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How to test out new gear?

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by CapnBloodbeard, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. CapnBloodbeard

    CapnBloodbeard Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Hi all, I feel like it's a dumb question, so I'm clinging to the 'there are only dumb answers' theory.

    So, wife and I are buying our own kit soon - getting BCDs, and we just bought regs.

    So, when people get new kit, what do you do about the opportunity to test them out? I feel like a group dive isn't, of course, the time to see how well our new kit works, and we haven't done any jetty/pier dives before (which I'm sure would otherwise be a good time to test out the kit) - we haven't been diving in our local area before either so couldn't just pick a spot.

    So, how do others approach this? Wife and I haven't dived without a DM before - and of course, you want to know the area first - though we have about 60/30 dives respectively
  2. lowwall

    lowwall Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago
    I don't know about Australia, but shops with pools for training in the US will often let you use the pool at certain times for a nominal fee. Or even gratis if you are buying gear from them.

    Another option would be to hire a DM or an instructor for a half day to show you one of your local spots. Just explain what you want to do and they'll figure out an appropriate place and will likely be able to help you get everything checked over and properly adjusted.
  3. napDiver

    napDiver ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: California
    I'll tell you what i'd do if i was exactly in your situation.

    I'd jump in a pool and swim atleast 20 minutes. Do whatever you think you would do. Dump air from each dump, go sideways and upside down and make sure regs don't breathe wet. Donate. Looks both directions and make sure none of the hoses are too short or too long. Check for bubbles in your tank/reg/hose connections. Then make any changes you want and do a shallow shore dive. I would actually dive with some people you know, 1 or 2 other people that know the dive site. I'd stay shallow maybe 30 ft max for the first 20 minutes. Then do whatever you want.
  4. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    I would just make sure everything fits and works in the shop (or at home if buying online), then pick a calm day and do a local shore dive. I hate chlorine.
  5. CapnBloodbeard

    CapnBloodbeard Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Been hesitant to do a shore dive without buoy and flag.....
    napDiver likes this.
  6. CanadaDan

    CanadaDan DMC ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Winnipeg, MB Canada
    A pool would be my first choice... but a calm quiet open water situation would work. I would guess that all pubic pools in your area are closed? If not and you're buying your gear from a LDS (Local Dive Shop) ask if they have any pool time coming up OR if any of their DM's or DMt's (trainees) would meet you for a checkout dive at some calm open water with a gradual bottom. Lots of trainees are willing to work with divers to gain confidence with and to practice practical & people skills. You could also consider doing a Peak Performance Buoyancy course to have an instructor to help you dial in your new gear.
  7. jonhall

    jonhall Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Indianapolis
    Made sure it fit and felt comfy in a LDS and my test was the first time I went diving with it. Purchased a travel BC/reg for its weight and ease of packing, although that was not one I was able to try through rentals. I knew my diving would be tropical so the only requirement for me was that it had integrated weights. Figured if I could be proficient with a jacket type BC, I could adjust to a travel BC. No regrets 11 years later.
  8. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    Here in the US Midwest, pool or quarry. Often depends on the time of year.
  9. Curious_George

    Curious_George Green water guy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Arkansas
    If there’s any water close by that’s worth diving, you can bet there are are people taking advantage. Check with your LDS for any info on groups or I assume one could find some local divers on Facebook too. They will likely have flags or whatever is required. Unless you are completely against shore diving, may want to get a flag anyway. Probably a fraction of the cost you just spent on gear.
  10. CapnBloodbeard

    CapnBloodbeard Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    True, and it's probably something we'd want to get at some point.

    Am i overthinking it, or is finding some practice time something that I really should do with new kit (even though you never get it when hiring kit on travel) - especially given this'll be the first kit with back inflating and integrated weights?

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