My own equipment not allowed for Open Water class?

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

Horgh

Registered
Messages
41
Reaction score
26
Location
North Alabama
# of dives
None - Not Certified
Hey all,

A while ago I found the Dive Talk channel and really became interested in diving (I realize people have split opinions on that channel, we don't need to discuss that here). I'm a Type A personality who soaks up knowledge on subjects he finds interesting, so I have been learning and researching a TON on various dive topics, from the science, to equipment, to procedures, etc. I have a pretty decent high-level understanding of a lot of topics now, which you could argue is good or bad, seeing how I've had no formal training yet.

So on that note, there are two shops in my area, one a PADI shop, and one SSI. I checked out both and signed up for a "try SCUBA" class with the SSI shop. However, the SSI shop then told me that for the Open Water class I have to use their equipment, either rented or bought from them. Their reason was "liability and insurance", though they did say that beyond the Open Water class I can use my own equipment. The PADI shop does not have a rule like that.

I'm a bit torn. I know that if I like the "try SCUBA" I'm going to take many classes, dive a ton, with the eventual goal being tech diving and overhead environments. I also believe in the "buy once, cry once" principle, as well as not having to re-learn stuff (muscle memory). As such, I wanted to purchase a Deep 6 "signature" DIR (long hose) regulator bundle right away, along with their Eddy fins, and start with a BP/W setup, likely the DGX package as it seems to fit my needs (Dive Rite XT package being my second choice). However, I wouldn't be able to take the Open Water class with those through this SSI shop, and I'd have to use a rented vest BCD and standard hose Aqualung regulator and octo.

From what I've read and heard, SSI would be the preferred agency to do my training as PADI has some issues (I don't want to start a flame war in this thread). So what do you experience divers think? Am I overthinking this? Would you buy your own equipment and go PADI, or go SSI with rented equipment for the first class, and then buy your own?

I don't know if the liability and insurance explanation is real or if it's a gimmick to lock me into products the shop carries, but if the latter, I question the ethics and values of said shop. I realize everyone needs to make money, but I was already willing to buy various big ticket items from them that they do carry (Shearwater computer, Henderson wetsuit(s), etc.) AND spend money on lots of training in the future. Let me know your thoughts, thanks!
 
OP
Horgh

Horgh

Registered
Messages
41
Reaction score
26
Location
North Alabama
# of dives
None - Not Certified
You don't have to use a shop. You can reach out here for an independent instructor in your area. Agency matters less than an instructor that meets you needs, and is known to be of high quality.

You know, I didn't even think of that option, I guess partially because I wouldn't know how to pick/find a good instructor locally. I didn't consider doing it through this forum, that is certainly an option and I might appreciate the more one-on-one approach. Is there a place on this forum to do so?
 

MtnDiverColorado

Registered
Messages
68
Reaction score
74
Location
Colorado
# of dives
50 - 99
I don't know how legit the liability reason is, but I can understand why they would want all students using the same equipment for training. For example, if some students are using octos, and others air2s, it adds some complexity to buddy breathing that they might not want to deal with.

That said, if it were me, I would at least go through my open water classes before buying anything other than fins, mask, and snorkel. Sort of tough to know what equipment you might prefer, if you just have try scuba dives under your belt. Imho
 

davehicks

Contributor
Messages
980
Reaction score
1,019
Location
Seattle
# of dives
1000 - 2499
I am sympathetic to the shop requiring Open Water students to use gear they supplied.

These shops encounter a bunch of people that are new to scuba and don't know what they don't know. They might bring along Dad's 20 year old scuba gear from the garage, junk off of craigslist, etc. That gear might be in poor condition and unsafe. Or require expensive repairs. Any of that is going to result in problems for the shop and customer. Cost and Safety should not be in conflict. It's likely simpler and more pleasant for all involved to let the shop supply known good gear.

Now of course the dive shop is using Open Water classes to sell gear at a profit. Dive Certs are a loss leader for them to sell gear at a markup. We should all understand and be a peace with this reality. Still, it is not an unreasonable policy for a shop to enforce.
 
OP
Horgh

Horgh

Registered
Messages
41
Reaction score
26
Location
North Alabama
# of dives
None - Not Certified
I hear what you guys are saying, the owner and his co-instructor said that they're not familiar with Deep 6, which I suppose is fair, but a little research would make it clear that it's not garbage. The reason I wanted to start with a BP/W is because I like the simplicity, modularity, and buoyancy characteristics that you all have discussed here in hundreds of threads. Of course I don't know what I don't know, but I figure there is a good reason tech divers don't dive in vest BCs.

I appreciate all of the honest feedback so far, thank you!
 

rhwestfall

Woof!
ScubaBoard Sponsor
Messages
20,146
Reaction score
27,522
Location
"La Grande Ile"
# of dives
200 - 499
I've never seen an entry level class that doesn't supply the SCUBA equipment (student must have their own fins/booties, mask, snorkel) for the confined water portion, and that was included in pricing. At the check out dives, you must have all gear (rent, own, borrow).
 
OP
Horgh

Horgh

Registered
Messages
41
Reaction score
26
Location
North Alabama
# of dives
None - Not Certified
I've never seen a class that doesn't supply the SCUBA equipment (student must have their own fins/booties, mask, snorkel) for the confined water portion, and that was included in pricing. At the check out dives, you must have all gear (rent, own, borrow).

They DO supply everything for the confined water and it is part of the price, but they don't supply the BC and regs for the open water portion, which is where the renting/buying comes into play. That's why I wanted to buy my own to not throw $300 away on renting gear.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

Top Bottom