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toecheese
09-09-2007, 19:50
:smiley10: Just took AOW after a 17 year lull from diving. I need to get everything. I am not sure where to start as far as needs in equipment. I spent a day looking for a newbie thread to help out. So any advice would be appreciated. Spoke to the instructors and they said stick with sherwood for BCD and regs. They claim the scuba fashion police would be alerted if I bought one piece from one company and one piece from another. They also claimed I should avoid Maris and scubapro. I am looking for something that can tolerate most weather conditions. Thanks for your help.

finflippers
09-09-2007, 20:24
That is a hard question to answer.

First do you know where you want your diving to go? Tech? deep? cold water? Then you can get some good answers.

Have you tried renting some different setups from some LDS's around your area to see what you might like?

DivingsInMyBlood
09-09-2007, 20:58
:smiley10: Just took AOW after a 17 year lull from diving. I need to get everything. I am not sure where to start as far as needs in equipment. I spent a day looking for a newbie thread to help out. So any advice would be appreciated. Spoke to the instructors and they said stick with sherwood for BCD and regs. They claim the scuba fashion police would be alerted if I bought one piece from one company and one piece from another. They also claimed I should avoid Maris and scubapro. I am looking for something that can tolerate most weather conditions. Thanks for your help.

Is sherwood the only stuff the LDS sells? You could try renting gear first to see what you like before shelling out the cash.

greyzen
09-09-2007, 23:53
Zeagle!!!

Seriously though, post what you are looking at dive wise so we can get more information.

Damselfish
09-10-2007, 00:01
:smiley10: Just took AOW after a 17 year lull from diving. I need to get everything. I am not sure where to start as far as needs in equipment. I spent a day looking for a newbie thread to help out. So any advice would be appreciated. Spoke to the instructors and they said stick with sherwood for BCD and regs. They claim the scuba fashion police would be alerted if I bought one piece from one company and one piece from another. They also claimed I should avoid Maris and scubapro. I am looking for something that can tolerate most weather conditions. Thanks for your help.
You don't give enough info for anyone to make suggestions on what to get, but no major brand really makes bad gear so it's a matter of your budget, needs, wants, fit for the stuff that needs to fit, ability to get the reg serviced, etc. But the advice you're getting is suspect. My guess is they sell Sherwood and don't sell Mares or Scubapro?

There's nothing wrong with Sherwood, known for workhorse gear, but there are also lots of other good (and often better) brands out there.

I'm sure (I hope) the "fashion police" bit was a their attempt at a joke. But if anything, having a set of matching gear all the same brand just makes you look like a newbie that was taken advantage of by a dive shop. Buying all one brand is actually bad advice, because different companies tend to be good at different types of gear. (If you decided you liked a reg a brand A, but they didn't have a BC you wanted or that fit properly, would it make sense to buy one anyway? Or not buy that brand A reg you wanted because you liked a brand B BC? Downright silly.)

I don't see any reason to avoid Mares or Scubapro. Some people have beefs with them for various business policies or historical reasons which I won't get into, but they both also make good gear.

ChrisA
09-10-2007, 00:06
Brand does not matter so much. Get one that can be serviced locally. All regs are pretty much alike. At least they all work alike. Some breath easier below 100ft. They all work well at 30ft.

BCs are a different matter. They are not alike. There are jacket style BCs, Back inflate types and then there are those backplate systems. There are also hybrids. Decide which of these styles you want. Once you pick a style then pick the brand

Zenagirl
09-10-2007, 07:48
Call the guys at ScubaToys and talk with them about options within your price range. They have a way of helping people sort out what they want and need, and since ScubaToys carries many different brands, you won't get pushed toward (or away) from one or the other.

Definitely don't worry about mixing and matching brands, Damselfish is right, divers who show up decked out in one brand are screaming that their LDS really pushes that brand hard! I'll never forget the couple on one of our dive charters who were completely decked out in Oceanic. They were very curious about us who sport many different brands of gear. The lady finally approached me and told me she noticed I had different regs/computer and BC brands and asked if that was safe. I looked confused and said of course it's safe. She shook her head and turned to her husband and told him that they had been lied to by their LDS. She continued by telling me that their LDS told them they had to have ALL the same brand since other brands aren't compatible. She was particularly interested in my Aeris computer since it's so much smaller than the Datamax Pro+2, and about fell over when I told her that Aeris and Oceanic are the same company.

My kit is Zeagle, Aeris, Henderson, Oceanic, and ScubaPro. My husband has Zeagle, Oceanic, Henderson, ScubaPro, and Mares. And it all works well together. :D

thesmoothdome
09-10-2007, 08:35
:smiley10: Just took AOW after a 17 year lull from diving. I need to get everything. I am not sure where to start as far as needs in equipment. I spent a day looking for a newbie thread to help out. So any advice would be appreciated. Spoke to the instructors and they said stick with sherwood for BCD and regs. They claim the scuba fashion police would be alerted if I bought one piece from one company and one piece from another. They also claimed I should avoid Maris and scubapro. I am looking for something that can tolerate most weather conditions. Thanks for your help.

First thing I'll add here is avoid taking advice from people selling only 1 brand of gear :). If the instructors in question are selling Sherwood, they obviously have a vested interest. Also, Mares and Scubapro both make quality gear, so their suggestions seems suspect to me. BTW, Sherwood makes quality gear too :).



Next, like flippers mentioned, can you describe the type of diving you'll be doing? If you know you're going to want to do deep, cold dives, you're gear could vary greatly than if you're only going to dive on Carribean vacations.

crosseyed95
09-10-2007, 20:37
I'll agree with the others on the following:

1. Keeping all your gear one brand makes you look like a newbie. I was a newbie once and did that (don't like to admit it). However, as I changed gear to fit my needs I started looking like a garage sale..

2. Need more information to try and give advice.

3. Talk to Scubatoys and explain your situation and what you plan on diving (keep in mind your diving now may be different in the future once you get more experience).

Here's my path in the world of diving...

1. Got certified and bought everything "used" from my LDS. Good gear for what I thought I'd dive.. (My LDS knew I was broke but took extra effort to outfit with the used supply they had)
2. Started pushing the UW world and had to by a drysuit (used).
3. Finally had money to buy new and bought a new BCD and Regulator. Both same brand. Thought I was kingtut.
4. Dove for a couple years and started going deep. Regulator problems. It wasn't designed for cold and deep.
5. Upgraded regulator.
6. I now have an Apeks Regulator, Aeris BCD, Sherwood fins, Andy's (very patched up) Drysuit, H20 hood, Henderson Gloves (and mitty's), etc. Every part is designed to meet a specific need.

Guess what I'm getting at is that all regulators, etc are designed and can handle certain things. You need someone like Scubatoys to listen to you and provide you with the right equipment, within your means for what you plan on diving. If (when) you bring it back in because you need to upgrade they should smile. Not because you made a mistake but because you love diving so much that you want to upgrade from the Playstation 2 to the Playstation 3.

Hope you get what you are looking for and end up thinking the ultimate question: wonder what type of regulator my LDS will give on trade for my kid :smiley15:.

Aussie
09-11-2007, 06:56
:smiley10: Just took AOW after a 17 year lull from diving. I need to get everything. I am not sure where to start as far as needs in equipment. I spent a day looking for a newbie thread to help out. So any advice would be appreciated. Spoke to the instructors and they said stick with sherwood for BCD and regs. They claim the scuba fashion police would be alerted if I bought one piece from one company and one piece from another. They also claimed I should avoid Maris and scubapro. I am looking for something that can tolerate most weather conditions. Thanks for your help.

I would seriously buy your gear from another LDS. Looks like they are recommending one brand over the others is for their financial gain not to provide you with good service.

Were to start? Work out how much money you want to spend and how much gear you want to buy.

This is where a local shop is handy as you can go and try on gear and have a good look at them. Some kit fits better than other thats because everyone is different. It comes down to what you like and what feels right on you. Not what some so called professional tells you.
Also if you have friends or family that dive maybe borrow some of their kit to try out. Thats if they let you. Try before you buy works well for me.

Aussie

Aussie
09-11-2007, 06:57
:smiley10: Just took AOW after a 17 year lull from diving. I need to get everything. I am not sure where to start as far as needs in equipment. I spent a day looking for a newbie thread to help out. So any advice would be appreciated. Spoke to the instructors and they said stick with sherwood for BCD and regs. They claim the scuba fashion police would be alerted if I bought one piece from one company and one piece from another. They also claimed I should avoid Maris and scubapro. I am looking for something that can tolerate most weather conditions. Thanks for your help.

I would seriously buy your gear from another LDS. Looks like they are recommending one brand over the others is for their financial gain not to provide you with good service.

Were to start? Work out how much money you want to spend and how much gear you want to buy.

This is where a local shop is handy as you can go and try on gear and have a good look at them. Some kit fits better than other thats because everyone is different. It comes down to what you like and what feels right on you. Not what some so called professional tells you.
Also if you have friends or family that dive maybe borrow some of their kit to try out. Thats if they let you. Try before you buy works well for me.

I would start with a mask. The most important bit of kit.

Aussie

toecheese
09-11-2007, 21:53
Actually it was not an LDS that made those comments. It was a divemaster from Beaches turks and caicos. They actually don't sell any equipment at all. I think he was just trying to give his opinion.
As far as clarification. The real answer is that I don't know where I will be diving yet. I live in NJ. I am not sure that I want to be diving around here. I have not done so, as of yet. All my diving/training has been in caribbean waters. I like deep dives 100ft+. So I would like to get equipment that would respond well at that depth. I didnt know that LDS would rent different types of equipment. I thought that it was only the house brand. I was looking around scubatoys site. I was thinking of maybe coming down and re-taking AOW with them and trying different equipment. Has anyone dove in these lakes? Is it similar to caribbean conditions?
Thanks.

TxHockeyGuy
09-14-2007, 11:15
Actually it was not an LDS that made those comments. It was a divemaster from Beaches turks and caicos. They actually don't sell any equipment at all. I think he was just trying to give his opinion.
As far as clarification. The real answer is that I don't know where I will be diving yet. I live in NJ. I am not sure that I want to be diving around here. I have not done so, as of yet. All my diving/training has been in caribbean waters. I like deep dives 100ft+. So I would like to get equipment that would respond well at that depth. I didnt know that LDS would rent different types of equipment. I thought that it was only the house brand. I was looking around scubatoys site. I was thinking of maybe coming down and re-taking AOW with them and trying different equipment. Has anyone dove in these lakes? Is it similar to caribbean conditions?
Thanks.

I'm not by any means saying that I'm an expert at diving or equipment. But I'd be careful about listening to some of the Beaches DM's. I heard them say several things that made me cringe. Specifically telling people they don't need to worry about tracking their dive that the DM would do it for them bothered me.

As for diving AOW here I believe I told you that in Texas if we can see our fins we think the vis is great, for many of us that's no joke. Where you would be taking AOW at is lake Travis down in Austin, provided you took it through ScubaToys. I've only been there twice but the vis was never better than 10 ft and usually less. There are also thermoclines so it gets a little chilly down at 100ft. Definitely not Caribbean conditions. Also keep in mind there is classroom work associated with the NAUI Advanced Scuba Diver class (ScubaToys does not do PADI classes). That means you'll have to arrange to be here for classroom and then again for the weekend down in Austin. That's pretty expensive just to retake AOW. Are you just wanting to try out gear? If so they have an onsite pool you can use but that's a heck of a trip just to check out gear. I'd give them a call and ask them some questions before going to that extreme.

texarkandy
09-14-2007, 23:03
Call the guys at ScubaToys and talk with them about options within your price range.

Or e-mail them -

I traded a number of back-and-forth e-mails with joe at ST before finally purchasing 2 complete sets of gear.

I looked at some of their stock packages as a base to start from, let him know what our needs were, and he worked up a package just for us. I'm happy with what we got - if fit our needs & it fit our budget.

Some people do better talking on the phone, but personally I liked working it out via an exchange of e-mail's because it gave me time to research & think about it a bit between the exchanges.