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Thread: Gear buying tips for the new diver..

  1. #1
    Grouper
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    Lightbulb Gear buying tips for the new diver..

    Buy gear you can dive (grow) into!

    Tec,Cavern,Cave or just real serious about diving? You can buy some basic gear now that will set the skill foundation for that goal and still dive Rec. comfortably, confidently and safely.

    If I only knew when I started diving that there was a different gear set that would grow with me into other areas of diving, I would have started with it. Makes cents..

    A BP/wing is what I am talking about. It's the purest form of rear inflation.
    Some Rec divers even dive a BP/wing setup instead of a BC all together.. I now do.

    I know you will find it easier to trim out and flatten the learning curve. Being ignorant of gear does not make one stupid. Learning to dive a Bp/w is a bit different than what you where trained on. But, its not hard to learn to use. My girlfriend bought a set the week after getting OW cert. She learned proper weighting, trim and near perfect buoyancy in 20 dives.

    Some inside info is that most instructors use the equipment that the shop they are working/teaching out of has in stock. Part of the instructor/shop relationship.
    Understandable..

    I know instructors that only dive a BC when they are teaching and switch to their rear inflation when diving privately.

    That was a big clue for me.

    Just a couple reasons why jacket style BCs are used for teaching: It helps keep the student upright on the surface for better instruction. Gives positive buoyancy to the surface if the weight is dropped in an Emergency.

    I know it sounds like I am knocking BCs. I'm really not.. I dove a high end rear inflate for years. They have their place filling the niche of Rec diving. You can master them and be very happy with them. Many are and will continue to be.

    However, now that I am pursuing more challenging diving, i.e Tec/Cavern. I needed a BP/wing. Point is: I could have been diving/mastering one all along.

    Ask a lot of questions... Most divers will be happy to give you input.

    I suspect this thread will get a lot of attention.

    My hope is it doesn't become an argument over the BC vs BP/W issue.

    Instead becomes a resource of advice on gear selection for the new diver.

    My advice: Buy the best you can based on your type of diving. Now and in the future. Due your homework and chances are you will save money and avoid some of the pitfalls that I and many others have had when we were newbies.

    Of course, some trial and error comes with every new endeavor. Heck, some of it is part of the fun.

    Thanks....DiveSafe/DiveHard
    There is a God... Come diving I'll show you!!
    Just found out I'm an Infidel! Translation: FREE!!

  2. #2
    Grouper
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    Divehard
    As a BP&W diver myself I'll say yep for sure the infinately configurable BP&W can be used by the majority of divers and it can be configured for virtually any type of diving you'd want to try. However if you've never tried a properly configured set you had best have friends experienced in it's configuration to help walk you through those endless configuration options and get to trimmed out properly.
    The advantage that jacke style BCD have for the newbie is their limited configuration and weighting to trim out. This limited selection get them in the water and learning to control their buoyancy. After a newbie developes the feel and control as best they can using a jacket they can better judge the differences that a BP&W bring to the table and they are better able to judge the effects the finer effects of weighting trim. This leads to a diver that has developed their own sense of what feels right instead of just being told what is best.
    I started out in a back inflate jacket style BCD and still use it with students. I never considered it a waste of time or money.
    Opinions are like gas... We're all entitled to some but people appreciate you keeping it to yourself if it stinks!

  3. #3
    Guppy
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    I had 3 BCD's before putting together a couple of BP/wings/harnesses. Lower cost and gives you more freedom.

  4. #4
    Grouper
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    I have been looking at the BP&W set up myself. I just bought a rear inflating BC so I need to get my money out of it first.

  5. #5
    Grouper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clernix View Post
    I have been looking at the BP&W set up myself. I just bought a rear inflating BC so I need to get my money out of it first.
    Clernix, My friend, I found myself in the same situation. Which, may I add is why I felt compelled to start this thread. I got 2+ years out of my BIG$ BCD before I switched. Found out from the start that it's value was cut almost in half the moment I bought it. Believe me I mastered it. Now it just hangs in my closet until its time to have it serviced again. May end up selling it to a Charter boat for a "high end rental." Lucky if I get $300 for it. Maybe trade it for some free trips out..
    There is a God... Come diving I'll show you!!
    Just found out I'm an Infidel! Translation: FREE!!

  6. #6
    Grand Master Spammer Founding Member
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    I did my five cert dives with a rear-inflate (Zeagle Brigade). Beginning with dive number six, I was wearing a BP/W, although I had never tried one, and had only seen pictures. Never looked back.
    rick

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