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View Poll Results: If you could only afford to buy one peice of equipment what would it be?
I'd definitely start with the wetsuit. It's the most "personal" of all the items.. I don't really want to dive in something someone else peed in.
After that, I'd go with a BC. The BC you dive has the largest impact on how your gear is configured, how you're weighted, where you keep things, your trim, etc. Regulators are nice (and people will mention how they're life support equipment), but for the most part a reg is a reg. You screw one end on and breathe off the other end.
However, I'd encourage you to rent and dive as much as you can before buying a BC or a reg, so that you can decide what you want, what you like, don't like, etc.
Thanks, I was thinking either a wetsuit or BC, In my limited experience. BC are the most expensive peice to rent so that is why i was also thinking that route. I will be able to fil in the rest of my gear in the next 6 mo.-1yr. The other side of the issue is that i am toying with the idea of a dry suit so i was thinking of holding out on the suit till i can afford the classes for the dry suit and the suit. I don't want to pay the money for a wet suit if in a year it will be on a hanger.
IMHO, I think that the reg is the one piece, assuming you can get only one piece, since it is more directly a life support item than the other two. The suit you rent will either fit or not and it is your choice to continue. The BC could fail during the dive but is survivable to the point that it may not even cause you to terminate the dive early, but the reg.... If the reg is not working well during the dive, the dive could be miserable or worse. If it failed during the dive, well then you do have to abort. The scenerio continues but I am sure you get my drift.
Hmmm...this is a tough question. I have a mental block with respect to hygeine that prevents me from sharing equipment that comes in contact with bodily fuilds. The regulator is something I put in my mouth and the wetsuit is something that we all pee in.
That being said, I can always buy a mouthpiece for myself and use it on different regulators. But a wetsuit is something that can't be changed out -- if somebody pees in it, the entire thing is spoiled.
Therefore, I'd go with a wetsuit first (NEW wetsuit, never used!). AND at the same time I would buy a regulator mouthpiece ($10) that I could slap on a rental.
Plus, wetsuits are relatively cheap. And if you know your size in a wetsuit, you can get a deal on eBay on a good wetsuit. A number of little California surfer companies make their own wetsuits and sell them on eBay. I bought one from Boz and it's as good as anything I tried on in the store.
Definately regulator. Wetsuit...who cares...not only is pee sterile...teh fish are doing it in the water all teh time. BC...nice to have one you are used too...but people did a lot of diving before BCs. Regulator...critical life support. I want to KNOW how that peice of equipment has been serviced. It is also nice to know who's mouth it has been in...unlike pee...mouths aren't sterile. Give me my own regulator.