Re: buying first set of scuba gear, help needed!

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Posted by Jim on July 20, 2000 at 13:21:13:

In Reply to: buying first set of scuba gear, help needed! posted by Ville on July 20, 2000 at 05:20:49:

Ville, the first thing I would do is to throw away your discount catalog, and think about what you are doing. Scuba divers use life-support equipment to go into a hazardous environment. Do you really want discount life-support equipment? Another question you should ask your-self is , will I be happy with this gear a year from now? I have been diving for over 30years, teaching for 25years and owned a Dive Store for 20. Here are somethings I have learned about diving equipment in that time. The first thing you want in life-support equipment is function(not color, style or discount). The next thing is service for the Product. If you don't have function and service you don't have a good product. Regulators: what you want in a regulator is one with a balanced 1st and 2nd stages.With a balanced 1st and 2nd stage it's hard to overwork the regulator at depth or if you start working hard (as I see it the best on the market are the Scubapro g250 mark 20, Atomic t-1 b-2, Bechat Vxt Series, or Zeagles Tech Series). These Regulators all have balanced 2nd stages which delivers with high demand. Think about this : if your lung volume is 4 liters at the surface, at 100 ft. you have to breath in 16 liters to fill your lungs, that means your regulator is working four times as hard. Almost any Regulator will breath good at the surface, but what is it like at 100ft. or in a current? The balance 2nd stage regulator breaths sweet at depth or in a current(it's hard to overwork them, they function better and are safer )! BCs: you need to try a BC on in the water before you buy it. A BC needs to feel good and function. The only way of telling this is in the water. I like the back-inflation units with the weights integrated. With the BIU's you don't get the chest squeeze you get with the jackets,and with the weight integrated system I think, you get a safer wt. release and less backacke with the wts. on your shoulders (as I see it the best BCs on the Market are made by Zeagle the Tech or one of the Concepts are great BCs, Zeagle is a family owned US company that takes pride in their product).Wetsuit: the key on the wetsuits is the design and the material. You need a 6-7 mm suit to dive in this area. A full suit or a step-in and john would keep you warm most of the year(add a vest to the full in the winter). You want to stay away from the Chinese wetsuits(they have poor material and poor design). As I see it the best suits on the market are made by Xcel, they use the best neoprene and have a good design(they also are an America company). Dive Stores: if you are moving to Orange County you need a dive store in the south county I would go see Liburdi's in Ivine, in mid-county they Scuba World in Orange, and North-County try Scuba Toys In Cypress(my Store). I know that these stores have lots of service and expertise(stay away from the chain stores they have little of either).
Good Luck,
Jim Hoffmann

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