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tttetgilbert
07-31-2007, 11:14
After your basic personal equipment what is the next best thing to buy on a budget? I have heard so many things.

loudgonzo
07-31-2007, 11:27
Welcome to the forum, glad to have you aboard!
You are correct, you will get different advise from people on what you should buy next after your personal gear, which would be mask, fins, snorkel and booties. The top two will be your regulator and BC, and you will get the pros/cons of going with each.
On a budget like you say....both the regs and a BC can cost roughly the same, around the $150-200 range up to around the $1k mark.
In my case, my first purchase after the personal gear was a BC, with the logic that it is a "fitted" item, and I would get used to the where the pockets, dump valves, are, also how much weight I would need to carry etc.
On the other hand you will hear arguments about how the reg is your life support and you want to make sure it is working right, read "you know when it was last serviced".

Whatever you choose to buy first, do some research, read up on ratings, reviews etc. and make sure you are able to test them in a pool.

TAH 73
07-31-2007, 11:30
I first purchased a BC, right after I got a wetsuit to fit the dive conditions I was diving in.
The BC was to get one that fit, that I could adjust to fit me perfectly, and I was familiar with all the buckles, snaps and straps.
At this point I can find anything attached to my BC without needing to look for it. With the idea of a rental BC all the D-rings etc vary and it's tough to get used to the positioning.
Also different BC's affect trim in different ways, so if you are dealing with your own it's easier.

WaterRat
07-31-2007, 11:33
I agree. BC and reg for sure. Let us know what your budget is and we can make some suggestions.

Ron

Illini_Fan
07-31-2007, 11:37
Loudgonzo covered this well. Although I bought both the reg and the BC at the same time, if I had to pick it would be the BC first.

I'm not going to discount the proponents that say buy the reg first since that is critical to you staying alive. But in my opinion, having a good fitting BC that you are comfortable in can make a big difference as you are learning.

I had a day of diving where I ended up with rental regs since my reg had an O Ring leak in the first stage. It worked out just fine - in part because I was using my BC and was very comfortable with the set-up and where everything was clipped or stored. I have a safety sausage, slate, secondary light and dive knife either clipped to my BC or in my pockets. Having to set this stuff up for each dive with a rental BC is also a consideration -- albeit not a huge deal.

ertechsg
07-31-2007, 13:03
Remember if you buy a reg 1st you still need some sort of computer and octo more cost to completly set up then rent.

Harshal
07-31-2007, 13:49
Welcome aboard!!!!
Yes, every diver has different opinion on which one to buy first and each has its pros and cons.I don’t know how much is your budget and what you are willing to spend. Also another factor you need to consider when buying your gear how often you are going to use it.
My advice is you can start with a very basic set very basic BC and basic Reg no fancy dry valve and stuff and if you want computer then a basic computer or analog gauges whichever you like.
All this should cost you around $1000 from ST. You did not mention where you from, if you from Dallas try the Orange BC from ST it’s the least expensive BC with some good features.

thesmoothdome
07-31-2007, 14:13
Welcome to the forum! I'm going to switch things up a bit and say that it depends where you're going to be diving.

I agree that the BC and reg are going to where most people start and the reasons for that are well presented here. If I had to choose one, I'd start with my reg set up, including the computer and octo. This way you know it's service and usage history.

Now, here's where I'll switch it up. If I'm diving cold water climates and could only afford 1 piece of gear at a time, I'd really consider getting the proper exposure protection first. Assuming it's a wetsuit, fit is the most important fact and rental suits are never going to fit as well as your own. Also, the fact is that most rental suits have seen better days and the more the suit is used, the less effective it will be at providing warmth. Finally, it's sorta nice to know you're the only one to pee in your wetsuit :smiley20:

Illini_Fan
07-31-2007, 14:15
Thesmoothdome is right (in my opinion). I was assuming that you had a wetsuit since I consider that part of personal gear, although I know that it technically is not. So, if you don't have a wetsuit, get that than the BC

Joew
07-31-2007, 14:20
After mask/fins/snorkel I'd recommend a wetsuit. I would much rather use a rental reg or BC than a wetsuit. It's hard to get one that fits right, and I can assure you it's been peed in a few times. If you already have a wetsuit, than what to get next is personal preference. You'll end up with everything in the end, so it doesn't matter how you get there. If you find a good deal on a piece of gear, then get that first.

Wolfie2012
07-31-2007, 14:32
Well, I always suggest a computer first for the traveling diver. Course I prefer wrist computers which makes it easier than a console as a first major purchase.

The reason for this is that the wrist computer is one of the easiest items to travel with without having to worry about luggage weight or room. Also you'll keep a good record of your own dive profiles without having to worry about trying to get a hold of the same exact computer from a dive shop for the whole dive vacation.

I feel it's also the easiest piece of equipment to get right the first time whereas with regs and BC's it is best to try a bunch of different models before settling on your favorite. There may be some of that mindset for computers too, at least for some individuals who can't decide on wrist vs. console, but I don't think as much as with other major pieces of equipment. For example, the true fit of a BC isn't something you can really research without physically trying them out. With computers you can research the features of a dozen different computers and get a good idea of how well they'll meet your needs. On a less practical note, they're the most gadgety of the basic major equipment for those who like that kind of thing.

Course all of this is opinion and like the others said you'll find good reasoning for each piece of equipment as a first purchase but at least this way you can make an informed decision :)

picxie
07-31-2007, 14:32
Yep, definately get a wetsuit after you have your own mask/snorkel/fins. I had these for a while before taking the plunge and buying the scuba gear. Because I was a bit weary of spending lots and then not keeping up the sport, I bought the cheapest (but a recommended brand). I didn't want anything fancy. I also use gauges, not a computer. You can dive perfectly fine without a computer, especially if you are new. For me, the computer was going to be my last purchase. It's given me time to find out if I want it, and if I really need it. Okay, I could continue to do without it, but I will get one as it makes things easier. But if money is an issue I wouldn't buy one at the beginning - make it your last purchase.

If you are deciding between BCD or regs, go for the BCD. As others have said, your dives will be better if you have one that suits you rather than a hire one that might not.

Dive-aholic
07-31-2007, 23:25
Here's a twist...

Look at a back plate and wing set up. You can find a nice set up here on ST for about $400. It's a simple set up but extremely versatile. No matter what type of diving you evolve into, you'll be able to use a bp/w or parts of it. You can't do that with a BC.

Heck, if you get the bp/w, regs, and computer, I'm sure ST will give you a great deal on the package!

cummings66
08-01-2007, 19:44
Around my parts a wetsuit is considered part of your personal gear because you're not going to dive without it unless you're an Eskimo. I'd suggest a regulator first because you will know it's service history. Then BC, actually I'll suggest a BP/W specifically, then a computer that does Nitrox. If you dive often then I'd buy tanks, steel tanks that is. Then a drysuit, now you're ready to start upgrading.

Drysuit and tank selection assumes cold water diving.

medic001918
08-01-2007, 20:02
I'd say reg's, followed by a BP/W (or standard BC). But that's after you have your personal gear. Mask, snorkel (if you use one), fins, boots and I include exposure protection in there too. The reg's are important. You can always get a reg set with an SPG and a bottom timer and use your tables. You'll get proficient at them. Plus, I recommend the wrist computer anyway. Definatly ask around and you'll get all kinds of different answers.

Shane

thor
08-01-2007, 22:35
I say get a reg first. Do you really want to breath through something that 10,000 other people before you have breathed through? It also makes a world of difference using a good reg. allows yuo to concentrate on the dive as opposed to the breathing, which is what a lot of new divers are still getting used to; breathing underwater.

BSea
08-01-2007, 22:49
Here's my 2
If you don't have a wetsuit, then that's 1st
Regulator with Octo
Depth Guage & Pressure Guage
BC
computer
The list goes on & on

I think you've gotr enough reasons from what others have said.

Judestudio
08-01-2007, 22:54
Wetsuit. It's less likely you're gonna regret it. A wetsuit is a wetsuit, you'll always make use of it. There are so many options for computers and regulators and BCs, you need to take your time and do your research so you know which one to get.

Here was my sequence after basic gear (fins/mask/snorkel):
1) Wetsuit
2) BC - A fitting BC is the key! You don't want to keep rental shxxty ones. But try as many different brands and types (jacket / back inflate / backplate/wing) as you can before buying. Forum is a good place to learn, but get what feels right for YOU.
3) Regulator - sealed vs unsealed first stage / balanced vs unbalanced, you need time to research
4) Computer - When you get your regs you'd need some kind of console / computer. Both reg + comp can set you back quite a bit on $$, that's why I got my BC first.

Actually, ST had a good FAQ on this topic: Which should I buy first, a BCD or a Regulator? (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/joelarry/bcorreg.asp)

ertechsg
08-02-2007, 09:44
After your basic personal equipment what is the next best thing to buy on a budget? I have heard so many things.Just put on the cc and get it over with.:smiley20:

3rdEye
08-02-2007, 12:10
i'd say a wetsuit first...and then rent different BC's, regs, etc and figure out what you like.....then, save up and put together a package and buy it all at once....you'll definitely end up saving some money if you buy a package from scubatoys

Judestudio
08-02-2007, 20:08
.....then, save up and put together a package and buy it all at once....you'll definitely end up saving some money if you buy a package from scubatoys
I normally don't like to recommend people to buy gear in packages, coz one way or the other, they put in some cxxppy ones and force you to get it in the package. Scubatoys IS AN EXCEPTION. They put together quality packages that really do save you money if buying individually otherwise. You can even pick and change the contents of the package to something else if you wish. So I'd still spend some time, rent gear, do your research and give ST a call when you're ready!

Have fun shopping.

3rdEye
08-02-2007, 22:01
.....then, save up and put together a package and buy it all at once....you'll definitely end up saving some money if you buy a package from scubatoys
I normally don't like to recommend people to buy gear in packages, coz one way or the other, they put in some cxxppy ones and force you to get it in the package. Scubatoys IS AN EXCEPTION. They put together quality packages that really do save you money if buying individually otherwise. You can even pick and change the contents of the package to something else if you wish. So I'd still spend some time, rent gear, do your research and give ST a call when you're ready!

Have fun shopping.

yeah, like i said put together your own package....this is exactly what I did, and ST was more than happy to give me a GREAT price on it. Probably saved myself about 500 bucks.

CompuDude
08-02-2007, 23:05
After your basic personal equipment what is the next best thing to buy on a budget? I have heard so many things.
Honestly, we'd need to know more about you, your diving plans and your local shop to make informed recommendations. Also, if you can afford a package (from a reputable shop that's not ripping you off and/or bundling junk), obviously some this process is short-cutted.

If you live somewhere with fairly warm water, exposure protection is less important. Personally, I know rental wetsuits are cleaned, so I'm not that squeamish about them. If you're in drysuit country, chances are you'll need to rent for a while anyway. So I'd wait a bit on the wetsuit/drysuit. That said, if the exposure suit you are renting is wholly insufficient, then the that's going to be the first priority.

As for regs, well, of course, this is your life support. It's critical. BUT. If you have a good shop you can trust, then the regs you rent should be trustworthy enough for now. If your shops has crummy rental regs, that changes things and they should be your first purchase, rather than second.

So, barring scary rental regs, I strongly feel the first purchase should be a BC (or bp/w, same thing at heart). The single most important skill for a newer diver to nail down is buoyancy. Familiarity with your equipment will also go a long way towards building the muscle memory to work your equipment without fumbling.

The LAST thing you should purchase is a computer. There's no need for you to push limits at this point. Dive tables and build the rest of your equipment first.

>>>> SO, in sum, first purchase should be a wetsuit IF REQUIRED. If not required, the first purchase should be regs, but ONLY if the rental regs you are using aren't trustworthy.

Assuming rental regs and wetsuits are ok, here's the preferred order I'd recommend:

1) BC
2) Regs
3) Wetsuit (or other exposure protection)
4) Computer
5) Tanks

Enjoy!

nferra2
08-08-2007, 00:22
I am also new to diving, and I have been looking around at different websites. I was planning on just getting the basic personal gear, but at ScubaToys prices, I think I am going to get basic gear, wetsuit and BCD. Hopefully when I figure everything out, I can get a custom package deal made.

thor
08-08-2007, 00:47
The other thing I would recommend to a new diver is a free book that comes with scubadiving magazine called "Dive like a Pro" It's a great quick reference guide and good refresher if you haven't dived in a while