A newbie's two bits worth

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Posted by Dick Analog on January 20, 2005 at 05:42:41:

In Reply to: Advice on Beach Diving Regulator posted by Walt on January 19, 2005 at 20:55:51:

Keeping in mind that I'm a newbie diver, I'd nevertheless like to add my two bits. I made a special point to consider beach-diving robustness when I bought my first (and only) reg. set. When I walked into my local scuba shop I was willing to pay for higher-end products if I thought I was going to end up with something that would give me many years of trouble-free service. And I let the shop manager know that as well. I was pre-disposed to considering Aqua Lung (US Divers) products, mainly because of their long track record in the business. The scuba shop manager, however, told me that the second stage of Aqua Lung models such as the Titan or Legend (which this shop sold and displayed prominently at the counter) were particularly suceptible to mechanical lock-ups when a grain or two of sand ended up in the wrong place. For long-term robustness and mechanical simplicity, the shop manager recommended the Sherwood Oasis. He himself has used the same Sherwood unit for 15+ trouble-free years, including many, many beach dives; obviously he's in a position to use pretty much whatever regulator he wants. And Sherwood regulators are one of, if not the most popular rental brand worldwide, which says something about their durability and ease of maintenance. Anyway, I walked out of the shop with a plain-vanilla Sherwood regulator set - probably the least expensive one sold by that particular shop. I've had trouble-free experience for about 30 dives, including being pounded into the sand a few times by 5ft waves at Redondo and Leo Carillo. One thing that I don't know, however, is whether a Sherwood first stage can be purchased for use with a DIN valve. Hopefully someone else can comment on that issue.

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