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Posted by Walt on September 14, 2004 at 21:54:10:

In Reply to: Need Help/Equipment Advice???? posted by TomR on September 14, 2004 at 14:24:18:

Think a LOT about the type of diving you'll be doing in the future and pick the equipment most appropriate to what you'll be doing 5 years from now. If you plan to log 10 warm water dives and a few local boat dives versus 50+ Cal beach dives a year, you'd look at totally different equipment.

Assuming you're going to do a lot of Ca beach and boat diving, you should carefully look at a hard pack or backplate/harnesses for cost effectiveness. You'll have rugged, quality eqipment that can be serviced / fixed for years of diving.

If you want something light and easy to pack for trips, then take a serious look at the Dive-Rite line - products like the rec wings are easy to pack and streamlined for lower drag plus have replaceable components.

As for computers, again, will you be beach diving or deep diving...for most local beach diving, there's nothing like the U.S. Navy tables - easy to carry and unbreakable. You can even download them for free. Add an inexpensive dive watch, depth and pressure guage and you're set.

For multi-level, repetitive dives that may press the limits, you'd want a computer - suggest a wrist mount with a protected faceplate. If you plan to bug hunt, you may want to get a console or lanyard mount for obvious reasons. I like the Oceanic computers - good and relatively inexpensive. If you want a more conservative computer, go with the Suunto or Dive-Rite lines.

Rent a few different types of regs before you buy - you want one that provides the same working effort at the surface as at depth. This would be a well balanced reg.

As a newer diver, you should definitely seek the advice of an established local shop - one where the owner and staff dive regularly and have customers who dive with them. They'll also let you try out equipment or arrange for vendor boat days. You may think you're saving money on-line, but after your second reg or BC purchase you've spent more than you've saved. I buy on-line when I know what I want, have done my own research, and can't find it at the shops I deal with locally. But if I get good local advice, then I don't mind spending more to by at a local shop - good advice from a reputable shop is good value.

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