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Need all new gear after a long break

Discussion in 'Diving Into New Gear' started by plr196, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. plr196

    plr196 Registered

    I got certified back in 1983 and logged close to a thousand dives over the next 25 years. Primarily in the cold dark waters of Puget Sound and the Canadian coast, but also in the tropics.

    A move away from the ocean and other interests made me a vacation only diver instead of diving weekly. Long story, but the newest generation in the family is starting to dive, so I am planning on replacing a lot of my old equipment and start diving much more.

    In the past, I was partial to Dacor regulators and masks, but now need to go with someone else. Having been out of the dive world for a decade, I am wondering who the leaders are these days and what gear I should avoid as I start back up.

    Thanks for your advice.
  2. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Working toward Cenotes ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    That is a really broad question.

    Some places to start:

    Deep6: Regulators: nice regs and also backplates. I have their Signature reg which I like just as well as my Scubapro MK25/S600. I've become partial to diaphragm regs for ease of care.

    Many here like BP/Ws for recreational or technical diving. There are many brands. Mostly all parts are interchangeable between brands. PB/W are easy to trim out (they put weight over your buoyant lungs and provide many locations for attaching lead via straps or zip-tied to the plate), very adjustable, and easy to grow with moderate size children. Women and shorter children may benefit from a shorter plate, several shorter women here claimed it was a game changer. You can go with one continuous loop of webbing for uber-uber reliability or adjustable buckles or shoulder disconnects depending on your preference. Quick starting points are:
    DGX Custom - DGX Gears Singles Harness / Backplate / Wing Package
    Beginners Guide To BP/W
    Deep6: Buoyancy

    Shearwater tends to be the gold standard. They have a nice more entry-level computer. DeepSix also has a nice simpler and cheaper entry computer.
    Peregrine - Best Scuba Dive Computer for everyday divers - Shearwater
    Deep 6 Excursion Dive Computer

    Many here like the DeepSix: Fins. Particularly for frog kicking, a rather easy kick that helps with managing your trim as you can have your legs more or less tucked in in the resting position, thus changing your center of mass vs center of buoyancy and so fine-tuning the balance of the underwater see-saw that is you plus your gear and weights.

    Mask: what fits best.

    Cutting tools: Trilobite Cutting Devices, ceramic variant: DGX Sharp Cut w/Sheath, EMT shears: DGX DIR Knife and Titanium Shears w/ Waistbelt Sheath

    DSMB: 3' as the basic small one. Halcyon is a rather nice one as your lips do not need to depress the nozzle, just blow, so easier to use in cold water.
  3. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    The question of BP/W (modular, many options, prone to be customized, likely what you'll use if you get into tech. diving) vs. jacket BCD (or rear-inflate) does come up. If you have a lot of free time to kill, here's my 2018 thread where fellow forum members helped me get up to speed to figure out a BP/W kit for recreational use.

    I like Deep6 Eddy fins, because mine are slightly positively buoyant (even in fresh water), and like many people I tend to be foot heavy when diving. Also has a nice, big foot pocket. If you dive a dry suit, you may benefit from heavier fins.

    Computers - pick from consult, 'hockey puck' wrist units or watch style, and whether you will pay more to get air integrated (so pressure remaining shows up on the computer, it estimates dive time remaining by gas, and likely logs your start, end and SAC numbers for download to your computer dive log later). I agree that Shearwater is very popular on this forum; the Perdix A.I. (wrist hockey puck) and Teric (watch style) are air-integrated examples.

    Regulators - if you don't service your own, get something a local dive shop services. Atomic Aquatics, AquaLung, Scuba Pro, there are a range of reputable brands. Think you'll do any really cold water diving and want environmentally sealed? Some piston reg.s (e.g.: Atomics) have a longer recommended service interval but recommend you not submerge the whole thing at once when not pressurized.

    Masks are kind of all over the place, since individual face seal is so important. And a $30 mask might work as well for you as one well over $100. Some people like low profile masks, where the lens is close to your eyes/face; I don't so much, as when they leak (as most masks do on me), they fill too fast. I like my old AquaLung SeaQuest Visage, but that might not be your thing. If possible, borrow a few from fellow divers and try them. Even if it seems to seal when put it on your face and snort on land, the in-water experience may differ.
  4. plr196

    plr196 Registered

    Thanks for the input. It will give me a place to start.
    The Deep 6 looks interesting. As for BCD - BP/W, I switched to a blackplate with doubles back in the 90s so I will most likely stick with a backplate (no doubles though). After looking around, I may fart around in the shop and make my own backplate - I've got the tools and the time so might as well.
    rhwestfall likes this.
  5. gqllc007

    gqllc007 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Albany NY
    I have Deep6 signature 1st, second and Octo
    I have Mk19/D420 with G260 Octo
    I have Mk25/D620i
    I have Atomic ST1 and Z2 Octo
    And I can tell you the Deep6 is every bit as good or better than the other combos. It iw without a doubt the best bang for your buck.
    The Deep6 is my best breathing regulators although the Mk19/D420 just came back from rsingler who tuned it and haven't had a chance to check it out yet
  6. Bierstadt

    Bierstadt Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Erie, PA
    Welcome back. And congratulations on having an excuse to pick up a bunch of cool new gear.

    I am also a Deep6 fan for regs and fins, but that is not to say that they are the automatic go-to choice. Except for the fins. If you need a neutral buoyancy fin Deep6 fins are truly excellent. Anyways, the back to the regs: they are very good, but so are the established reg manufacturers. If you like to service your own regs, it's Deep6 all the way. If you don't, I'd look at what your LDS carries before deciding. Deep6 are great regs at a good price, but there are others. Apeks are also very nice cold water regs, and certainly more widespread than Deep6. I am assuming you are still diving cold water.

    BP/W is very popular among people on this forum. Your previous experience probably makes it a no-brainer to go BP/W. There are even dedicated single tank BP/W plates available; search for the Freedom plate to see a great example of one. Add on a single tank wing and you're set. In the broader recreational community, back-inflate bcd's are probably the most common. Which is sort of like the Ford Focus being more common than Porsche 911's, if the 911 also cost less. The dive market can be weird.

    If you have the money get a Shearwater dive computer. There is a reason they are the gold standard. Perdix if you might do tech diving, Peregine if you're certain you won't, and Teric if you want a watch style computer.

    Good luck.
    drrich2 likes this.

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