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Divemaster: Equipment Concerns

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) & Weight Systems' started by elchido2012, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. elchido2012

    elchido2012 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: California, USA
    1
    0
    So I'm a relatively new Divemaster (Certified June/July '13) and I've been slowly acquiring gear. To make a long story short, I'm pretty tight on money so I've had to look for very cheap equipment including a pretty low-end BC and Reg (Sherwood Silhouette and Mares Rover 2S+Octo). Suffice it to say I'm feeling somewhat embarrassed since it seems most divers at my level have quite the top-of-the-line gear. To me I feel that the gear reflects the experience of the diver, even though I'm quite experienced (have been diving since I was 10, am now 19) but are my thoughts rational? I figure in reality, whatever equipment works should be fine but given that I'm entering the professional diving community I can't help but think others could judge me. Thoughts? Thanks!
     
  2. buddhasummer

    buddhasummer Bat sh.t crazy

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Nanny State
    12,306
    4,740
    It's mostly in your mind. I don't assess a diver on their gear but the way they dive. The average diver has no idea what is "high end" and what is "low end". The reality is regardless of brand or price most gear performs the same function. I wouldn't spend anymore time thinking about it. Congrats on getting your DM cert. Cheers.
     
  3. elan

    elan Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    3,381
    429
    It sure does but probably not in the way you feel it :)
    From what I observed the more experienced the divers the less flashy "top of the line" stuff they usually have. Pick what works for you. Unless you work as a walking (should I say swimming) billboard for a dive shop there is no reason to spend big bucks. Otherwise let them pay for it :)
     
  4. Peter69_56

    Peter69_56 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Australia
    1,541
    638
    Do yourself a favour one day when you want a laugh. Go down to a golf course and watch people hit their ball off the first tee. You will see the flashy guys come on $5000 gear slick like camel poo. They dribble their ball down the fairway or slice it into the rough. The you watch the old guys come on, damn near have a bottle strapped to their cane. Belt it smack down the middle and hole it for regulation, while the slick as camel poo is still slashing away in the grass.

    Well diving can mainly be the same. As long as its quite serviceable and looks ok, never feel ashamed. Just because someone has a $700 secondary reg doesn't mean anything more to me than that they have money to burn. On the other hand, if you come down with a torn BCD, regulators all damaged and leaking air, well then go home as you are not being professional and people depending on you will be thinking if their gear is so bad, how well will they treat me and how good are they.

    Keep your gear serviceable and looking neat. That sets the atmosphere for you looking like you care and will look after them too. A flashy computer that the owner doesn't know how to drive isn't much good, and tables and a SPG will provide better service to someone who knows how to use them.

    Know your job, keep your gear neat and clean and in good working order and be professional. That matters more to most, and for those who look down their nose at you, well they always were spoilt wankers anyway and they don't matter. Be professional in your mind and what you do, then in your heart you know you are ok.

    I have a mix of gear, mostly oceanic and some very basic gear, but why go spend $600 when what I have works well and I have no issue with it. My wing isn't the $1000 variety, but its neat, works and is reliable. One of my deco regs is a Sherwood, works fine. Usually when I buy gear I try and buy mid to upper range but to date have never bought top of the range as I always figure that companies always make an overpriced item for those who have money falling from their pockets. There are exceptions however but for the average Joe Blow, mid range is just fine.

    I once saw a guy who forgot his fins, used 2 planks from a fence tied to his feet and finned better than any of us. Good tools help but they never make up for ability. Develop your ability, it means more and that will impress most people and earn respect.

    You are 19, go dive and have fun, when you are 55 near retirement, no kids now, mortgage paid off, then go buy the gold plated gear so you can hang it up over the fire place and tell your grand kids how grandpa dived. Till then just go dive and have fun with what you can afford that's safe and servicable.
     
  5. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
    1,514
    286
    Like everyone else has been saying, the equipment does not make the diver. If you are good it won't matter what kind of equipment you are using. If the shop you work for does want you to sell their equipment as well then talk to the shop about using their equipment. I dive a BP/W config but worked at a shop which did not sell BP/W. Rather than "confuse the student" the owner asked me to dive equipment they sold. So I took my equipment out of the rental stock. If they don't want to give you rental equipment but they expect you to buy the same gear for work then find another dive shop. Last shop I worked at didn't sell the gear I use but they were cool with me using it in the pool.

    Additionally, one of the best guides I had when I was diving in Curacao had some old equipment and a ratty, torn wetsuit. He could dive and knew were the best marine life was 'hiding'. I wasn't paying for him to be pretty with all the latest gear.

    There will be some people who will assume (wrongly) that the gear you wear reflects how good a diver you are (good equipment == good diver) but this isn't usually true.
     
  6. PsyWulf

    PsyWulf Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Worldwide
    214
    53
    If it's comfortable,doesn't look absolutely mistreated and does what it has to,I see no problem with it. I'm a big fan of buying second hand good stuff if I spot a bargain too and have collected quite a bit of fairly good stuff for less than half to a quarter of what it would've costed me new. Scuffs and marks give them character and make them look like they are used and not just put in a glass case for display purposes :wink:

    Most shops and ops prefer you to use their gear and brands when leading/teaching so if thats the case,make use of it. Wearing the same kit as the ones you teach helps them get comfortable and familiar with it
     
  7. halocline

    halocline Contributor

    9,055
    3,495
    Well, as soon as those huge DM checks start coming in you can buy an entire dive gear company.:wink:

    You don't have to spend much to get excellent gear, just buy used. One of my very best regulators cost $84 for the first/second stages (MK10/D300). There are lots of great deals around. There's a SB member awap who's even cheaper than I am and he's a great diver. Don't even begin to think that expensive gear makes a good diver.
     
    tracydr likes this.
  8. gcarter

    gcarter Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    8,428
    9,062
    Does this help? :)

    experiencemm6.jpg

    (Same principles!)
     
  9. Narcoleptic

    Narcoleptic Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location:
    5
    0
    Elchido.....

    In my life experiences, I have found that people who shout the loudest, usually have the least to say. As a result, I tend to avoid loud people. That is an analogy which compares to your question. On a dive boat as a Divemaster, when I look around and spot the guy who has the latest and greatest of everything, he is usually the one I have to keep an extra eye on. Underwater you can hear him a mile away with all sorts of alarms and buzzers sounding off like a disco, then he wonders why he didn't see anything. If your gear is functional and safe, who cares if it isn't brand new? Your experience will show through how you use the gear you have and how you communicate with and organize your group.
     
  10. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kents Store, VA
    7,473
    4,651
    Four thoughts: 1. I agree with the consensus - gear doesn't make the diver. What you 'look like' in the water is more important than what you 'look like' on shore. Do you exhibit good buoyancy control, appropriate trim, good finning techniques, etc., etc.? 2. Simple, functional gear that works for you is fine. Having said that, if it is ratty, poorly maintained, somewhat dysfunctional, that is another issue. DMs are expected to be role models (not gear models). 3. You mention that you are experienced - diving for ~9+ years. Can we presume that you have simply not accurately updated your profile - do you really have less than 100 dives? Just curious. 4. Since you raise the issue, do you believe you have the BEST (not the most expensive, just the most functional) gear for YOU? A dive professional does not need 'top end' gear, or expensive gear. A dive professional also knows enough about gear to acquire what they need and what they want, used or new. Many of us are 'tight on money'. That doesn't mean we aren't able to acquire functional, well-performing gear - because we know what works, and where to look for the best opportunities to acquire the gear that is appropriate for what we do as dive professionals.
     

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