrox/Deep course, and Dive Control Specialist course I have about $2500 wrapped up into classes alone. My gear is probably another $20K.
My big expense now is travel and charters to use all of the above, LOL. And it is worth every penny! My ex's antique business was costing me nearly as much and I didn't enjoy it (still does some months).
This is spent on me and I love every fraction of a second that I spend under the water. I didn't have to spend as much as I have to get into diving, but this is my hobby and I chose to jump in with both feet (pun not intended). I am glad that I did.
Jeez some of the "stuff" you posters are talking about re: equipment and expense seems ridiculous. I could purchase all the gear I've got for about $850 (add a computer if you'd like). This includes tank, BCD, reg, wetsuit, booties, mask, fins, etc. I can dive out here (or on the mainland) for $4/fill.
Admittedly I am fortunate to live on Catalina. Those who live in Hawaii or Florida or other warm water locations have it even easier (and cheaper). This doesn't not include dive travel (certainly a major expense for those in landlocked areas, but skiing can involve that as well).
I see so many gizmos that people carry these days when they go in the water that aren't needed for basic rec diving. For techies there are certainly added expenses.
My advice: KISS. Don't get caught up in unnecessary equipment, top of the line, air integrated computers, etc. Of course I get the added benefit of writing it all off if I do buy them.
I agree with Dr bill, want and need are two differant things. I dont think that I,ve spent over a thousand dollars on gear but then I always shop for the really good deal on used gear. I buy good stuff but not new stuff, well almost never buy new stuff. I might have replaced all the origonal stuff I bought but I did it over a span of yrs. To me the expense is going out on charter boats, its about a hundred bucks a day for perhaps 4 dives, thats 25 a dive. The maintenence is what 1-2 hundred a year. If I lived in Avalon it would be easier to get wet for sure. I used to have my own boat, that got really expensive and labor intensive.
Want is differant than need for sure.