New diver looking for gear recommendations

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Snidely
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New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by Snidely » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:00 pm

All,

I am getting my cert. at the end of the month and am itching to get out and do some dives right after.
It has been recommended to me that I try out gear before I buy anything (always a good idea and great advice).

I also want to do some research on gear and see what everyone likes.

I am new so I have nothing but the basics to go through the class. (Boots [soon to get], gloves [soon to get], goggles, fins [might want new], snorkel)
For money’s sake I want to start out with a wetsuit and then work into a dry suit.

Any help would be great!

Thanks everyone!
2 in / 2 out, everyone goes home

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CaptnJack
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:22 pm

I would start with a backplate and wing (not a jacket BC). There are many manufacturers and they are all basically similar. OMS, Halcyon, DSS, and Diverite all come to mind as viable.
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fmerkel
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by fmerkel » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:55 pm

The wetsuit to drysuit thought is a common one.....and not all that great. The thought of the additional expense is a big barrier but if you want to make diving actually work, you have to be comfortable diving.
Newbies tend to put $$ into regs (top line, life support, right?), BC (need buoyancy for the wetsuit compression), and a computer. Then they cheap out and get a wetsuit.

1. With a wetsuit you 'get by' but are miserable as soon as you try 2 dives and/or the weather starts getting colder. With a drysuit you stay warm and dry and your dives are both nicer and soon longer. It pays you back on every dive. Look around, regular divers have drysuits.
2. With a wetsuit you NEED a BC. With a drysuit some (to most) of the buoyancy is offloaded to the suit to prevent squeeze. Then the backplate and wing become far more useful. They are simply more useful around here. You get weight, stability, and flexibility.
3. Newbies do not need top of the line ($$$) regulators. Get a decent performing middle road reg and you'll be fine. The regs my wife and I use are all 15+ years old and work quite well.
4. Newbies absolutely do not need a computer (more $$). Your bottom times simply won't be long enough (especially in a wetsuit) for awhile to warrant the expenditure. Get one when your bottom times go up, and you start doing multiple dives. (Note - the likelihood of doing this in a wetsuit are pretty poor unless you take a tropical trip.)
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Snidely
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by Snidely » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:06 pm

What type of dry suits does everyone recommend?

How is buying gear on the internet? Anyone have a good online site they use or recommend staying away from?
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spatman
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by spatman » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:23 pm

Contact Norris if you're interested in a good starter drysuit. He's been storing my original USIA suit for a while. It may need a seal or two replaced, but it's in good enough shape to get you diving dry right away. If it fits and you like it, I'll sell it to you cheap cheap cheap.
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Penopolypants
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by Penopolypants » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:51 pm

Dry suits inevitably come down to:

A) What fits you best
B) What you need
C) What you can live with
D) What you can afford

It's pretty rare that all of those line up, as there always seems to be something that you have to live with rather than like, much less love.

Here are some generalizations about the major types of suits.

Neoprene suits (thick neoprene like a wetsuit, but it keeps you dry)
Pros:
Inexpensive
Warm

Cons:
Not particularly flexible
Compression issues at depth
Takes a long time to dry
Heavy

Shell suit (layers of plastic welded with a fabric on the outside)

Pros:
Varying price ranges
Varying levels of toughness
You can vary the amount of warmth by changing up your undergarments
Dry quickly
Tend to be light

Cons:
No flexibility, it has to have enough room for you to move
No inherent warmth, you have to get all your warmth from undergarments

Compressed Neoprene (Thick neoprene mechanically compressed to a few millimeters)
Pros:
Warm
Has some flexibility
Fairly tough

Cons:
Heavy
Takes a long time to dry
Price range varies dramatically

Fusion (Baggy shell suit with a lycra/neoprene oversuit)
Pros:
Flexible once donned
Can fit a wide range of body types
Prices vary with some low cost options
Light

Cons:
Can be difficult to don
Rinsing between the layers can be difficult

I have had all of the above (except for standard neoprene) and there are things I like/love/get annoyed by/actively hate about them all.

The best bet is to find a shop that will let you try several kinds in a pool, go to a manufacturer's demo days, or if you have a fairly standard body type, get people to let you try one on, because seriously, fit is the most important thing.

Santi and DUI are top of the line brands, but come with a top of the line price tag. USIA, Bare, Pinnacle and Waterproof suits are typically priced a bit less. Aqualung (formerly Whites) is the only one making the Fusion. Apollo seems to be the primary thick neoprene suit around here.
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Norris
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by Norris » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:03 pm

Yeah hit me up on PM or ricknorris@gmail.com

Let me know where you are, your size, and what not. I can also help to answer some questions for you.
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Snidely
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by Snidely » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:04 pm

spatman wrote:Contact Norris if you're interested in a good starter drysuit. He's been storing my original USIA suit for a while. It may need a seal or two replaced, but it's in good enough shape to get you diving dry right away. If it fits and you like it, I'll sell it to you cheap cheap cheap.


Will do sir thank you!
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CaptnJack
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:42 pm

Snidely wrote:How is buying gear on the internet? Anyone have a good online site they use or recommend staying away from?


Dive gear express (FL)
dive right in scuba (IL)
deep sea supply (CA)
northeast scuba supply (PA)
Are all known entities, small to mid-sized businesses (not impersonal megacorporations), with good service/shipping/track records.

If nothing else you can use their sites to comparison shop and see products you might not see in stock locally but are curious about.
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Norris
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by Norris » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:00 pm

^^ what he said
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Jeff Pack
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by Jeff Pack » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:39 pm

Leisure Pro and Scuba Toys as well.

FYI, Scuba toys will match anyone elses prices, plus if you are a scubaboard.com member, you get I think 10% off.
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bradmond
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by bradmond » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:14 pm

Not sure of your size or budget but there's a Whites Fusion Tech Hybrid drysuit L/XL on scubaboard.com that is new, they are asking $870 but looks like they will consider an offer.

I have a similar suit with the Fusion undergarment, REALLY like it.

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Snidely
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by Snidely » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:53 pm

bradmond wrote:Not sure of your size or budget but there's a Whites Fusion Tech Hybrid drysuit L/XL on scubaboard.com that is new, they are asking $870 but looks like they will consider an offer.

I have a similar suit with the Fusion undergarment, REALLY like it.


I've gotta get out and try some stuff... And I am more of a Med.

I am 5' 9" 145#

Thanks for the heads up though!
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Desert Diver
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by Desert Diver » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:15 pm

+1 on going with a drysuit. There must be a million little used wetsuits out there.

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xBabyJesus
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by xBabyJesus » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:17 pm

One nice thing with the fusions is that the inner bags are similar sizes. If you find a large/xl and need a small/med skin let me know. I have several spares. Look to spend $500-750 used plus another 150 for an undergarment

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CaptnJack
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by CaptnJack » Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:42 am

Honestly I would avoid shop "packages". Yes you might get generally functional stuff that would be fine for awhile. But you'll end up replacing the BC or some other big chunk and voiding any package savings.

Try out other people's spares then buy once and you'll save in the long run. For instance my first BC lasted about 100 dives. My current single tank wing has about 500 dives on it over 11 years.
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fmerkel
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by fmerkel » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:29 pm

Snidely wrote:What type of dry suits does everyone recommend?


One that FITS!.....is used, AND is NOT JUNK!

Little known reality.....about 85+% of newly certified divers in the NW are not diving after 2 years. Many don't make it a year. There is LOTS of used stuff out there. The problem, some is ancient junk, some may be old but still just fine, and a lot is brand new. Some of the "new" stuff that is little used is still 20+ years old and people try to get a ridiculous price for it. Some new and/or decent gear goes for a good price, but you have to know price and the gear to shop it well.

For drysuits it is CRITICAL that you have help. There are lots of expensive ways a drysuit can be bad and are very easy to overlook for someone not experienced.
For much of the rest of the stuff getting experienced help is a really good idea. Dealing with a known person clearly has advantages. There is a LOT of decent used gear sitting in member's homes, more than adequate to get you going.
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DFessler
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by DFessler » Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:20 pm

Fusion One's are on sale right now for $699 new for comparison.
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Desert Diver
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by Desert Diver » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:29 pm

Is that the back zip model? Good buy!

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thefeve
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Re: New diver looking for gear recommendations

Post by thefeve » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:46 am

Just so happens i have a lot of gear for sale for a new diver... as i'm just getting out of it for the time being... Regs are sold but still have the wing with STA, a drysuit, lights, etc etc etc...

viewtopic.php?f=45&t=24810
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