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I'm working on getting my gear and I'm new... so...

Discussion in 'Women's Perspectives' started by kathleen2018, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. kathleen2018

    kathleen2018 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: California!
    18
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    3
    ...hello! ..so I am petite, short and fuller than most my height, and so I noticed that when I was borrowing suit from the shop that the suits were hard to fit me so I plan to get a suit first. I am interested in cold water diving because I am close to Northern CA. Does anyone have feedback on what gear you bought first? Like I was thinking my next investment to be a dive computer, then a regulator, then a BCD. But then I'm debating getting a BCD before the regulator. Does it really make a difference if I just rent a BCD and not get one? Thank you for any feedback! :)
     
  2. saxman242

    saxman242 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: California
    136
    61
    28
    My wife has found a world of difference between the rental BCDs she's used and ones available to purchase that fit her quite well.
     
  3. aquacat8

    aquacat8 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Savannah, GA
    1,306
    936
    113
    A short steel backplate and wing would probably be way better for you. You’re going to need to carry a lot of weight for that cold water and just read up about bp/w on here before you buy any bc!
     
    EvaFin, Caveeagle and Ally_Cat like this.
  4. aquacat8

    aquacat8 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Savannah, GA
    1,306
    936
    113
    You’re right the first thing you should buy is a wet suit that fits well…If you’re not comfortable and warm you’re not gonna have fun! Especially since you will need seven mil for Northern California water and that is a thick wetsuit, so if it doesn’t fit right it will be really hard to get on. A lot of gals like you like the stretchy Henderson wetsuits, and some people simply have to go custom. If you end up doing a lot of cold water diving you may eventually end up in a dry suit.
     
  5. aquacat8

    aquacat8 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Savannah, GA
    1,306
    936
    113
    Try on the Hendersons, Pinnacle, etc, and if you need custom in Monterey there’s Otter Bay
    Custom Wetsuits
     
  6. rsingler

    rsingler Scuba Instructor, Tinkerer in Brass ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Napa, California
    1,888
    1,839
    113
    +1! on your decision to get neoprene that fits properly as your first purchase. Absolutely right.
    You can rent virtually everything else, but the key is finding a shop that rents gear that is well maintained. Too many shops just rent out regulator sets that breathe very stiffly, because that requires less frequent service than regs that are tuned light.
    I wouldn't make a computer a purchase before regs, if only because many shops won't let you use your computer instead of the one they want to rent you with the regulators. It's too much trouble for them to take two minutes to switch hoses. You could do it yourself, but you'd need to be taught. And as you gain experience, you may regret your computer choice. You probably won't be pushing the envelope just yet, so any computer will likely serve you well.
    Once again, find a shop that treats you right, in exchange for maybe buying through them later, instead of online.
    Renting bcd's is a great way to find one that truly fits you properly, before you plunk down $200-600. Backplate and wing is very popular on Scubaboard. I dive that way, too. But there are good back-inflate bcd's as well for the occasional diver. Setting up a wing is an exercise in frustration for a new diver. And if you like a jacket, that's fine! They make you feel very safe at the surface. It's not like it'll be the only bcd you ever buy. That's why we have eBay...to sell stuff!

    My recommendation? Aqualung SolaFx 8mm/7mm soft neoprene chest zipper for NorCal waters, or a Henderson. Hard to get into, but very warm. Lots of sizes.

    Then find out what brand of regs are serviced locally. Being able to get good local service is important. Once you have a locally serviced brand, see if you can rent the various models. In any case, get lots of advice before you buy.

    Neoprene, regs, computer, bcd.

    My 2¢.

    Cheers! Safe diving!
     
    Diving Dubai and chillyinCanada like this.
  7. EireDiver606

    EireDiver606 DIR Practitioner

    964
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    Have at least a double digit number of dives before investing in a considerable amount of equipment.

    Forget the computer until you know how tables work for a while, even then you don’t need a computer, just a bottom timer and slate. But get a cheap one if it makes you happy. Lots of people highly highly preach about the safety of computers, those people don’t know their own NDLs off by heart and are therefore an unreliable source who are too dependent on computers.

    Get a backplate and wing setup, look for a good deal on a forum or shop, don’t listen to shop owners, a lot of them try to sell you expensive gear you don’t need. Get a standard harness with no quick disconnects.

    As for regs and wing maybe wait a few more dives . You don’t want to get into the sport and then realise you don’t like it after you’ve accumulated all your gear.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  8. Marie13

    Marie13 Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Great Lakes
    3,614
    2,187
    113
    How short? I swear by the Bare Evoke.
     
  9. Jarzi

    Jarzi Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Finland
    15
    5
    3
    For a huge majority of the divers, something like suunto zoop will be quite enough for their whole diving career. IMHO

    Rsingler, does someone still buy something else than wrist mounted computers?
     
    EvaFin likes this.
  10. rsingler

    rsingler Scuba Instructor, Tinkerer in Brass ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Napa, California
    1,888
    1,839
    113
    Yeah, there are a whole group of folks who like air integration, but are wary of transmitter reliability. For them, a hose to the HP port gives their computer the tank information for gas time remaining.

    And for folks who do a lot of compass work, being able to extend your compass in front of you is far more accurate than looking down at a compass held on your wrist (closer to your steel tank?). If you like some of these magical computer compasses (Atomic Cobalt comes to mind), a console computer still has a place.

    But you're right. There's nothing like hanging at a safety stop in current with your computer on the same wrist as the descent line. It leaves the other arm free.
     

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