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One thing I'll add though, if you are looking to pick up a reg, and for some reason have an aversion to scubapro (dont know why you would, they make awesome gear!) Mares makes some great regs that have seals which only need replacing every 2 years, so if you store them properly, you could probably get one to last 3 times that versus regular seals which are meant to be serviced once a year.
Reg first. SCUBA is entirely dependent on that one piece of equipment. First thing I bought.
I think you want to know the history of your underwater breathing apparatus. Know that it is in working order. Know that no one has vomited through it recently and you won't be spitting little chunks, etc.
Selection of reg is objective. You can read reports about the breather you want for the price you can afford.
Computers are great, but you do have one between your shoulders.
BC's are very personal and their selection is very subjective. For a rec diver they are more a convenience than a necessity however. While you would do well to get dialed into one early on, why not find out which one suits you best first. Rent and borrow until you see what you like. Then get dialed in.
Wetsuits, yeah. While you can rent them, you might get one early on. But after the reg.
"They called themselves Guerrilla Divers.
Composed of elite divers with Macho mentalities, back when men were men, and FEAR was a lispy companion of the common Man. It was a time before insurance liabilities, lawsuits or beauracratic regulation of the "sport". Guerrilla divers didn't need "Buoyancy Compensator Vests". In fact, "Anyone who needs a BC deserves to drown" was a popular adage. Exploration and the Hunt came first, excitement and fun followed. Safety was the stepchild of fitness, good reflexes and a cool head.
This was a time of great Adventure." www.sfdj.com
There's a spring that pushes the diaphragm/purge button back. But I accept that pressing on it is within the normal range of the spring and it should not wear as fast the valve seat.
Most of my 2nd stages don't have a spring that keeps the purge button out. My D series and the 109s have soft purge covers. I don't bother with the D series, they have a very light valve spring and a big orifice, so there's very little imprinting on the seat.
When you slightly depress the purge, you are very slightly compressing the valve spring, but it's not enough to worry about. That's what I was thinking you might have been referring to.