View Full Version : Starting Out

10-18-2007, 14:38
So my wife and I just got certified and we love diving. The rental gear works well enough and all, but we are wondering what to buy first. We are going to have to gear up one piece at a time, so we'd like to hear some advice on what to get first. We are thinking of getting BCD's first. The rental stuff was okay, but my wife had some issues with the rental BCD - probably pretty standard women issues, but mostly owing to a short torso. Either way, any suggestions on what piece(s) of equipment should be first on our list?

10-18-2007, 15:04
I would rec getting your BC first that way you can get one that fit right...plus know where the weight dumps from in the mean time get a mouth piece a zip ties to use on the rental regs. with the BC get the weights you need there cheap. then reg ..comp...so on

10-18-2007, 15:05
If you don't own your own wetsuits, that's always a nice first purchase.

Ironically when I was in the same position as you, I found that I couldn't decide what was most important, so I bought everything. However, I do agree that BC fit is sooooo crucial to skill development and comfort in diving, so that's a great first piece of gear to buy.

If I had to buy gear one thing at a time, I'd go: wetsuit, BC, computer, regs.

The reason I'd go with a computer over regs first is because *usually* regs are well maintained and there isn't that much of a difference in performance for recreational diving. However, a computer can extend your bottom time, will enable you to easily dive nitrox if you want, and as far as I'm concerned, makes my diving more fun. I'd hate to be limited by the tables for diving.

However, with the ability to create your own package or buy one of the great packages that ST has with such great prices, it's pretty affordable to just go for it all at once.

10-18-2007, 15:11
exposure suit (wetsuit or drysuit if you dive cold water), regs, bc.

I'd save the bc for last because, in my mind, it's the bit of gear where you have the most choices and the widest ranges of possibilities to choose from. Saving it to last gives you the chance to try quite a few before buying.

Capt Hook
10-18-2007, 16:38
Regs first, then wetsuit, then BC.

10-18-2007, 18:26
Regs first, then wetsuit, then BC.

I have to disagree. Wetsuit goes first. Just don't want to think about wearing something that has been peed in. Then I'll suggest for you to try renting different BCD types like jacket, back inflate and backplate/wing. The reason being that as new divers it's hard to make up your mind on what would work best for you. By trying different gear you'll find what will work for you rather than buying something and then having to sell it. I just sold my first BCD which lasted only 10 dives before I figured it's not what I want. Lastly you buy the regulator. All rentals will work for you especially if you rent from reputable place. You will not find much difference in the regulators as a new diver. However, with experience and greater depth you'll start needing a better regulator.

Good luck.

10-18-2007, 19:18
I think mask, fins, snorkerl, and wet suit first. Reg and bcd next. May want to rent reg and bcd for a while to try out different things and see what you like best.

10-22-2007, 12:00
I think mask, fins, snorkerl, and wet suit first. Reg and bcd next. May want to rent reg and bcd for a while to try out different things and see what you like best.


thats what I did... buying the reg next (and last of the big purchases)

10-24-2007, 12:27
Is there a good package deal on the mask, fins and snorkel ?

10-24-2007, 12:41
Is there a good package deal on the mask, fins and snorkel ?

If you have the cash...this (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=ProPak) one takes the prize. Here (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=ZoomPackage) is another one, although I would recomend upgrading to a hard soled boot. Those are just examples of packages that they can put together. Just call ST and they'll get you hooked up. My personal recomedations: Apollo Bio-Fins (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=BioFins) or Mares Raptor Fin (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=MaresRaptorFin), Splash Snorkle (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=SplashSnorkel), Tilos Hard Soled Short Boot (http://scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=TilosHardSoleShort), & the mask (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/Scuba_Masks.asp) that fits you best. Just my oppinion.

10-24-2007, 12:58
The raptors are nice I tried them at the ST party now I have never used split fins before but these things moved some water when I really got into kicking with them. Raptor is the right word because you fly through the water. Now I just need it to warm up again so I can try the bio's.

10-24-2007, 13:45
Oh man. This is a question that comes up many times....one that I think everyone asks themselves when starting off. 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'll try and summarize many of the common arguments for/against buying particular piece of equipment first. 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 peed 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.

10-24-2007, 13:52
great list...

no matter what, you want your own "personal gear" - mask, fins, snorkel, boots and gloves... this is stuff that you really need to have as your own...