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Thread: What gear would you buy first

  1. #1
    TadPole
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    What gear would you buy first

    I'm wondering... in what order would you buy your gear?

    I bought the mask, fins, snorkel, boots when I was OW certified. My first equipment purchase after that was a computer. For Christmas, i received some gift cards and I will probably get more when my birthday comes.

    I'm not sure what I am going to buy next. I'm leaning towards a BC (probably a BP/W setup). For those of you who have been diving for a while, I'm curious what order you would buy your equipment in if you had to start over.

  2. #2
    Guppy
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    I was kind of wondering the same thing....good question.

  3. #3
    Grouper
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    Buy a good reg set up.

    Jim

  4. #4
    Shark snagel's Avatar
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    I agree, next purchase is a reg. Then I would try out different BC's - jacket style, back lift, etc. to figure out what works for you.

  5. #5
    Guppy
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    What are you guys calling a reg setup? Just the actual 1st and 2nd Stage or what?

  6. #6
    TadPole
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    A reg setup... I wasn't expecting that one. Every time that I have rented equipment, the regs have always seemed to be in the best condition.... Maybe I have just been lucky in my limited experience.

  7. #7
    TadPole
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    A reg setup would be the first stage, the second stage, the backup second stage, and the high pressure inflator hose.

  8. #8
    The basics (after mask/fins/snorkel) would be:

    1. Wetsuit
    2. Computer
    3. BCD (or BP/W)
    4. Regulators
    5. Weights
    6. More training
    7. Tanks
    8. Drysuit


    I still don't own a drysuit but that is just because they are expensive. If I could afford one I'd love to own one. It would double my dive season. Anything which gets you diving more is what you want to buy next.

    My shop only had one wetsuit which fit me well. So buying a wetsuit was a good choice. The better a diver I became the less I moved. The less I moved the colder I got. Definitely needed a wetsuit if I wanted to dive more. This would be choice #1.

    Having my own BCD (or BP/W) allowed me to fine tune my diving. Better diving meant longer dives. It meant I hit NDL before I ran out of air. I was more comfortable. This is all more diving. This is choice #2.

    Almost any dive computer would be better than using tables. I used tables for something like 6 years before I got a computer. Even after I got a computer I would use the tables as well just for practice (and in case the computer failed). If you are running out of air before you hit NDL, a computer isn't really going to help. This is choice #3.

    Regulators can be very personal. I got my regulators, BCD and computer all at the same time. I regret my first regulator choice. They are good, solid regs but I found I needed better. I didn't know 7 years ago that I was going to be a DM and wreck diver. A good set of regs will last you decades. I still have my original regs. I never use them because they just don't cut it. They were great for causal diving but I wouldn't take them into a wreck. I wish I had tried a few more regs and did some more research before buying my first set of regs. They would have been choice #4.

    Once I had the basic gear I would rent tanks and weights. I'd never bring them for vacations and I didn't dive enough to justify the price. I might have gotten weights sooner but not until after I got wetsuit and BCD (or BP/W). These two pieces of equipment will have an affect on how much (and what type) of weights you want to get. Weights would be choice #5.

    Some of the better dive sites required AOW or wreck certification. There was only so many places I could dive with OW. Once I started running out of sites I got more training. This was choice #6.

    Tanks need annual inspections, testing every 5 years. If I got a tank fill for $5 or rent a full tank for $7, I'm really getting the tank for $2 a day (because the air costs $5). If the tank is $200 I'd need to rent for 100 times to get my money back. Cost of maintaining the tanks means even more money.

    Having the tanks now means I can always have full tanks. If a friend wants to go for a dive, I can. If the shop is closed or really far or the opposite direction I might not go diving. Anything that gets me diving is good.

    Also, I started diving sites where a safe dive, even with a good SAC rate, would require 100 to 120 cu.ft. of air (wreck diving means you surface with at least 1/3 full tank). I could rent AL80s (77.4 cu.ft.) but they were too small. So I now own my own tanks. Many divers will never own their own tanks.

    All this made tanks choice #7.

    If I could afford it, drysuit would have come before tanks but more dives 6 months of the year looked better than more dives 12 months of the year. However, once you look at a good drysuit, occasional repairs and good underwear it is really expensive to have a drysuit. At some point I'm either going to suck it up and spend $3000 on a good suit/underwear or I'll get a $1000 drysuit and work my way up to a better suit years from now.
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  9. #9
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    Buy a boat first and then give us all a call and we will come on out and tell you what else to get.
    --Zeagle Eagle

  10. #10
    Megalodon
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    The reg set up would be first stage, second stage, octo or redundant second, Low pressure/BCD inflator hose submersible pressure guage and all the appropriate hoses that go with the stuff.

    Think about this: The tank is just a simple high pressure gas cylinder that should meet certain industry and DOT requirements, they are failrly inexpensive to rent and are essentially all the same. A regulator on the other hand is your most important piece of life saving equipment. I've rented some good regs and some not so good regs-in one case, the BCD inflator hose had a leak so I didn't atatch it to the bcd for most of the dive, only those times that I needed more that a little puff or air to get neutral again.

    With your own reg, you know how it's been treated, know how it's been maintained and what it's limitations are. You've also made it your own.

    As for a BCD, I agree that you should try a good number of them out to see what is the best for you and the diving you will be doing. You don't need a full tech rig if your diving is predominently in the carib and coz in shalower and warmer waters. You would also not want to use a light lift rec bCD if you're diving colder Atlantic waters in a dry suit and diving deeper wrecks.

    We've discussed this topic numerous times here and if you do a search you can see all of it and it is a personal thing.

    For me, as a new diver, my list would be

    1. Reg
    2. Computer or switch one and two...
    3 BCD
    4 Wet suit or maybe dry suit, normal water temps dependant
    5. Tank
    6. All the other stuff

    This is assuming mask snorkel and fins have already been bought, if not, those are your #1 priority.
    Last edited by navyhmc; 02-04-2013 at 00:47.

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

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