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My husband and I did a "Discover SCUBA diving" course on our honeymoon last year and we fell in love with diving. Next week, we'll be going back to St. Lucia to complete the dives for our Open Water Diver certification. We just completed all of the online courses and we're a little overwhelmed, but very excited!
I joined the forum because I don't want to spend all of this time and money getting certified and then have it be the last time we dive. I look forward to chatting with all of you about dive opportunities. I'm sure I'll be asking for equipment advice soon, too. Not sure if we should buy some gear now before our trip, or wait until after we're certified and know more about what we'll want and use.
You need to register for the sub forum to post, but can read as a guest.
As for buying gear; until you know *for sure* what kind of diving you will be doing, what type of gear is out there etc. etc. I would suggest holding off on buying. Most rental gear is pretty decent, and you should always do a quick check of your gear anyways before diving, so you'll do fine with rentals.
BUt - if you haven't already, I would suggest buying a mask that fits you *perfectly*. OK is simply not good enough. A constantly flooding mask is no fun. So online shopping is a no-go. You do need to try masks on in person.
Some prefer *not* to rent wetsuits ... If so, that may be something to look into before your trip. Key is to make sure the suit fits you *well*. A so-so fit is a pain to deal with.
Booties and fins are very personal choices, so that may be something to look into as well. Feet hurting from ill fitting booties and fins quickly kills the fun in diving. Don't get sucked into the latest too-dads in fin design. Most fin will do fine, and again the fit is key. There are oodles of threads here on SB about various fin choices as well.
Welcome fellow Queens resident. I'm in Rockaway. As has been suggested, register for the DNY forum. It is quite entertaining. There is this person Sam who tries to control things but, well, you just need to see for yourself.
Welcome to Scubaboard and to diving!!!!!!!! I am so excited for your trip to St Lucia to get certified.
When I first got certified I was a vacation diver and no one in my family or immediate circle of friends dived. Joining SB and DNY forum changed all that and I'm now a vacation diver and a local diver with many dive buddies. Never thought I'd dive a quarry but the crazies in the DNY forum make it fun so I dive a quarry and locally when I'm not traveling.
I did own my own mask, wetsuit, booties and fins for my OW checkout dives. I agree with the others about waiting on gear purchases until you know what you want. I wished I discovered SB and waited before I purchased all my dive gear. It would have saved me thousands of dollars.
Please pop back in here or into the DNY forum and let us know how it all went in St Lucia. Do not hesitate to PM any of us if you have any questions. I live in the city so PM me if you want to meet up in the city for coffee/tea.
One more thing, ignore the comment about Sam controlling things around here, it's darn near IMPOSSIBLE and more like herding cats!!! You can read for yourself if you pop in the DNY forum.
Thanks so much, everyone! I love this Welcome and I look forward to joining DNY! I would LOVE to dive off LI. I'm sure I'll need to make an exposure suit an early purchase in that case. I'm so glad I joined this forum. I really don't want to be a "vacation diver". I really want to learn and have varied experiences. DNY sounds like my kind of crazy! See you there! and I will report back! Wish me luck, I'm a little nervous. I know on our Discover dive it took me awhile to get used to not being able to use my nose and I freaked out a little in the pool and again in the ocean, but once I was underwater I was awesome.