Any advice on needed/not needed accessories?

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buddhasummer

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Personally I would get a wetsuit, if you are diving non tropical waters or are a non "standard" body type, nothing ruins a dive like being cold. If you are only going to dive once a year unless you are rich I think buying dive gear is possibly not worth it, we'll for me it wouldn't be anyway. Good luck.
 

rickthompson

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Of what you listed I would purchase in the following order:
1. wetsuit
2. regulator
3. bag
4. BCD
5. computer

Wetsuit is the item that is most dependent on being a personal fit, and rental suits are kind of gross. If you want to splurge and by more gear I would go with regs next; however, rental regs (as well as BCs and computers) are totally fine for the type of diving you will be doing. My only piece of advice would be to thoroughly research here on scubaboard before buying and don't let a dive shop cheat you.

As far as a watch goes, I have a cheap timex. Doesn't matter if it is a "dive watch" or not, as long as it is pressure rated. I paid like $25 for it. If it breaks I'll just buy another...If you are looking at $250 watches you might as well just buy a computer (Hollis DG03, Mares puck, suunto zoop)

---------- Post added March 22nd, 2013 at 09:01 PM ----------

Yeah if you are only going to be diving once a year it probably makes more sense to just rent. I would still consider getting your own wetsuit however
 

oldschool

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The economical watch is causing us troubles to find. Any brands you recommend? We are having trouble finding them under $250 with any good reviews.

Thanks for all the replies!!

Take a look at the Casio G-Shock line. They have watches for less than $70.00 that are excellent for diving.
 

uncfnp

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I absolutely vote for a wetsuit and will recommend a 3 mm if average temperature tolerant or 5 if cold natured or plan to dive winter months in tropics. Right now Leisurepro has the Bare Velocity on clearance. They are not fancy but I think they are a good wetsuit at a great price and has a good fit.

---------- Post added March 22nd, 2013 at 09:40 PM ----------

I also wonder why not do your open water dives there so that on vacation you can just concentrate on Fun!?
 

herman

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Hello! My husband and I are brand new to diving. We are doing our certification classwork and confined dives this coming weekend and completing our OW dives in the Southern Caribbean in April during a cruise. I have seen some great posts on this site and was hoping to take advantage of divers that aren't trying to sell me things but just have good advice.

We have our mask, snorkel, fins and boots but that is it. Any advice on whether we need or don't need the following things and if we do, what is recommended for us since we will probably only start out diving about once a year (we have small kids) and don't want to spend a fortunate right away.
*watch or computer of our own?
*wet suit
*bcd
*type of bag that works best?
*regulator

I will say we will probably be diving with shops to get started so we will be able to rent as much or as little as we need I am assuming. But any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Oh and this doesn't have anything to do with gear but if you have any recommendations for spots or shops we should book our referral dives with, that would be appreciated too. We will be in St. Thomas, St. Kitts and Curacao.

Thanks!

The fact that you are on a cruise is a concern, I don't see how you are going to have enough time. I don't do crusies so I may be off the mark but my impression of cruse ships is they dock in the morning and leave that evening. You will need 2 full days in a port to complete your OW dives unless you do 1 day with one operation and the next with another in a different port ...a very bad idea IMO and I would question the quality of any instructor who would sign the certification paperwork. I do not know the standards of other agencies but more than 3 dives in a day is a violation of PADI standards and you need 4 to complete certification. Any shop that willingly violates their agencies standards I would not consider training with and frankly any shop that tells me they can do it in one day scares me, no way you are getting good training.
My suggestion would be to forget training on this trip and compelete your training back home or take a long weekend in some place warm - Fla maybe- to do a good quality weekend of training. There will be other trips, bad training is how people get hurt.
 

Tesibria

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I've just completed my 54th dive so am still a newbie all things considered.

With that disclaimer, I agree with what others have said that likely you don't NEED to buy anything else.

To the extent that you want to, then I think the priority would be
- wet suit
- dive watch
- safety sausage
- rash guard
.... then ...
- regulator
- computer
.... then ...
- other stuff

Re: dive watch, you can get cheap ones - see, e.g., this well-rated one for $17 bucks or search for "dive watch" in Amazon -- they have all ranges of cost. I personally went with the Citizens Eco-Watch - pricier, but I needed a sports watch for diving, hiking, and other nonwork activities, so invested in one I thought was pretty (for a sport watch) and never requires batteries. (When I'm not wearing it, it's hanging on the light in my bathroom, so it's always ready.)

Re: wet suit - local shops usually have at least some on clearance ... and online retailers do as well. Waterproof has some great ones on clearance/closeout right now.... and share revenue with local retailers (or, according to website, they do). (I also recommend getting 3MM is probably best.)

Re: safety sausage - never dove without one and don't plan to ever do so. So far, have never had to use it -- but have been on several trips where others did.

Re: rash guard - I'm Irish/English and burn like crazy - especially, for whatever reason, my chest area. So - I always wear rash guard, even when out of the wetsuit. And, again, can get a basic one for under $30, so it's not a big cost.

Re: bags - I use a "regular" /non scuba bag (Delsey Helium Hyperlite 35" Rolling Duffel) and it has worked great. And, again, it has multiple uses so IF I no longer dove (g-d forbid), I could still use it easily .. in fact, did so this year for a ski trip. On the "bag" issue, if you're doing day boat dives, you might want to get a "dry bag" to keep your stuff together on the boat. I love it b/c I can just keep my shore clothes.. and my kindle (which goes everywhere with me except underwater), iphone, etc. all together -- and dry. And - again - it has multiple uses not just dive-specific.

Point is that ALL of this stuff (other than the safety sausage) is "multi-purpose" ... so you'll be able to make good use of it even if you decide you don't love diving -- or only want to dive once a year.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ IF you decide you love diving ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Re: regulator - I am like samer0214
in that I only trust my own regulator, because I know it - and I know that I take care of it and get it regularly serviced. And, though it's silly I'm sure, I hated using a mouthpiece ... that wasn't mine too -- besides, the one I got was .. messed up and I bit through it on second dive so had to hold it by hand rest of the dive. I came back from that trip and the first (next) thing I got was my own regulator.

Re: computer - I agree with Imla that it's of great benefit to know how your computer works and not have to learn a new one every trip. You can get relatively inexpensive ones -- or get a used one. Once I knew I loved diving, I got the one I wanted (which wasn't cheap) ... with hopes that it'll last me many years. And I love it and now can't imagine diving without it. That being said -- I had so quickly fallen in love with diving, I knew I wanted to do it.

I have picked up a few other "toys" since then (just got a camera THIS week - can't wait to use it!!), but .... nothing that I couldn't live without.
 

raftingtigger

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You state you will be diving once a year only to start with...

1) the wetsuit will be your own and will fit you every time you don it, as opposed to the ones you will be renting

An owned wetsuit will only fit if you don't lose or gain weight. If you use it only a few days per year the statistics say it won't fit for very many dives.

My advice is to not buy anything except your snorkeling gear until after your first dive vacation. You will have a much better idea of what you want - if anything - at that point.

The exception is you BOTH should carry a marker buoy, whistle, and strobe. Somehow I doubt those are part of a rental package.

---------- Post added April 3rd, 2013 at 08:04 PM ----------

Most of us who have been diving for some time have a complete dive shop somewhere in our house or garage.

Been there, doing that :D
 

Roatan Joe

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The fact that you are on a cruise is a concern, I don't see how you are going to have enough time. I don't do crusies so I may be off the mark but my impression of cruse ships is they dock in the morning and leave that evening. You will need 2 full days in a port to complete your OW dives unless you do 1 day with one operation and the next with another in a different port ...a very bad idea IMO and I would question the quality of any instructor who would sign the certification paperwork. I do not know the standards of other agencies but more than 3 dives in a day is a violation of PADI standards and you need 4 to complete certification. Any shop that willingly violates their agencies standards I would not consider training with and frankly any shop that tells me they can do it in one day scares me, no way you are getting good training.
My suggestion would be to forget training on this trip and compelete your training back home or take a long weekend in some place warm - Fla maybe- to do a good quality weekend of training. There will be other trips, bad training is how people get hurt.

Probably unfounded concern... I just got PADI certified a few months ago aboard Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas. They have their own dive shop and PADI Certified dive masters and instructors on board. Book work and pool work done on the ship during sea days. Did open water dives in Cozumel and Grand Cayman. On the way back home during another sea day I completed the final exam. No biggie and was one of the best cruises of my life. I just got home from Roatan and I'm up to 32 logged dives now. Can't wait to head to Cozumel in a couple of weeks!

If the OP is only going to dive once a year, I agree that he should just rent most of the equipment. I would probably just buy a wet suit, mask, fins, snorkel and a safety sausage if you're going to do any drift diving and call it good..
 
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