Posted by Wayne on May 29, 2002 at 10:44:29:
In Reply to: Re: equipment posted by Tribes on May 29, 2002 at 10:19:43:
I agree wholeheartedly.
Often folks are scared away by a high price when they actually need to look at the cost. The two are completely different.
My 20-something year old ScubaPro regulator still works as well as when I bought it. It gets new 0-rings and such every few years, but it works well and I like the way it breathes. Had I bought a cheap, regulator back then, I would have replaced it by now. I do not remember the price I paid, but anyway you look at it, the cost of having that regulator has been very low. Same with my Jet Fins. My first pair lasted more than 20 years before they began to fall apart. My wife's fins are now ready for replacement -- also at a bit more than 20 years. No fancy buckles or doodads, but they swim great and last for decades. The cost of owning ScubaPro Jetfins is very low.
I think that BCs are very personal and you need to work with a good shop and test drive them to see what "feels right". I use a Cressi Sub BC and love it. It "feels" right to me and "fits" right on me. I like the way it is back inflation when underwater, but at the surface can be fully inflated and the channels under the pockets fill up to make it float me head up high for surface relaxation and discussions. But then again I had to modify the weight pouches because they tended to drop the weight bags when I was head-down. I expect this BC to last many years with minimal maintenance.
Used equipment from reputable shops is a good alternative, but only if it is the highest quality, like a high-end ScubaPro regulator. I strongly suggest you get a diveshop that you trust and get to know the staff and discuss your needs. Make sure you are talking to experienced divers who have seen the fads come and go. They will have a better grounding on what you will buy once and use for years.
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