Welcome to ScubaBoard, an online scuba diving forum community where you can join over 205,000 divers diving from around the world. If the topic is related to scuba diving, this is the place to find divers talking about it. To gain full access to ScubaBoard (and make this large box go away) you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:
Participate in over 500 dive topic forums and browse from over 5,500,000 posts.
Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
Post your own photos or view from well over 100,000 user submitted images.
Gain access to our free classifieds marketplace to buy, sell and trade gear, travel and services.
Use the calendar to organize your events and enroll in other members' events.
Find a dive buddy or communicate directly with scuba equipment manufacturers.
All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the ScubaBoard Support Team.
Is it that naive of me to expect a little bit of help from LDS's when I'm looking for equipment?
I'm taking my OW on my birthday (Birthday gift from my wife and myself!!! whoooo!!!) this year! EXTREMELY HYPED ABOUT IT. I took a "Scuba Experience" at a LDS with my wife because she has problems with equalization and wanted to "test the waters" so to speak. What did I take out of the experience? A complete and utter desire to get back into the water and start diving.. The instructor was extremely cool too.
Anyhow, I've been reading this board for a little over a week now and am getting close to buying some equipment. I got some good information (maybe biased I'm figuring out) from the LDS that I'm getting certified from and coupled that info with what I've been reading here. Almost to a complete decision! I made the mistake of dropping by another LDS that I saw just down the road. Now HE'S telling me that the equipment that I've decided on is basically crap and that I should go this way because he's done dives with that equipment and doesn't like it, it breaks down, doesn't have a good return policy, they won't be in business in 5 years, yaddah yaddah yaddah... I proceded to almost argue with the guy saying that I've done research on this board and on the internet on the equipment and think I'm making a fairly educated choice here. He asked "so did you look at Rodale's?" sarcastically. Basically the guy was a complete jerk (trying to save the virgin ears [or eyes as the case may be] of the readers), which really sucks because his shop has some cool excursions for specialties.
<added> HAHAHA I forgot to put my final statement and/or question haha.
So do most of you guys listen to LDS's? Do you listen to the one you got certified at or do you listen to others? Do you DEFINATELY stay away from certain ones? Just curious how others deal.
By the by, the equipment in question is this:
BC: SeaQuest Balance/Black Diamond (still haven't completely decided. I got to try the balance on the "SCUBA experience" and it feels good to me?)
Reg: Apeks TX100
Computer: Suunto Cobra
It's pretty pathetic how transparent some of these LDS tactics are.
Bottom line -- just like any other store you enter....there are helpful shops and there are no-so-helpful shops. Some folks still haven't come to the realization that satisfied customers result in better business results in the long run.
An LDS is one source of information that must be taken with a grain of salt. Although most are helpful, at the same time most would prefer to sell you what they have in stock or the models that are being promoted by the local distributor (i.e., the ones they make the best margin on). I think you have to talk to various LDS's, your instructor, other experienced divers, research online sources....gathering as many opinions as you can. Sounds like you've already been doing that.
One thing I did and many folks around here recommend is to wait until after your class and after you have a few OW dives under your belt before buying everything. I think it helps to get some in-water experience to help you figure out what things you like and what things you don't and what kind of diving you plan on doing. Whether it's a larger tank, weight integrated BC or air integrated computer, it's hard to know whether you want these things until you start diving and talk to a wider range of experienced divers. It also gives you some time to try various gear configs before deciding.
Hope this helps!
P.S. All those gear choices represent quality stuff. I am a proud TX-100 owner (TX-40 back-up). I also own a Suunto Vyper, which is essentially a non-integrated, wrist-mounted Cobra. You won't go wrong with Suunto computers.
I think the problem that you are running into is the age old "In my opinion..." Also each LDS is "contracted" shall we say to particular brands of gear and (obviously) are going to recommend their stuff. Now as to my comments on your choice of gear - I can't comment. I personally haven't used any of them. (However my sister has the Apex TX50 with TX 40 Octo and she swears by it.) Also I've found that diving gear is a very personal choice - I swear by Scubapro regs but my sister won't go near them. No particular reason, she just doesn't like them.
Welcome to the world of Scuba and let us know how you get on.
4thly: I'm gonna shut up now and let the guys who know what they're talking about get a word in edgewise.
Good Luck and Happy Postings. :p
Amoeba - frantically trying to figure out why the sun doesn't shine in the UK
Originally posted by large_diver It's pretty pathetic how transparent some of these LDS tactics are. ... An LDS is one source of information that must be taken with a grain of salt. Although most are helpful, at the same time most would prefer to sell you what they have in stock or the models that are being promoted by the local distributor ... One thing I did and many folks around here recommend is to wait until after your class and after you have a few OW dives under your belt before buying everything. ...
I think you are bang on with this one LDiver.
You've done your research and hopefully carefully weighed the pros and cons of your choices. To make sure you've made the right choices. Try out your BCD choices - in training, and out in OW, try it with the various different level of neoprene that you may wear.
As for the computer - excellent choice, though I'm going to be upgrading my current "basic" model to the Vyper. The main thing that is holding me back from the Cobra - is that "all" the gages are in one thing. Your battery fails, or computer floods or some other disaster happens to your computer you're going to loose all your gages.
just my 0.02 worth
Oh and by the way - welcome to the fun of diving, and the best place to spend your SI.
We live in Valparaiso, FL and dive out of Destin, FL
1,000 - 2,499
I own a "Balance" and can make a couple of comments.
Make sure you use its "Balance" capabilities. Put some weight in the back pockets. If you put all the lead in the ditchable pouches, you may feel like your BC wants to push you face forward into the water when you're at the surface.
Different BCs lend themselves to different underwater activities. Some people like a minimalist approach. I spearfish and take UW photos (not at the same time), so I don't care for anything that restricts my arm movements or keeps me from getting flat on the bottom or under a ledge. The "Balance" is pretty simple in this regard.
The "Balance" only has one pocket (stowable) but it can hold a C4 flashlight, safety sausage, and extra camera lenses all at one time.
First and foremost, welcome to the Board! It sounds like you are doing a darn good job of wending you way through the LDS Maze! I go to a couple of stores around here and know with which salespeople to discuss the vices and virtures of equipment.
One thing that I find really useful is to observe what others use when we go diving. And to ask questions. Most people are very "proud' of what they own and more than happy to show you all the cute things they like! Not all, but many folks will even tell you when something has not turned out well. For example, retractors for gear--a person I met showed me how easy it was to break them if the attached gear gets caught on something.
So...my thoughts: do exactly what you are doing. Listen carefully and judge the advice on the manner in which it is given...
Joewr...still a little nostalgic about the Oregon Coast...and wondering how Syruss is doing...
Thanks for the replies guys, I really appreciate the input.
What I have heard, and seen here a few times, is that it is nice to have your own equipment just so you can get used to it's feel and uses and how (basically) YOU use it. I was going on this premise basically from the opinions that I have read here and what I used on the "experience". Granted I only used one BC and one Regulator (just so happened to be the ones that people seem to like here [Balance/APEKS]) but it felt good to me.
large_diver : I can definately see your point about : "wait until after your class and after you have a few OW dives under your belt before buying everything. " I am always a bit hesitant on renting equipment as I have rented some really bad snow skiing equipment before and have a bad taste in my mouth about renting. ALTHOUGH.... (warning, memory engaging.. ) The LDS that I'm getting my cert from will allow me to try out equipment as long as I purchase from them... hmmm another delima now. Price.. LDS Balance: $510 LeisurePro.com: $329 (but that is another discussion, and I have read those.. )
DivingGal: Your battery fails, or computer floods or some other disaster happens to your computer you're going to loose all your gages.. another good point. I hadn't considered that, thanks!
Stone: Make sure you use its "Balance" capabilities When I did my "experience" I noticed the effect you were talking about without the weights, but the back weight pockets.. I like that and they worked, so I am all over that. And the one pocket, I wasn't too sure about the necessity for more or not, but it looks like you were able to put the necessities in there so... cool.
joewr: Good points as well. I can't wait 'til the class starts! I don't know how many people will actually have equipment at that time but the instructor isn't going to be the same person that has answered my equipment questions from the LDS, so it should be interesting getting a different perspective from him. The first guy I got input from was a PADI DM/Instructor who is also an SSI DM and working on Instructor.
Just so I don't make my posts into freakin' books.. thanks to everyone else. Awesome to get feedback like this. I am glad I found this place.
And anyone who wants to get information on Oregon Coast Diving, let me know , I'll try to get some info for ya as I get closer to my OW (with tests in the Puget Sound) and getting some real dive time in. I'm looking to hit this big time.