Did I Get "Salesman'd" or Are These Decent Base Gear Picks?

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SubNeo

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I wasn't thrilled with the shop I chose to certify at, both in terms of the people's demeaners (I felt like I was being judged every second I tried to speak... also felt like a mattress company when I mentioned my budget for my starter gear) and the training itself. My instructor did a solid job on emergency preparedness, but couldn't explain equalizing at all. He immediately pushed me to go get over the counter drugs (Sudafed) to drain my sinuses, assuming that was the issue without listening/teaching... Probably should have gone elsewhere to get the gear...

So I figured I'd also check and see if the gear they sold me was rough as well. What are your thoughts on these?
Wetsuit > Bare Revel 3/2mm (Seems to be a good suit, but it is already starting to fray after 20 dives along the inside chest... I've already used Aquaseal to put the inner binding over the zipper back after it started peeling back. I'm not a crazy diver, I don't think I've already caused this much damage??? They also like to sell Pinnacle Venture suits at the shop but I was having really bad chest/back chafing issues during my cert dives.)
Mask > Oceanic Shadow (Seems to be a good mask, I don't really have anything to critique. I also use an Octomask which somehow fits better...)
Fins > Oceanic Mantis (They feel like they give no thrust at all. They are not firm, and I find myself getting a bit winded after doing 1k ft swims to reef sites off a beach. I recall someone telling me about some other brand's fins, a "Rocket" model or such?)
Boots > Some generic XScuba model, tbh I've had no issues and they seem rugged enough. The tread isn't super thick, I'm not sure how strong they would be against say a sea urchin for example?)

Bare seems to be good for wetsuit quality, but I'm not sold on Oceanic. I dodged it for the rest of the equipment, getting Atomic regs and a Zeagle Ranger BCD. Any other brand advice?

Thanks for the read, I'm looking to learn what I can and get more experience for the moment. Any advice is appreciated :)
 

Fishdip

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I have been happy with most of my Oceanic gear other then in cold water 40-50 temps the reg likes to try and free flow. With that said I have a bare 3mill I use in 55-75 water temps and its holding up very good after the 100+ dives I have used it! Id find a new shop and talk with them about seeing if bare will warranty it!
 
OP
SubNeo

SubNeo

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I have been happy with most of my Oceanic gear other then in cold water 40-50 temps the reg likes to try and free flow. With that said I have a bare 3mill I use in 55-75 water temps and its holding up very good after the 100+ dives I have used it! Id find a new shop and talk with them about seeing if bare will warranty it!
Didn't think there were warranties on wetsuits, I'll keep that in mind.
 

tursiops

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Bare makes decent quality wetsuits. Pinnacle are higher-end.
Oceanic mask is fine, but the key to a mask is its fit, not its brand.
I assume you mean Oceanic Manta Ray fins. Whether they work for you depends on your kicks and your leg and ankle strength. Other fins might work better...or worse. What works for someone else might not work for you. Best to try different fins, maybe from a shop or switching with someone for part of a dive.
Boots are boots. They vary in height, sole thickness, neoprene thickness, and comfort. Kinda like shoes. Which are best for you depends on your foot and the kind of diving you do.
Atomic regs are higher-end. Oceanic make good regs.
Zeagle Ranger BCD is a lot of BCD, more than many people want or need. Many prefer something simpler and lighter.
 
OP
SubNeo

SubNeo

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Yeah, I wanted to make sure the mask was still a decent quality.

I'll speak with the shop about fins. I definitely want more input.

That's a perfect summary of the Ranger lol.
 

Rob9876

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That does seem quick for your wetsuit to be showing wear, but I think that Bare generally seems to be well regarded. Nothing inherently wrong with Oceanic either. As for mask -- that really is a highly personal item that is hard to know the right choice, especially for a beginner. In the past I've tried multiple masks in the store, found one I thought was for me, then ended up liking the cheap back-up mask I bought from Amazon better and making it my primary mask.

As for fins, many people would recommend a more flexilble fin for beginners, with the thought being that stiff fins can be hard for beginners to use because they haven't built up the muscles and/or technique for finning stiff fins. I have Oceanic Accel travel fins that are short and light for travel and quite stiff to somewhat make up for the shortness -- if I need to fin hard against current, those stiff fins can be a bit more fatiguing than more flexible fins.

For boots, assuming you got a 2 or 3 mm boot to go with your 3/2 wetsuit, most of those are fairly thin soles unless you move up to a clunkier (and usually more expensive) rock boot or similar.

My brand advice is basically don't get too hung up on brands alone for BCD and regs. It's good to know the functionality that you want, especially for BCDs. Not sure where you are located, or where you think you may be diving the most. Mainly interested in warm water reef dives? Or thinking of sidemount/technical/wreck/cave diving in your future? For regs, I've got one Atomic that I got for a steal on eBay -- it's built like a tank and seems quite good quality. But most of my dives have been on HOG/Sea Elite regs that also function just right for about half the MSRP of Atomic. If you are thinking of diving in cold water, you may want to look at sealed regulators. Tech divers tend to prefer DIN regulators. For most recreational dive locations, I think yoke regulators are more convenient. Etc., etc. A lot to consider, which is why many people go through a phase of renting before they buy their BCD and regs.
 

Fishdip

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I have been happy with most of my Oceanic gear other then in cold water 40-50 temps the reg likes to try and free flow. With that said I have a bare 3mill I use in 55-75 water temps and its holding up very good after the 100+ dives I have used it! Id find a new shop and talk with them about seeing if bare will warranty it!
If its really due to poor QCing on there part then they will! With that said find a dive shop that will let you try the fins/mask in the pool first. I had to try 5 different fins tell I found ones that I could use longer then 5min.
 
OP
SubNeo

SubNeo

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That does seem quick for your wetsuit to be showing wear, but I think that Bare generally seems to be well regarded. Nothing inherently wrong with Oceanic either. As for mask -- that really is a highly personal item that is hard to know the right choice, especially for a beginner. In the past I've tried multiple masks in the store, found one I thought was for me, then ended up liking the cheap back-up mask I bought from Amazon better and making it my primary mask.

As for fins, many people would recommend a more flexilble fin for beginners, with the thought being that stiff fins can be hard for beginners to use because they haven't built up the muscles and/or technique for finning stiff fins. I have Oceanic Accel travel fins that are short and light for travel and quite stiff to somewhat make up for the shortness -- if I need to fin hard against current, those stiff fins can be a bit more fatiguing than more flexible fins.

For boots, assuming you got a 2 or 3 mm boot to go with your 3/2 wetsuit, most of those are fairly thin soles unless you move up to a clunkier (and usually more expensive) rock boot or similar.

My brand advice is basically don't get too hung up on brands alone for BCD and regs. It's good to know the functionality that you want, especially for BCDs. Not sure where you are located, or where you think you may be diving the most. Mainly interested in warm water reef dives? Or thinking of sidemount/technical/wreck/cave diving in your future? For regs, I've got one Atomic that I got for a steal on eBay -- it's built like a tank and seems quite good quality. But most of my dives have been on HOG/Sea Elite regs that also function just right for about half the MSRP of Atomic. If you are thinking of diving in cold water, you may want to look at sealed regulators. Tech divers tend to prefer DIN regulators. For most recreational dive locations, I think yoke regulators are more convenient. Etc., etc. A lot to consider, which is why many people go through a phase of renting before they buy their BCD and regs.
I've got middle tier Atomic, yoke. I'm in Florida, so it's all warm water.

I was more after the things to watch out for, like the "Raycons" of Scuba for lack of a better example.

And tbh I'm probably good doing recreational. I have interest in doing some level of wreck diving, but not to the extreme (not basically mini-cave diving). No tech or cave for me either. I've considered the idea of possibly advancing to either public safety or an educational role as maybe a side-job, but currently I'm unsure. I'm not even to 20 dives yet and I've lost all my buddies to various reasons that I myself cannot completely grasp :p
 

rhwestfall

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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step. You are starting, and hopefully there is a long road ahead. Gear will come and go over that journey. You have a decent start. Now use it. Your experiences will develop your likes. No looking back, only forward.
 

johndiver999

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if you are swimming 300 yards off shore to dive, you need good fins. Way more important than the brand of wetsuit or bc etc. Going that far offshore before the dive is probably more strenuous than a lot of recreational divers would enjoy. You should expect to get a little fatigue, probably.

I would choose a decent pair of freedive fins for that kind of diving, but you have to have some degree of conditioning if your dive plan is 300 yards out on the top, swim around for a while and then swim on the surface in. Perhaps you can borrow some fins? You want something that is not too stiff and not too weak, something you can kick for an hour or more. I'm not familiar with the fins you have now.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

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