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Shopping as learning

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by DivemasterDennis, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. Wetsuit Pirates

    Wetsuit Pirates Angel Fish

    I think some a lot of it has to do with personality types. Some people can spend hours doing research online, looking over all the features, comparing this to that, etc.

    Other people just like engaging in conversation and talking to people about their personal experiences.

    Obviously doing both and talking to pros at the dive shop is the best way, especially with the more expensive stuff. But reality is that people get there information in different ways - some online, some face to face, others by posting publicly and looking for opinions.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
    billeh and drrich2 like this.
  2. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    It wasn't very long ago I was shopping for my first pieces of gear. You really have limited options.

    1. Trust the sales guy at your local dive shop. Who of course says what he sells is the best thing ever and everything else will kill you for sure.
    2. Trust paid advertisements.. erhm "reviews" of stuff online.
    3. Ask on a forum like scubaboard.
    4. If you know someone who knows about gear you might be in luck. If they've been diving long enough to have used more than the 1 set of gear their LDS sold them.

    Scuba definitely needs some objective gear review sites. Computers and lots of other gear intensive hobbies have them.

    Honestly, I've got all my own gear. I am pretty happy with what I have. But really, I don't know if my gear is better than other options out there. Is my Scubapro reg as good or better than an Aqualung or Hog or some other brand? I dunno. Few people who don't stand to profit from selling a particular brand have used a large variety of equipment.
  3. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

    People dive all kinds of stuff and make do with it, true. In part, it's because they don't know how much easier diving could be, if they weren't fighting their gear.

    We've had two students recently in a Zeagle BC with a huge wing that's designed for doubles. Neither realized that their buoyancy control issues were in part because the air bladder was "taco-ing" up around the tank, making it difficult to vent the BC.

    I've seen a lot of students in fins that make it difficult to stabilize themselves on the roll axis. They recognize that they tend to turn turtle, but don't know why. They don't like it, but can't fix it. Nobody wants to hear that other gear would make it easier.

    We've seen all kinds of students in the Techreational class. One of the first nights, they have to bring their gear and explain why they use what they use, and why they have it configured the way that they do. Some very simple questions often point out mismatches in lift, or in the siting or routing of gear, that will impact functionality under reasonably foreseeable circumstances.

    People own what they own because somebody told them to buy it, a lot of the time. They often don't know what other options there were, and they put up with the inconveniences of the equipment they are using because they don't know those problems are avoidable. Diving can be super fun when you dive gear suitable for purpose, which fits you correctly, and which is properly balanced. Most people have never experienced that, and don't know what they are missing.
  4. 84CJ7

    84CJ7 Barracuda

    I'm definitely also a person who obsesses over gear and studies things to death. I like to get information from all levels of sources and then look for patterns and averages to determine how good something really is when in service for a fair amount of time.
    I've reached the point where I just tune out the dive shop staff. Most of them are regurgitating the same crap they were told is the ONLY proper way to do something, or just selling what they have, and I am often surprised when my obsessive studying means I know more about the gear than they "the experts" do because they don't do enough on the internet to have the broad experience base that places like scubaboard provides.
    However I also refuse to unthinkingly follow the scuba board threads telling me what to buy. I will look at the reasons why they chose what they did, and most of the time determine that they are irrelevant to me. Especially the groups that make it a rule to (rather blindly) accept other peoples past conclusions on what the only right way to configure gear is.

    I tend to buy things on a whim when a deal comes up, especially on used stuff like my pair of main tanks so I like to have everything studied to death ahead of time so I know what I want and what a good deal is. I just picked up a 19cf pony bottle today because it was a really good deal and I had completely researched all the options ahead of time and had a plan for either a 6cf or a 19cf, and the 19cf deal came up first. Everything I need to make it work was already planned out and is now on its way from various sources.

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