View Full Version : What to buy first?

Ron G.
06-07-2008, 16:31

I just got certified last December, but have been on two trips since. Total of about 25 dives....with another trip booked to Cozumel in October.

I have my own mask, snorkel and fins.

I think the next thing I need is a computer to help plan my 15+ dives in Cozumel (and beyond).

I'm also toying with getting a wetsuit 'cause ST has a nice 2007 Henderson thermoprene for $107.50.

I'm reluctant to buy a regulator or BC at this point 'cause I think it's easier to rent them, rather than lugging them. I like the idea of having my own (stretchy) wetsuit, but I don't think I really need my own reg or BC.

Any advice?



06-07-2008, 16:43
I bought my Regs first.....I wanted to know the service records of the devices that where supplying me with air.

06-07-2008, 16:58
I bought my regs first, too. Basically, I don't trust anyone's regs except my own. Next was a wetsuit, because I don't feel comfortable with a used one that has been peed in (or worse).

06-07-2008, 16:58
I would say get the wetsuit. A decent wrist mount computer would be good and could be used with whatever regs or gauges you have. Perhaps the Zeagle n2ition.

I would wait for the BC and reg until you know what you like. Demo/rent different stuff and see what works best for you.

06-07-2008, 17:14
i bought my BC first. I know my LDS well and trust their rental regs

06-07-2008, 17:48
I bought reg/computer first. It's nice to get air from your own gear (you know the history).

06-07-2008, 17:51
If you are on a budget: Regs 1st. Then wetsuit. Then BCD then computer.

Regs are life support and people puke through rentals. Nice to know the history of your regulator.
Wetsuit. To work properly, they need to fit. And people pee in wetsuits.
BCD is not life support and selection is very personal. Try a lot.
Computers. You have one already. God gave it to you.

06-07-2008, 18:28
I'm newly certified too and here's my plan:

Already have fins, mask, snorkle and bottom timer (rent everything else from LSD)

Next is a Drysuit for local diving in BC, Canada. (As someone else put it, "why torture yourself...we're here to have fun!")

After that it'll be BCD, Reg setup, computer and tanks (in that order).

That's my plan but if your doing repetitive diving mostly at resorts and in warm water I can see getting regs and a computer first.


06-07-2008, 18:41
1.Decent regulator and gauges. 2. bcd 3. wetsuit. I'd want my connection to life to be mine and know that its been properly maintained.

06-07-2008, 19:12
I guess I did it a little backwards, but I'll explain my reasoning...

Mask/Fins/Snorkel/Boots (for obvious reasons)

Wetsuit (cause I'm not a fan of wearing other peoples clothes)

Computer (because the extended bottom times with multi level diving and ability to actively monitor nitrogen loading)

BCD (I chose this prior to reg because I felt that a regulator pretty much works, whereas a BCD needs a personalized fit)

Reg (it's next)

Safety stuff

06-07-2008, 19:58
Ditto the regulator first. I want to know what I've got, that it hasn't been abused, and its maintenance history.

Shark girl
06-07-2008, 20:27
I've been diving for a couple of years, but over the last 12 months it's becoming a serious hobby. I'm building up gear slowly as I work out what I want and what kind of diving I'm likely to do.

I've got the personal gear first (mask, fins etc), then dive torch (very useful and not always possible to hire). I'm going to go for regs next (I've had problems with leaky air hoses and over-balanced regs when renting, I want to know they're reliable and well serviced as they're the thing that keeps me alive! Regs are also light enough that I can travel with them).

I haven't got a wetsuit yet as I dive subtropical/ temperate at home but also travel quite a bit, I'll probably go for a 7mm first to get me diving more at home. Then BCD when I've had a chance to try more styles and decide what style works best for me and whether I want one for travel or home use. I'll probably go for something I can use here and continue to rent overseas.

06-07-2008, 21:23
I bought the BC and wetsuit before OW ended...Shortly after I got certified I started gathering the cheaper stuff...Just after xmas I got my reg set up as well as the computer. Buy what you need-not just what you want and make educated purchases so you don't end up needing to replace gear in a year or two.

06-07-2008, 21:28
I got a reg & BCD first, and now I'm looking for a wetsuit.

06-08-2008, 03:00
Regs and BCD/BPW first, far more comfortable with your own setup, then depending on where you dive a wetsuit or 2. You can always use tables ( they didn't have computers 20 years ago) and if at a resort/liveaboard that require a computer they will usually be able to provide one.

06-08-2008, 06:53
This is a question that comes up many times....The simple answer is that you will get lots of different opinions from lots of people....AND....there isn't really a wrong answer. It really boils down more to opinion and type of diving/frequency.

I put a list together a while back that I'll repost here. Maybe others will have additional thoughts to add. You should see what argument resonates with you.

Common arguments for and against buying a particular piece of kit first (not an authoritative list, just my experience):

Every rental is a little different. You have to get used to the new placement every time you dive. Your buoyancy changes so you have to dial in your weight and trim every time you dive. With your own BC, you will have a consistent location for putting away/clipping your gear.
There are lots of choices: Jacket, back inflate, BP/W. Lots of brands, lots of features in each style of BC. Highly likely that if you buy the BC too early, you will decide later that you want a different one. (starting with jacket and moving to back inflate or BP/W is common). Better to try some different styles before dropping the money on a BC. Plus for a new diver, buoyancy changes aren't THAT big a deal. You are going to be working on buoyancy anyway....you probably aren't dialed in enough to begin with for a new BC to actually make a noticable difference.

Other people pee'ed in the rental wetsuit. It doesn't fit perfectly.
You will need to buy multiple wetsuits for different water temperatures. Rental may not be perfect, but it works fine. Not life-support equipment....so why invest in this first?

This is the most important piece of your life support equipment, and you really want to know that someone wasn't dragging it in the sand and that it has been maintained. Rental regs are typically the "economy" models....not as many features, don't breathe as well. Someone may have vomited through the reg just before turning it in.
Rental regs may be the "economy" models, but this doesn't make them less reliable. All reputable dive ops will regularly service their regs, and make sure they are taken care of. One reg is much like another: insert and breathe. Better to invest elsewhere first.

Dive Computer
Easy to travel with. Maximize your underwater time. DC are hard to rent, but everything else is readily available for rent.
You don't need a DC to dive. Just dive off the tables starting out and invest your money elsewhere.

06-08-2008, 07:34
Next was a wetsuit, because I don't feel comfortable with a used one that has been peed in (or worse).

Oops, sorry about that. They warned me about drinking the water.