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New Diver Gear questions

Discussion in 'Introductions and Greets' started by light12pdr, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. light12pdr

    light12pdr Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Maryland
    Just started Diver training. Where is the best place to get gear? New or used?

    I wore an Aqua Lung Pro HD BC and it fit perfectly and comfortably. I think I would like to get one
  2. Mike1967

    Mike1967 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Victoria, Australia
    Do yourself a favour and get a BP/W
  3. Dark Wolf

    Dark Wolf Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SW Missouri
    Dive Gear Express
    Deep 6 Dive Gear
    Piranha Dive Mfg
    Leisure Pro
    Dive Rite In Scuba

    Some of the sites I prefer.
    I also prefer backplate/wing.

    light12pdr likes this.
  4. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    If you have no one to help you, stay away from eBay, unless you run a listing by here. Guys here will help you sort the trash from good deals.

    The classifieds here are a good place for used.
    light12pdr and Dark Wolf like this.
  5. axluba

    axluba Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Germany
    Take your time, ask around, read this board, talk to your instructor, don’t trust a single point of view! The loudest aren’t always right.

    If you start to get early certitudes, take the time to question them before buying! I changed my mind a lot in the first months.

    That said, this board in an awesome source of information! The gear hunt is a real pleasure!

    light12pdr and Primary like this.
  6. Primary

    Primary Angel Fish

    If you plan on getting tanks filled, please consider buying gear where your tanks will be filled. At least give them an opportunity to match prices with legit online sources.

    One hand washes the other.

    As others have said, seek input from many sources and add a pinch of salt, especially for anyone who claims "the best." As you are new to the sport i recommend renting for a while; you will be in a better position to filter the input when you have a few more dives under your belt.

    Above all don't stress and enjoy the process - haha, it's easy to say!
    TGIF likes this.
  7. TGIF

    TGIF Wonderful

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Scotland
    I would definitely talk to your local dive shop first for multiple reasons, one of which is that they can generally service the gear that they sell, and another bring that it really pays to build that relationship.

    See if you can try different pieces of equipment before you buy.
    MattAO and Primary like this.
  8. James79

    James79 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lower Alabama
    THIS! You will see a lot of people here telling you get a Back Plate and Wing (BPW).... Heck, I love mine. But it's about what works for YOU. My wife can't stand back inflate. Try a few things out (rent or borrow) then decide.
    My advice is always worth what you paid for it!
    MattAO, Dark Wolf and TGIF like this.
  9. David Novo

    David Novo Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Porto, Portugal, Europe
    I second the recommendation to take your time and try different options before buying to minimize regrets.

    Having said that, I ignored the BPW advice I was given here when I bought my first set and two years later sold the BCD to buy a BPW.
  10. Primary

    Primary Angel Fish

    Going back to your original post, you asked specifically about the Pro HD so I will answer that directly. I hope it will give you an idea of the kind of feedback you should get when you ask about any piece of gear. Once again -- this is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth.

    I think it's a decent jacket BC and would serve you well at least in the short term if you were to buy it. For some divers, it would be their first BC and their only BC. However, based on my experience, if you become a frequent diver, it's likely you will change out for a different style of BC at some point depending on your style of diving (cold water, travel etc). That doesn't make it a bad choice -- just know that your standards and needs are likely to evolve as you progress.

    Some pros:

    Wrap-around buoyancy (good floatation at the surface, tends to keep you vertically oriented)
    Weight integrated (more secure weighting than a nylon weight belt)
    Trim weight pockets (offers options for distributing weight and achieving better trim)
    Large storage pockets (better to carry extra items in pockets vs. dangling)
    Durable (in rental, these BCs generally hold up well to heavy use. There were some issues with the seam welds leaking in early models but that seems to have been addressed)

    Some cons:
    Wrap-around buoyancy (generally makes it harder to maintain horizontal trim during diving. Not impossible, but not optimal)
    Large storage pockets (less streamlined underwater so you will use more energy to move. Unless you need to carry a lot of accessories, the large pockets are a detriment)
    Inherent buoyancy (the fabric and padding of the BC will trap air, especially at the beginning of the dive, and therefore you will need to carry additional weight to offset the buoyancy. It's not the worst BC in this regard, but it's not as neutrally/negatively buoyant as a BP/W or minimalist BC)

    This isn't a complete list of pros/cons but gives you some idea of the trade-offs. Every piece of gear has trade-offs.

    You mentioned that it fit well. By that I would expect that, when you are wearing your normal exposure suit, the BC straps are neither all the way in or all the way out. You want a range of adjustment either way.
    light12pdr likes this.

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