My advice to new divers

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Hank49

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Good stuff...re wetsuits, I have bought five or six...??....over the last 20 years online, delivered to Belize.
Based on the body type, height:weight, I had good fits on all.
Two piece, 3 ml, one piece 1.5 to 2 ml.
@MAKO Spearguns and Yazbeck....good quality. Also Speardiver.
Trying on a wetsuit in a shop? Ewww. How many tried that suit? Never washed? a good suit needs lubricant to slide on. Hair conditioner works great.
Ya man...carry on...
 

Rich Keller

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Just some old school advice, keep it simple to start. You will have a lot of new equipment to get used to so go slow and keep it shallow.

A rule of thumb we used before computers was if you dove a single 72cu/ft tank and stayed above 60 feet you could not stay down long enough to exceed the no decompression limit. This will allow you to concentrate on other things you need to get used to instead of the computer.

I would also suggest you get proficient using the tablets rather then the computer. This will result in shorter dives with a much higher safety margin. We would all like slightly longer dives but I would give that up in favor of a safer dive for the beginner. There are lots of threads here from people who got bent even though the computer said they were good.

Snorkels are another safety option that many no longer use. This will allow you to be more comfortable and use less effort on the surface if you need to stay afloat longer then you expected. Some say this is an entanglement issue but given all the other stuff you have hanging off you this will be the least of your problems.

As for entanglement I would suggest that you never go in the water without at least one knife. Fishing line is nearly invisible underwater and tough to cut with a stone sharpened knife. I use a 8” bastard file to sharpen my knife as this will produce lots of burrs that are perfect for cutting fishing line. This is the opposite of what most people do but the burrs will act as a microscopic saw blade that will cut the line with just one touch.

Ditchable weights are another safety issue. Integrating all your weights can cause you problems dropping them in an emergency. Have enough lead on a belt that if you ditch it you will be positive. You don’t want to drop so much weight that you rocket out of control to the surface either.

Keep it as simple as possible to start. The less you need to depend on your equipment the safer you will be if that equipment fails.
 

_john

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I'm only 12 dives in but I know that I want to do wreck penetration and uw photography and that's going to take me into tech territory. I'm at the point where I'm getting in enough to start considering equipment and I think I am wrestling with buying equipment but I am torn between buying good enough for now and upgrading to the good stuff later or keep renting and buy the good stuff as I go. I'm also interested in learning to service the equipment and since I am mechanically inclined I would very much enjoy the procedure. There's no shortage of stuff to learn.
 

icechip

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I'm only 12 dives in but I know that I want to do wreck penetration and uw photography and that's going to take me into tech territory. I'm at the point where I'm getting in enough to start considering equipment and I think I am wrestling with buying equipment but I am torn between buying good enough for now and upgrading to the good stuff later or keep renting and buy the good stuff as I go. I'm also interested in learning to service the equipment and since I am mechanically inclined I would very much enjoy the procedure. There's no shortage of stuff to learn.

Unless you have unlimited wealth and can outfit yourself immediately with all the latest and coolest, don't fret on accumulating gear. Equipment will come (and change) overtime as you learn more about diving and what you want to do with it. My dive locker is good evidence of that! So instead, focus on developing your skills such as buoyancy. Gear can always be found, scrounged, rented, bought, changed or adapted. It's the skills.
 

icechip

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No lakes or quarries around western Pennsylvania? I consider a two hour drive to a dive site to be "in the neighborhood" and sometimes three!
 

Eric Sedletzky

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I'm only 12 dives in but I know that I want to do wreck penetration and uw photography and that's going to take me into tech territory. I'm at the point where I'm getting in enough to start considering equipment and I think I am wrestling with buying equipment but I am torn between buying good enough for now and upgrading to the good stuff later or keep renting and buy the good stuff as I go. I'm also interested in learning to service the equipment and since I am mechanically inclined I would very much enjoy the procedure. There's no shortage of stuff to learn.
If you have plans to get into tech then buy gear oriented towards tech and use it for your single tank recreational diving meanwhile while you’re getting more dives and experience. The first thing would be to get a Back Plate and Wing. The other thing would be solid fins like jets or similar and forgot about trendy gimmicky fins. Buy a good reg set that can be used all the way up to very deep advanced dives. I personally was always a fan of Scubapro piston regs.
A good wetsuit is fine for right now . Eventually a drysuit will be in you’re future since that is part of the essential gear for deep tech diving not just for warmth but also for redundant buoyancy.
You can dive tables for now since they will at least give you the info for allowable time at a given depth. Later you can buy the proper computer used for advanced tech dives like a Shearwater. Or you can buy a real cheapie computer now like a Mares Puck which are cheap around $160 and they can be put into gauge mode if you did want to goof around with tables and they also are nitrox capable. Actually, I think just about every modern computer is nitrox capable I don’t think you can buy one without it. The Puck is probably about the same price as a timing device and a separate depth gauge, unless you find something used dirt cheap. Be careful with used stuff because things like manual depth gauges can be useless crap if they’re corroded and stuck. You’ll need a compass too. Get an inflatable surface marker bag (SMB) and a small reel so you can “shoot a bag” from depth as you’re coming up. Learn to use it well and become fluent, it is one of the basics in tech diving and certainly doesn’t hurt to know in recreational diving either.
 

_john

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No lakes or quarries around western Pennsylvania? I consider a two hour drive to a dive site to be "in the neighborhood" and sometimes three!
There's a pandemic so nobody is letting people dive. I've spent the time working on the course work in preparation for the all clear. There's always so much more to learn.
 

_john

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I like the idea of training in my equipment and getting really comfortable with it before I get to the tech diving.
 

Rickk

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Fir new divers I'd advise spluitting your gear into 4 roughly equal dollar valus groups.

First is the personal stuff, the stuff that has to fit and is in contact with your body and small stuff that is often not available in rental gear. You should get this about as soon as you certify OW. Even sooner for mask, fins snorkel.

That is:
Mask, its got to fit
Snorkel if you are going to use one, you put it in your mouth
Fins ( and boots) has to fit
Exposure suit has to fit and remember 85% of divers admit to peeing in a rental while 15% lie about it.
Weight belt, rental belts are notorious for having bad buckles or being overly long so it will fit anyone
DSMB, not often found in rental kits.
dive tool also not found in rental kits
Reg mouthpiece. I like the mold-able ones, much less jaw fatigue and easy to switch at the site

Next I am split between computer and reg set. I would suggest these as soon as funds allow. If you find a good deal on used or last of a model I would snap either one up as these can last a long time.

Computer so you have all dives logged from the start, while you can use paper logs and tables this is not very common any more.

Regs, you want to have one that you know will work one you control the maintenance history also the primary goes in your mouth


Finially I would advise the BC or BP&W set up. These are easy to rent and not a lot of difference on what is on the rental market with BCs.


I did not mention tanks, this will depend on where and how you dive, If you do resort diving then they always supply tanks, if you want to go self contained with just your buddies then you will need to but, depending on how often you dive it may be advantageous to just rent as you need annual inspection, 5 year hydro etc on these.

Somewhere along the line you will want to assemble a save a dive kit, underwater camera, drying and storage set up, underwater scooter, boat, compressor, tanks, SUV to haul the boat and gear, ocean front place so you can shore dive daily etc. Diving is a real good way to keep that bank balance from getting too high.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/perdix-ai/

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