View Full Version : Rookie Equipment Questions

07-05-2008, 12:39
I was hoping some of you could give me some advice! I am currently working on my SCUBA cert. and was wondering if buying my own equipment would be worth the cost? I want to gear towards wreck diving, and I was wondering what type of gear I should start buying that will be better for that purpose in the long run. I am currently serving in Iraq so I have plenty of time to think about what I need! Thanks!

07-05-2008, 13:20
You are at the right place, and it's good you have time to chose.

If you are on a budget like many new divers are I recommend buying used equipment (non-life supporting) - i.e. fins, boots, weight belts, you are likely to need lights, knife etc or even a mask. Mask generally needs to fit your face nicely, so it is hard to buy online unless you tried it on at some shop (IMHO). Other life supporting equipment such as reg & BC, I'd recommend buying new.

For example, the Cressi fins I paid $120+ tax, I later on found for 40 bucks at craigslist.

That's it for me for now, I'll let more experienced guys chime in here, that was just a perspective from another new diver who recently went through the same thoughts you are going to.

07-05-2008, 13:46
I think it's worth it... you can get a decent set of gear for right around $500 on here. Probably another $100 for personal gear and $150 for a wetsuit. LDS charges $75 for a rental of wetsuit/gear/etc, so it wouldn't take that many dives to equal out. And if you ever have to stop diving, you can sell your gear.

07-05-2008, 13:54
I guess I never answeded the actual question - but yes, I think it is definitely worth it - it will pay itself off very soon. RE: Selling your gear - if you decide to sell it, the resale value of scuba equipement is generally low.

fire diver
07-05-2008, 16:34
I think you should buy everything your roomate has. He has great taste in dive gear!

Navy OnStar
07-05-2008, 17:32
Owning your own gear is definetly worth it.

However the rest of your question is hard to answer. It's like asking "I want to be able to drive on asphalt, what car should I buy?" There will be a million different responses to this, all based on personal preference.

Talk to other divers and ask questions about their gear, what they like and don't like and what they want next. Stay online here and ask questions about specific gear and read the gear posts. And look in the forums dedicated to the type of diving you want to do. Everyone here will have a different opinion about what gear is best and you have to make that determination yourself. Don't be in a rush to buy your gear. Do some research. It's good that you are thinking ahead and trying to buy gear that you'll be happy with as you advance. Once you narrow down your choices you can post what you are thinking here and get some opinions. I also suggest calling ScubaToys before you buy and talk to them about your planned purchase.

07-05-2008, 19:09
I don't recall the exact statistic, but something like 80+% of newly certified divers don't dive except on vacation unless they own their own gear...

07-05-2008, 19:40
If you want to get into wreck diving, possibly penetration, then owning your own gear is pretty much a must.

Look for backplates/wings for a BC (it seems to be what most technical divers user, plus you can start out as a single tank rig to get used to it and cheaply convert it to a doubles rig later by buying a new wing, while keeping the same backplate and harness), a cold water reg, and paddle fins (avoid split fins. yes they make you go farthur for less work, but they're very difficult to use when doing technical maneuvers like finning backwards inside of a wreck).

Of course, people can argue with all of those recommendations... but those people are gonna be vacation reef divers, not wreck divers.

That's my 2 cents anyways. I'll let others recommend specific brands and what not.

Do your research and get what you need the first time. Buying twice is alot more expensive then spending a few more bucks buying once.

07-05-2008, 20:29
I will share a mistake that I made. I bought a BC to early with out a lot of research. Although the bc I bought is an excilent bc. I now wish that I did some more looking around and got a back plate & wing. being that now I would like to begin more tec diving.

07-05-2008, 22:09
Don't buy; rent instead initially. First, you can determine if this is really what you want to do. Second, it may give you an opportunity to try different gear to see what your needs are.

For your OW, you may want to do a standard jacket BCD vis-a-vis BP/W. Some instructors will insist on jacket BCD. I went this path. Then, I assembled my BP/W for further training (AOW, Rescue). Perhaps you can borrow a BP/W from a friend as well.

Buy your personal gear (mask, fins, booties, snorkel). A good mask makes all the difference between a lousy dive and a great dive.

07-06-2008, 10:53
it all depends on how much you are going to scuba dive (http://www.atlanticedge.com). If you are going to go on 1-2 weeklong trips every year and then another couple of local weekends, its definitely worth it. if you're just going to go once per year if that, get your mask, snorkel & fins and rent when you go

07-06-2008, 10:58
I already have a mask, snorkel and fins. I think that I'm going to wait until after my OW training to purchase additional gear. I want to try out different things (by renting) to see what is more comfortable to me before I buy.

07-07-2008, 09:38
I already have a mask, snorkel and fins. I think that I'm going to wait until after my OW training to purchase additional gear. I want to try out different things (by renting) to see what is more comfortable to me before I buy.

good choice - try lots of different ones out and find out what you like prior to buying - it will save you money in the long run

07-08-2008, 12:33
Be sure to make a list of what you try and any thoughts you have while diving with it. It will help to have notes to refer back to, especially if you wait some time before buying your own.

10-16-2008, 11:21
Owning your own equipment gives you a freedom and satisfaction that is well worth the cost.

10-16-2008, 11:34
Like others have said, renting equipment is not the way to go if you plan on diving.

Many LDS's (not all) will let you try out equipment for free if they know you are going to buy from them. Take advantage of that if it's possible. Also, talk with other divers along with any DM's/instructors.

You've already heard many opinions and everyone is correct. A good example of opinions: My wife and I dive together (wreck, deep and cold). We have two completely different setups. Neither is wrong, we are just different and want different gear. (OK, I'm right and the wife is wrong but don't tell her!!)

Going used for items can save money. However, don't just buy used because it's a good deal. Make sure it's still what you want. On the plus side, if you gamble on used and don't like it then you are not out as much.

If you decide to buy from Scubatoys, I can tell you from experience that they will be honest and they will do the best to give you what you ask for. Again, keep talking to other divers, buy someone a beer to try their fins and educate yourself.

If you like something specific, don't hesitate to ask on the forum. I've done this and everyone will tell you their opinions which, like now, may be helpful.


10-16-2008, 20:11
it's always good to have your own gear, that way you can customised it the way you want it, that's the whole purpose really. But since you have not gotten anything, it will be good to tray out many diff gears before you decide on one. Having said that, i think many divers change their gears regularly, most like becoz their needs changes as well

10-16-2008, 20:56
If you're certain that you like diving and will be doing more than a few dives per year, then by all means purchase your own set of gear. You'll know that it's well maintained, you'll know how to operate it, and you won't feel like you flushed money down the toilet if you decide to abort a dive because of nasty conditions.
When it comes to gear selection, definitely try before you buy.
Along those lines, my best piece of advice is: Surround yourself with good divers.
You can do this by joining a dive club or slowly growing your own circle of dive friends. Whenever I want to try out some gear, I'll see if any of my friends have it...and I'll ask nicely if I could try it out on our next dive.
With things like regs or fins or BCDs or tanks, you'd be surprised by the variety that a group of 6 - 8 divers will have.
As you progress in your dive hobby, you'll find yourself accumulating more and more gear. I'd be willing to bet that any wreck or technical diver has multiple backplates/wings/regs/etc. that they'd be willing to let you try out.

10-17-2008, 10:49
It's better owning your own gear I wouldn't trust rental gear when diving. At least U know what U have and keep the inspections up 2 date.