View Full Version : need opinions on gear for a new diver

10-15-2007, 00:20
I am just now getting into diving and was wondering if anyone could give me some ideas on good equipment that's not too expensive for a new diver. I have already had my OW class, hopefully doing my checkout dives in November with my wife. what I am looking for is BCD, Reg, octo and SPG. Would love to be able to spend a couple of thousand but just dont have that kind of money right now. any and all recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Scuba Steve
10-18-2007, 02:36
IMO, unless you plan on performing tons of dives in the next few months I would piece meal the equipment and rent what you don't yet own. This would allow you to invest in a scuba savings fund and even make some money off your money (savings, CD, etc.), which you can use towards your equipment. Besides, I believe it will be quite cold in your neck of the woods for the next few months anyway.

I would probably start with a Zeagle Envoy Deluxe primary 2nd stage reg. (approx. $325) and a Mares Brigade Viper octo (approx. $75) because rentals are pretty disgusting. Next, I would invest in a Zeagle Brigade BCD because it can grow with you (approx. $400 + accessories if desired). Finally, I would possibly purchase a Tusa SCA-330T guage console (approx. $150) or even go for an Aeris Atmos 2 computer (approx. $300). This would bring you to a initial total of about $950 - $1100 of pretty decent quality equipment that should last a while.

If you can afford $1000 right off the bat, you might want to take a look at the "Kickin Aeris & Zeagle Package".

Also, if you're on a really tight budget, The "Light Weight Travel Package" doesn't look too shabby.

Of course, all this equipment and the prices are from ST. Hopefully the prices don't change any time soon... :smiley2:

10-18-2007, 09:06
Talk with ST about one of thier package deals. That is a great way to go.

There is a similar thread that I posted a long rant on:


Good luck. Once you have narrowed some of your choices, I'm sure there are lots of folks who can give you first hand opinions on a lot of gear.


10-18-2007, 12:08
Definitly look at the different packages from Scuba Toys, that's the route I took and ended up with a Riptide BC, Aeris 1st and 2nd stage with analog guages and compass and a Zeagle octo/inflator. With sales tax I still came in under $600.

10-18-2007, 15:18
thanks, I have been looking at some of the packages but I dont really know that much about the equipment yet as far as name brands and what's better than others. I dont really have a lot of money to spend just yet, but I have already got fins, mask, snorkel, booties, hood, gloves and wetsuit for the main stuff. I have also gotten a small light, knife(I like knives of all kinds...lol) and safety sausage. But I will defenitely talk to the ST guys and see what they do for me. Thanks for being patient with the new guy...:smiley29:

10-19-2007, 11:25
Be sure you consult an Instructor prior to buying. Find one that you feel is not trying to just make a dollar or two from you, but one who is generally concerned and listens to your needs. No need in buying a tec BC and Nitrox ready regs/ computer if you never intend to do that sort of diving. Likewise, if you plan to become more advanced with your diving, you may want to try to get the BC/regs/etc... that are upgradeable so to speak so you are not buying 2 sets of gear once you start doing more advanced dives. The type of diving you will do will determine what equipment you need. I have spoken to the guys at scuba toys before and feel pretty confident with them, but don't forget about your local shop as well to give you face-to-face service. Be careful about internet shopping not all companies are equal. If you plan to shop the internet you can get some pretty cool deals, but be sure to consult trustworthy companies like scuba toys!

10-19-2007, 16:35
Most defenitely, I have talked with my LDS and the guy I talk to there always gives me like 30% discounts on everything I buy in there, dont know if their mark up is just that bad or he wants to treat my good for continued business, who knows...lol. some of their stuff is way higher than the web and some of it is close to the same price, depends on what you are looking at. I just like to check around and get prices before I buy stuff so I can get the best prices I can, and also like you said service is also a big thing too. But thanks for the opinions, that's what I need as I am very new to this dive scene, but most defenitely looking foward to years of great enjoyment from it.

10-19-2007, 18:07
Why buy yet? You don't know exactly what you want. If you ask an instructor, maybe you will get an unbiased answer, maybe not. In any case you can't ask someone to evaluate something outside their experience regime.

The very best thing to do, in my opinion of course, is to dive as much as you can. Do as many different kinds of dives, drift, night, deep, current, shallow, boat, shore, etc. Sample as much different equipment as you can. In that process you will probably get a better idea of what you want and what kind of diving you will do.

What you will do for now that is. As you evolve so will your kit needs.

Be very sure to try out the BP/Wing combos. Also, the soft BPs like the Transpac. My bias is that if you like to dive often you will ultimately go with one of those. Other than dive shop professionals I know no one who dives often who doesn't dive one of these two kinds of rigs.

Oh yes, don't focus on brands. Save that for the market place. Focus on the kind of gear you want.

Not preaching, just giving my best advise from my experience.

10-19-2007, 19:17
Iceman, you make a very good point and I do thank you for your opinion as well as I did ask for that...lol. The main thing I do want to get though is defenitely my own regulator, octopus and gauges. the idea of biting on something that someone else had in their mouth to me is just not a good picture for me...LOL.

10-19-2007, 20:57
Iceman, you make a very good point and I do thank you for your opinion as well as I did ask for that...lol. The main thing I do want to get though is defenitely my own regulator, octopus and gauges. the idea of biting on something that someone else had in their mouth to me is just not a good picture for me...LOL.

I agree. Bad enough wearing someone else's peed in wetsuit. Worse having to breathe off of something 1,000 people have spit into. Get something reliable, not just cheap or part of a package. I think Aqualung is the best deal around and usually comes with a free Octo

ScubaToys Larry
10-20-2007, 09:33
I think Aqualung is the best deal around and usually comes with a free Octo

If you do go with aqualung - make sure you buy it local as they have a very strict no-internet policy and it voids the manufacturers warranty. I actually prefer Zeagle regs which are basically re-worked aqualung with a new seat that lasts longer and made in the US instead of france... And the customer support from Zeagle is by far one of the best in the industry, and Scott Zeagle is a frequent poster on this board - so he's never far away.

As far as free octo deals - take a look at the total package pricing - sometimes free is not all that free if you get what I mean!

So I'd tell you to look at features, customer service, warranty, performance more than the name plate.

10-20-2007, 11:34
First I think you really need to think about the kind of diving you are going to be doing, that is extremely important because it will dictate a lot of your equipment that you will need. For instance my favorite regulator as far as comfort is the Mares Proton Metal V12. I love it because my mouth never get dry which is not the case with other reg. (plastic second stages that is) but I almost never use it... I use an Apeks XTX 50 because my kind of diving requires a sealed 1st stage that's built like a tank. And although Apeks are regarded as being the best regs. money can buy, I still find my Mares second stage more comfortable.

Avoid the "pre assembled pkg. deal" unless you are going to be a vacation diver. I don't know anyone that bought a pkg and didn't end up regretting it as they became more knowledgeable. That said, you should know that you can make up your own pkg. and most shops will discount it a great deal. I know ST will do that if you choose to.

My other advice is to try to balance what you will buy online and what you will buy at your LDS. If you have a good LDS not too far from where you live take advantage of it. You can't beat talking, trying and touching equipment physically at a store. I personally would not buy a reg. online, mostly because the manufacturers of the best regs. forbid it. That would be Aqualung, Atomic, Apeks and Scubapro. I also wouldn't buy my Mask online, that's really something you need to try in a store. I also think that getting a BC at a store, especially your first one is crucial as having the right size BC for your body shape is important. I should admit that my last 2 BC's were bought online (one of them at Scuba Toys) but I am experienced and knew my size.

Most of my other equipment was bought online such as gauges, dive computers, one of my octo, wetsuit etc... Most from scuba toys. Whether you go local or online, a good relationship and service expectations is important, a concept that ST obviously understand better than most.

Hope it helps.

10-20-2007, 18:05
I really appreciate all the opinions, they will help out a lot. I do understand everyone's thoughts on going with my LDS also, they aren't as understanding servicing stuff you bought elsewhere which is understandable. I was actually at my LDS today looking at BC's and one of the guys I was talking to told me I could get the Zeagle Scout for around $175, they are marked $350, 50% off on that particular one, dont know why but that's what I was told today. Any other's he told me 30% off. makes me wonder if they are not just trying to unload the scouts, but it seems like a fairly nice BC so I guess I got some decisions to make...lol. Also, what's the avreage price for servicing regs and BC's, they told me that reg's were $60 and most of the parts were covered under warranty.:dunno: As far as my diving goes, most likely just recreational stuff, probably some local wrecks and some quarry diving, I have no intentions of doing any kind of cave or wreck penetration for a long time, I know it's dangerous and I am not real crazy about being in tight quarters like that...:indifferent:

10-20-2007, 18:13
eagle I understand your concerns about sanitation. When I rented I dived a bunch of regulators and several different inflation thingies. I always kept a couple things in mind:
First, when you dive in the ocean you are diving in the fishies toilet. Also, diving in the predator's slaughter house. You get the point I hope. There is nothing sanitary about it. In fact I contend that diver's immune systems must be pretty good not to be sick all the time.

Second, if a diver is concerned about the esthetics of using someone else's mothpiece, take your own. I recently had a reg failure during pre-diver checks. I used one of the boat's regs. Then, after we got back to shore, we changed the mouthpiece. It only took a minute and was cheap.