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"New" diver gear questions

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by jlcnuke, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: acworth ga
    Hey all, just got back into diving after a long hiatus from my original cert and the few dives I did back thenback them. I recently went and did the PADI OW dive class this time (in Aruba, great time). I had gear that I got through the LDS back in the day (~2003) but sold that when I moved away from the water about a decade ago.

    So, now I have fins/mask/snorkel and wetsuit. Computer is otw (picked up a Cressi Giotto after doing some research on dive computers and deciding it was the best bang for the buck for what I anticipate wanting/needing in the short/medium term future).

    So, that still leaves a decent amount of gear missing that I'd rather have my own of.. BCD, octo, regs, instruments.

    I'm not trying to go "super cheap" but would prefer to keep the cost at or under $1k to finish buying the basic gear for diving. As I recall, for the type of diving I plan on doing anytime soon (OW in the caribbean, florida, mexico and similar areas) pretty much "any" regulator is probably fine, and I would rather have a weight integrated BCD. Correct me if I'm wrong on any of that. For the price point, it seems that "packages" are probably a better value for the money unless I'm missing something. As such, I was hoping to get some feedback on those (or other suggestions). Some of the ones I've been looking at are:

    Cressi SCUBA System Package 2


    Scuba System Package of the Month

    and other similar packages. Any thoughts, concerns (reasons to avoid any of them?), suggestions (alternatives) etc?
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    The one piece of advice I will give to you is that with the gear you pick out, don't think in terms of "new diver gear." The gear you buy will have great durability--you will not be replacing it for a long time. The gear associated with more advanced divers is rarely any more expensive than any other gear, and it is, in fact, often cheaper. It is not harder to use--it may, in fact, be easier to use. You don't want to get enthusiastic about your diving and in a year or two regret the purchases you made.

    What you want be leery of is any sales pitch that indicates a difference and pushes you away from "advanced gear" (that the shop might not even sell). The only equipment I can think of where there really is a reasonable difference is in computers. The one you bought is indeed a new diver computer, but it will serve 98% of divers throughout their diving careers--the odds that you will need a more advanced computer are not great. The biggest area where you see this happening is in the BCD. The difference in styles is enormous. Be sure to do a lot of research before making a decision there.
    RyanT likes this.
  3. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    don't get a package. try some different bc's like back inflates and a backplate and wing if you can. if you don't plan on diving cold water and don't want to go bpw, a travel back inflate like the scubapro litehawk or aqualung outlaw may work for you. take a look at the cheaper zeagle offerings too. you can add weight pockets if you want them to any harness.

    for regs, most bang for the buck would be used ones in good shape, but it can be hard to figure out if something is a good deal or not and paying for an overhaul would eat significantly into any savings. if buying new, the taiwanese regs from dive rite, hog, deep 6, etc are a lot cheaper than name brands. If you need to stick to certain brands your LDS will service, look for discontinued or clearance regs like the aqualung titan classic or subgear sg100 for scubapro. get two matching 2nd stages (the low profile octos generally do not perform well) and avoid the giant 3 instrument consoles. stick to a spg or spg with compass on reverse.
    jlcnuke likes this.
  4. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    Here is a second piece of advice. Packages offer you a good deal for the total price of everything, but there is a reason they do.

    The goal of sales is to maintain an overall profit margin. That is understandable--the shop wants to stay in business. Different items in a package have different profit margins. Most of the big ticket items have, surprisingly enough, the lowest margins. Many of the smaller ticket items--the things you might not buy if they were not part of the package--have HUGE margins. By including those items in the package, they are able to get you a good price compared to buying things separately, but you still pay more than you would have because you buy things you would not have bought otherwise. Think of it as paying full price for the things you want and getting a good discount on the things you don't.
    jlcnuke and MargaritaMike like this.
  5. Murky Waters

    Murky Waters Manta Ray


    I'd suggest that you go to a dive shop (or three), try on some BCD's and talk to someone there.

    You can always shop around on line after, but you may find that you won't need to
    jlcnuke and MargaritaMike like this.
  6. Bierstadt

    Bierstadt Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Erie, PA
  7. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    contact @Deep Six and see if you can organize a time to swing down to Macon. You'll be pleasantly surprised. Bit over your $1k budget, but a helluva lot better than what you are looking at above
    jlcnuke and wetb4igetinthewater like this.
  8. toris1968

    toris1968 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Houston Tx
    If you can't find what you want at your LDS, Dive Gear Express has some great Back Plate and Wing packages for cheap and great regs at a great price. I wish I would have gone BP/W right from the start, would have saved me a lot of money in the long run.
  9. george_austin

    george_austin Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Los Angeles,CA. Alcoi, Espana, Los Barilles, Baja
    Just get a steel or aluminum plate, one of those #18 wings from VDH, a cam band or two, 12 ft of 2 inch web and a handful of keepers, rings and a buckle. What could be easier
  10. couv

    couv Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: 13th floor of the Ivory Tower
    I agree with G_A. www.vintagedoublehose.com has a comfortable backplate, designed for double hose, but works great with a single hose setup. He also has a very nice new wing available. Additionally, Bryan has an assortment of used, rebuilt regulators that are top notch in performance.

    Alternatively, if you're piecing together your kit, there are lots of hobbyist on ScubaBoard who rebuild regulators and then sell them off to support their habit. Halocline, Buddasummer, FishPie, NotSure, Rsingler (has a business too) and myself....I feel like I'm missing a few names, so just post a question in DIY section and someone will chime in.

    Good luck and welcome back.

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