Anyone SCUBA? Need gear advice...

Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Messages
227
Location
Austin, TX
 
Scuba newbie here... Taking open-water cert. and gearing up. Just the basics... I'd have to give up at least two hobbies to afford to go all out for dive gear!

Well I bought a black Tilos Panoramic mask that I like, but still need fins, etc. Stuck between Mares Avanti X3 and Oceanic Vector. Anyone have experience with either? Budget booties (Henderson, Deep Sea)? Any other "must haves"?

Thanks,
Brian
 

dieseldog

She idles just fine . . .
GOLD Star
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
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1,353
Location
Houston & BFE
 
 
 
Don't go apes*** right away with the equipment. Get your cert. and go diving. Rent what you must and check out the gear that fellow divers are using. See what fits your needs and the more you dive, you'll definitely develop preferences. You will want your own booties, mask and fins. You can get a light and depending on the type of diving you'll do, you'll need a smaller one or a primary type. Depending on the water temps, you may not even need any special attire. Lots of folks dive with swim trunks and t-shirts in warmer water. My first rig was a Aqualung/U.S. Divers Titan regulator and Octopus. For gauges, just standard analog pressure gauge and depth gauge w/added compass. It was a rental rig that was sold to me used. All refurb., and works great. After I dove a bit, I decided I wanted some better gear and moved up.

My current rig consists of a Zeagle Ranger BCD w/integrated weights; Sherwood Maximus regulator and AirSource inflator/alternate (thus eliminating a separate octo line); 3.0cf SpareAir tank mounted on the BCD; Suunto instruments w/Vyper dive computer. For suit, I've got a Henderson 2.0mil shorty and a Henderson GoldCore 5.0mil full suit (hood and gloves if needed). My fins are soon to be replaced but I started out cheap and made due. I use a clear Tilos mask.

Happy Diving!
 

hoser

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 21, 2003
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10,145
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Bay Area, CA
 
 
 
As for booties and fins, get whichever fits you best as a system--the most comfortable.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
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1,660
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N.Q. australia
 
If you end up getting your own boat a hooka set up is the best way to go. I have used one for years beats lugging tanks around. Really tough here diving on the great barrier reef. Try swapping fins etc untill you find a set you are comfortable with always a compromise when using scuba and free diving.Enjoy , its a great sport.
 

TJDIV

Back in The U.P.
Joined
Jan 28, 2003
Messages
2,061
Location
Upper Michigan
 
 
GO TO A LOCAL SHOP BECAUSE THEY WILL BE FRIENDLIER AND MORE ACCOMODATING WHEN IT'S TIME TO SERVICE YOUR EQUIPMENT IN 12 TO 18 MONTHS.


That's all. I spent a little "more" going with a local shop but they give you a killer deal on tank rentals and maintenance.


Have fun. I still haven't gone this year!!!
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2004
Messages
768
Location
Red Triangle
Don't waste money on traditional fins. Try split fins. They rule. I use Apollo Bio-XT Split fins, but they are spendy. Go to the site, click on a model, and you can watch video of the fin in action.
http://www.apollosportsusa.com/Products/Fins/
There are others out there too, but the Apollos were the 1st split fin design and are still rated on the top. The only other fins I would consider are made by Force Fin. They are really expensive ($200-400), ugly as hell, used by many Spec Ops groups, and are possibly the best fins made.
http://www.forcefin.com/FF_PAGES/scuba_catalog.htm
Try out a lot of fins to find out which are the ones that work best for you. The split fins have proven to propel farther with less force than traditional fins, thus saving energy and propelling further distances. We dive in 48 degree, white shark heavy waters in Nor Cal, so getting tired and worn out is a big concern. With heavy surf, speed underwater is a neccessity. Diving in the Virgin Islands is a different deal, but I'd still go for Apollo's or Force Fin's. I don't use anything else. Cookie Monster also uses Apollo Bio's but his are the graphite version, and he swears by his too.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2004
Messages
768
Location
Red Triangle
CookieMonster and I use similar gear. We both have Oceanic Chute-2 Kevlar BC's with the 40 Lb. air bladder, Excel 7mm semi-dry suits, Oceanic masks, Apollo fins, I use an Oceanic Data Max Pro-Plus computer with compass and quick connect air lines, Cookie has a Data Max Pro. I use an Oceanic Omega 3 and Alpha regs with cold water/ice diving set-ups and environmental kit, and Cookie is running a similar setup.
You can blow the bank, so rent and try out a lot of stuff before making the investment on Scuba. As for the mask, wetsuit, fins, snorkel setup, buy the best you can because you will use this stuff more often as it can be used for free diving as well.
Buy from a good dive shop and don't shop online. Be loyal and they'll take care of you. I get fast service because the owner knows that the regs he is servicing came from his shop. The regs purchased online and elsewhere get put back on the shelf until my stuff is taken care of.
I'm buying a set of Force Fins but I just put the 350 and ARB lockers into my 80, so I've had to put the $400 fin purchase on the back burner. They are worth every cent of $400 and I'll get them in the next few months. :cheers:
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2004
Messages
768
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Red Triangle
http://www.adventurecorps.com/what/forcefins/force2.html
Pretty interesting article from Force Fins. The Navy wanted to keep the Fin test information classified to give our military an advantage over foreign navy divers, so they tried to keep the results classified. It's a pretty interesting story with lots of typical military logic and twists and turns. The following is a excerpt from the last paragraph of the article.


"The postscript to this story is that Force Fins are now being used by Special Operations, Delta Force Scout Divers, Air Force, Navy Seals, and Marine Recon as a diver preference item*, and we're just one step away from being standard issue for everyone. In fact, we specifically came out with the black Tan Delta model because members of the Seal Team Five Bravo Company showed up at our door and they had been using the Pro Model in black, but wanted the Tan Delta in black. So we brought the smoke black out at their request. Like they said, 'it's in the Navy's best interest to keep us in business!'"

*The U.S. Navy does not endorse any specific product
 
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